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Gambling Strategy And Playing Rules For Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a popular casino game that combines the elements of traditional poker and the Chinese game of Pai Gow. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker, and it can be found at most Las Vegas casinos. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to play Pai Gow Poker and share some of the best strategies to increase your chances of winning.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker

  1. Place Your Bet
    To start the game, players must place their bets on the table. Pai Gow Poker typically has a minimum bet of $10, but this can vary from casino to casino. Once all players have placed their bets, the dealer will shuffle the deck and deal seven cards to each player and himself.

  2. Split Your Hand
    The objective of Pai Gow Poker is to create two hands – a five-card hand and a two-card hand – that beat the dealer’s hands. The five-card hand is also known as the “high hand,” while the two-card hand is the “low hand.”

    Players must split their seven cards into these two hands. The five-card hand must be higher than the two-card hand. For example, if a player has a pair of aces and a pair of kings, they would split the aces and kings into the five-card hand, leaving the two remaining cards in the two-card hand.

  3. Compare Hands
    Once all players have split their hands, the dealer will reveal their own two hands. The dealer must also split their seven cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The dealer’s hands are compared to each player’s hands, and the player wins if both of their hands beat the dealer’s corresponding hands.
    If the player wins both hands, they win the bet. If they win one hand and lose the other, it is a push, and the bet is returned. If the player loses both hands, they lose the bet.

  4. Joker Rule
    The joker is a unique card in Pai Gow Poker. It can be used to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush, or it can be used as an ace. However, if the joker is used in the five-card hand, it is considered an ace.

  5. Pai Gow Poker House Edge
    The house edge in Pai Gow Poker is typically around 2.8%, which is relatively low compared to other casino games. This makes Pai Gow Poker a great option for players who want to stretch their bankroll and play for longer periods.

Best Strategies for Pai Gow Poker

  1. Always Split Your Pairs
    When playing Pai Gow Poker, it is always best to split your pairs into the five-card hand and the two-card hand. This will increase your chances of winning both hands and securing the bet.

  2. Keep Your High Hand Strong
    Your high hand must be stronger than your low hand in Pai Gow Poker. This means that you should always try to make your high hand as strong as possible, even if it means weakening your low hand. Remember, winning both hands is crucial to winning the bet.

  3. Follow the “House Way” Strategy
    Most Las Vegas casinos offer a “House Way” strategy for Pai Gow Poker. This is a predetermined set of rules that the dealer follows when splitting their hands. If you are unsure of how to split your hands, you can follow the House Way strategy. This will ensure that you are splitting your hands in the most optimal way possible.

  4. Bet the Banker
    In Pai Gow Poker, players have the option to bet on the banker’s hand. Betting on the banker is a smart strategy, as the banker wins more often than the player. However, keep in mind that the casino takes a commission on all banker bets, usually around 5% of the bet. This means that betting on the banker can still be profitable, but you should factor in the commission when deciding how much to bet.

  5. Manage Your Bankroll
    As with any casino game, it is important to manage your bankroll when playing Pai Gow Poker. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. Don’t chase losses, and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. Pai Gow Poker is a fun and exciting game, but it’s important to play responsibly.

  6. Practice Online
    If you’re new to Pai Gow Poker or want to refine your skills, consider practicing online. Many online casinos offer free Pai Gow Poker games where you can practice your strategies without risking any real money. This is a great way to get a feel for the game and develop your own winning strategies.


Pai Gow Poker is a fun and exciting casino game that combines elements of traditional poker and the Chinese game of Pai Gow. To play, players must split their seven cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand and try to beat the dealer’s corresponding hands. Following the best strategies, such as always splitting your pairs and betting on the banker, can increase your chances of winning. Remember to manage your bankroll and play responsibly. With a low house edge and the potential for big wins, Pai Gow Poker is a great option for casino players looking for a new challenge. So head to a Las Vegas casino, place your bets, and try your luck at Pai Gow Poker!



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