Pai Gow Poker is great for players looking for more of a relaxed gaming environment, as it is a slower paced, lower risk casino card game. Derived from the Chinese domino game, ‘Pai Gow’, it is generally played with a standard 52-card deck in addition to a single joker card. The setup Pai Gow Poker includes six players, plus the dealer. The aim of the game is for players to beat the banker by creating two poker hands out the seven-card hand they are dealt: a five-card hand (“the high”) and a two-card hand (“the low”).
The only two-card hands are one pair and high cards; whereas, the five-card hands use standard poker hand rankings. The joker card plays as a ‘bug’ and can be used as either an Ace or as a missing card to complete a straight or a flush. If each of the player’s 5-card and 2-card hands beat both the banker’s hands, then the player wins. If only one of the player’s hands beats the banker, it results in a tie and neither the player nor dealer wins. If both of the player’s hands lose to the banker, then the player loses.
Check out the video below to learn the basics of Pai Gow Poker from WinStar World Casino and Resort Ambassador and Pro Card Player, Maria Ho.