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Pai Gow Poker

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Pai Gow Poker (or Double-Hand Poker) is an Americanized version of the Chinese Pai Gow, in that it is gambled with playing cards using poker hand rankings, while Pai Gow is played with Chinese dominoes. The games of Pai Gow Poker and Super Pan 9 (the last is not a poker game) were co-created by Sam Torosian and Fred Wolf.

In Pai Gow Poker you are dealt 7 cards and the dealer is dealt 7 cards. You divide your cards into a 5-card hand and 2-card hand. Your two hands are then compared to the dealer's two hands. The objective of Pai Gow Poker is to get a better 5-card hand and 2-card hand than the dealer. Hands are ranked according to usual poker rules, with the exception that the Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 straight is the second highest straight. Another poker exception to the game is the inclusion of the Joker. The Joker can be used to complete a 5-card flush, straight, or straight flush. If not, the Joker is counted as an Ace.

If both of your hands have a superior poker rank than the dealer's two hands, you win. If both of the dealer's hands have a superior poker rank, the dealer wins. If you win one hand and lose the other hand, you Push. If you get a copy (Tie) on either hand, the dealer wins the Tie for that hand.

Pai Gow Poker Rules


  • A 5 card hand must rank higher than the 2 card hand.
  • Cards are ranked according to ordinary poker rules (see the table below).
  • The Joker can only be used to complete straights or flushes, otherwise it counts as an Ace.
  • Dealer wins any copied hand (Tie).

Player's Actions


  • Bet: to place a bet, the Player must click on the chip value that they wish to gamble.
  • Deal: press Deal to begin the game once a bet has been placed. The Player gets 7 cards face up and the Dealer gets 7 cards face down.
  • Split: to split the cards into 2 hands, the Player must click on the 2 cards that will make up the 2 card hand and then click the Split button.

Ranking the Hands


The hands are ranked according to standard poker rules with one exception: the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. Straights rank, from highest to lowest:

  • Ace-K-Q-J-10
  • Ace-2-3-4-5
  • K-Q-J-10-9
  • 6-5-4-3-2

Furthermore, remember that the best 2-card hand is a pair of Aces. The 2-card hand cannot have a flush (since a flush requires 5 cards).

Card Values. Ranking Table

Hand Description Example
Five of a King 4 Aces plus the Joker AS, AH, AD, AC, Joker
Royal Flush A, K, Q, J, 10 of same suit AH, KH, QH, JH, 10H
Straight Flush 5 cards of same suit in sequence 7S, 6S, 5S, 4S, 3S
Four of a Kind 4 cards of same rank 6S, 6H, 6D, 6C
Full House 3 of a kind, plus a pair 2S, 2H, 2D, 3S, 3H
Flush 5 cards of same suit 9D, 8D, 7D, 6D, 5D
Straight 5 cards in sequence, mixed suits 7D, 6S, 5H, 4C, 3H
Three of a Kind 3 cards of same rank 7S, 7D, 7C
Two Pair 2 pairs of different rank 6S, 6H, 4D, 4C
One Pair 1 pair (2 cards) of same rank KH, KD
High Card 5 cards of different ranks and suits AH, KS, 10D, 5C, 2S


Latest Asian Games Articles
1. Pai Gow Poker Rules
2. Table Game Strategies for Pai Gow Poker


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