Pai Gow Poker is a combination of elements from the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the American game of Poker. A traditional deck of 52 playing cards is used, plus one joker. The joker is used as an Ace or to complete a Straight, Flush, or Royal Flush.
The game begins with a random generated number, or a roll of the dice, the total of which determines which Player retrieves the first hand. Each Player places their bets and then receives seven cards, in which two hands are created; a high hand and a second-high hand (also called “low hand”). The high hand is made up of five cards and the second-high hand consists of two cards.
Both the high hand and the second-high hand must be higher then the Banker’s hands to win. As well, the second-high hand must be ranked lower than the high hand. If only one of the hands is higher, it is a tie. If both hands are lower, the Player loses. In Pai Gow, the Dealer must set their hand according to strict rules known as “House Ways”. A copy of these rules can be obtained from the Supervisor at the table. If you request the Dealer can set your hand according to House Ways, but is not responsible for wins or losses.
All winning wagers are paid even-money and subject to a 5% commission that the house collects.
PaiGow offers two other betting options: Banker and Co-Banker. With the Banker option, the Player becomes the “house” and Players play against your hand. All winning wagers are paid from your bankroll, but all losing wagers are directed to you! Co-Banker yields the same idea as Banker, but the house splits all winnings/losses with you.