Pai Gow Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker. A maximum of six players sit around the table along with the dealer.
The object of the game is quite simple: to beat the banker. The banker can be the dealer, another player at the table, or a player-dealer “team.”
To do so, you make two poker hands with the seven cards that are dealt:
- A five-card “high” hand (also known as the back hand/big hand)
- A two-card “low” hand (also known as the front hand/small hand)
Your high hand must beat your low hand. For example, if your low hand is a pair of fives, your high hand must be better than a pair of fives.
Once you set your hands, the dealer reveals them along with the banker’s hands. There are then 3 possible outcomes:
- The player wins both hands and wins their bet.
- The dealer wins both hands and the player loses their bet.
- The player wins one hand and the dealer wins the other, in which case the hand is a push and no money exchanges hands (except the commission–more on this later).
Ties go to the dealer in Pai Gow Poker. For example, if both you and the dealer have a low hand of A-K, the dealer wins that hand.
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