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Pai Gow poker is played with a 53 card deck with the fifty-third card being the joker. The game is commonly referred to as the blackjack of Poker and is a fast-paced game played against the dealer. Pai Gow basic strategy is based on knowledge of Poker hands. It is unique from other forms of poker because in Pai Gow the player is required to make two hands. One hand is a five card hand and the other is a two card hand, both hands are compared against the dealer’s hands to determine the outcome of the bet. The game begins with the player placing an ante bet, just as in the majority of poker games.

Image of Pai Gow Poker in play

How to Play Pai Gow Poker

Once the wager is placed the game can begin, the game begins with the dealer rolling dice. It is the dice roll that is used to select the set of cards the player gets. With the seven cards determined, the game proceeds to the next stage. The player divides the cards into two hands, a five card hand and a two card hand. The five hand card is referred to as the back hand or behind hand. The back hand should rank higher than the remaining two cards. In fact the back hand should be the highest ranking poker hand you can make from your seven cards. A hand is formed from the two cards that are left. This second hand is referred to as the front hand. It helps if you can make the two cards a pair as this makes it a better hand. The names of the hands are taken from the position that the hands are placed. The back hand is placed behind the front hand, nearer the player.

Pai Gow Poker House Way

Once the players indicate to the dealer that they are done sorting their hands the next phase of the game begins. At this stage the banker will start the house rules. The dealer and the player compare cards to see who has a better hand. The cards are shown to everyone starting with the back hand then both the dealer and the player will reveal the front hand. If the players hand is better than the dealer’s hand the player gets even money. When the player wins one hand and losses the other hand it is referred to as a push. This will result in the player getting one bet back. If the cards are a tie then the banker gets the winnings. A tie is known as a copy. The banker also earns a 5% commission on all winnings. When the dealer’s hands are better than the players hands the player loses both bets.

Pai Gow Poker Bankers

The banker can be anyone on the table. The position of banker rotates around the table in a clockwise direction. The banker must have enough money to cover bets on the table. To be the banker you may be required to play a hand against the house back. Some casinos allow co-bankers in a game. To be banker, the player needs to know the house rules. Most casinos provide the banker. When you come across an opportunity to be the banker you should take it. The banker has better odds to make money on the table.

Image of Pai Gow poker online in play

Playing Pai Gow Poker Online

This game is more of a low risk game ideal for players who are content raking in low wins regularly. You need to see the Pai Gow Poker tips before playing the game. With these tips you are likely to enjoy a leisurely day on the Pai Gow Poker table improving your bankroll.