Pai Gow Poker

In general, poker hand rankings are used to compare sets, but there are some exceptions. The variations can differ from casino to casino hence the exact rules should be checked out before playing. In some casinos, the wheel, consisting of ace, two, three, four and five is deemed to be the second highest straight. Usually the two card set is treated as a pair or as individual cards. There is no straight or flush in the two card set. Hence the highest two card set is an ace pair and the lowest one is a two and three. A condition to be followed while dividing the hand is that the two card set cannot be higher than the five cards set. If the player does this then he “fouls” and loses his wager immediately. The joker is not a complete wild card. It can be used a wild card only to make a straight, flush or straight flush. In all other circumstances it is treated as an ace. In some casinos, if seats are empty a player is allowed to play in two positions by making two independent bets.


The player’s five card set is compared with the dealer’s five card set and the player’s two card set is compared with the dealer’s two card set. The higher ranked set wins with ties going to the dealer. If the player wins both sets then he is paid out 1:1 less the 5% house commission. If the player wins one set and the dealer wins the other then it is a push and the player’s wager is returned. If the dealer wins both sets then the player loses his wager.


A unique feature of pai gow poker is that players can take on the banker’s position in turn. There are two advantages of being the banker. While comparing sets ties go to the banker. Also if a player is the banker the house commission is charged on net winnings and not on gross winnings when the house id the banker. However certain conditions need to be fulfilled before a player can become a banker. The player must have played in a previous deal when the house was the banker. The more important condition is that the player must have sufficient chips on the table to pay the maximum stake of the casino to each player. This is to cover the possibility that all players place maximum bets and win.

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