The player is dealt 7 cards that he uses to make a five-card poker hand (high hand) and a two-card hand (low hand). The hands are played and ranked as regular poker hands with a couple of exceptions. A2345 is the second highest straight, and the 5-card hand must be better than the 2-card hand.
Remember that last one because it is a rule. If both your hands are better than the banker’s hand, you win, if both lose, you lose, otherwise it’s a tie, although some places make it so that a win and a tie is also a loss. The banker wins absolute ties (hands like AJ vs. AJ, KQ vs KQ, etc.). Pai-Gow poker is played with 52 cards and a joker.
The joker can be used as an Ace or it can be used to complete a straight or flush. There is also a 5% commission on winning bets that you can either put out next to your winning bet, or the dealer will subtract it from your payoff. Play begins with seven cards dealt to the bank, normally the computer dealer, and to the players.
The players are trying to beat the bank. Each player arranges his cards into a two-card poker hand and a five-card poker hand. The dealer does the same thing according to preset rules and the hands are then turned over and compared. Remember that to win, both of your hands must beat the banks.
A win and a loss are considered a push. And remember that all tie hands go the way of the computer dealer. There is not much to making decisions in Pai-Gow poker. The only decisions are how much to bet and how to set your hand; and the latter decision is pretty straightforward as well.
The simple strategy for setting your hand is to make the highest 2-card hand that is less than your best five-card hand. Pairs generally win the 2-card hands, and two-pairs often win the 5-card hands. The computer is not going to let you set your low hand better than your 5 card hand anyway, so your decisions are pretty basic.
Pai-Gow poker is very easy to play, and gives you a lot of time at the table for your action. Very often you are going to tie with the computer, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Take a chance at Pai-Gow poker today and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the game is and you will also be surprised at how long your bankroll lasts.