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Asian Games : Pai Gow Poker Rules

By Elizabeth Scott

Level: Jul 31st 2007
Pai Gow Poker is a version of an ancient Chinese game played first in America. More and more players are getting attracted on this game but still, in casinos stays in the backseat of games like Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, and even Three-Card Poker

I heard people saying they didn’t tried playing pai gow because of its name, saying that pai gow sounded intimidating to them. Well, it isn’t and learning to play pai gow poker is actually quite uncomplicated.

Now, let me help you with the learning process. First you should understand the pai gow table.

The pai gow table looks similar to the blackjack table, having six seats for six players and a designated dealer spot just like at the blackjack table.

On the table layout, for each gambler’s spot are 3 game areas placed vertically one after the other. On the first one, right on the top of the others 2, the player must place his bets. The other 2 spots are for player’s cards as the dealt cards will need to be split in two separate hands. This is the magic of the game, but we will discuss about this after you understand the actual game play and build a good foundation for enjoying this fun game.

One of the cards areas is for your highest hand. The bottom cards area is for the 2nd highest.

The basics of the game can be explained like this:
Pai gow is played with a standard 52-card deck and also uses one joker card. For the ones who already played poker or video poker, this will be easier to understand. The wining hands work pretty much the same way.

In pai gow poker, you are playing only against the dealer, just as in a blackjack game. The bets that you make are that your hands will beat or not the banker’s hands. Now, one important thing to keep in mind is that as a player you can accept or decline when it's your turn to be the bank.
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