Pai Gow Poker for Beginners

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is a popular game that can be found in many online casinos. The purpose of Pai Gow, like many other casino games, is to beat the dealer. Pai Gow poker is available at a wide range of online casinos. There are numerous possibilities for Pai Gow, but not everyone has heard of or played the game.

This instruction is highly valuable for new players who have never played Pai Gow Poker before. First and foremost, you should understand the nature of this game. Pai Gow Poker is a casino table game in which a conventional 52-card deck plus one joker is used. This game is available to play at both online and land-based casinos. Though there are fewer tables for this game, practically all casinos provide this thrilling poker game to enjoy.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is played with a conventional 52-card deck plus one joker. A maximum of six players, including the dealer, sit around the table.

The goal of the game is straightforward: defeat the banker. The banker might be the dealer, a table player, or a player-dealer “team.”

To do so, you build two poker hands out of the seven cards provided to you:

  • A “high” hand of five cards (also known as the back hand/big hand)
  • A “low” hand of two cards (also known as the front hand/small hand)

Your high hand must triumph over your poor hand. For example, if you have a pair of fives in your low hand, your high hand must be better than a pair of fives.

After you’ve established your hands, the dealer will expose them together with the banker’s. The following are the three probable outcomes:

  • The player wins both hands and the wager.
  • Both hands are won by the dealer, and the player’s wager is lost.
  • If the player wins one hand and the dealer wins the other, the hand is a push and no money is exchanged (except for the commission–more on that later).

In Pai Gow Poker, ties are resolved by the dealer. For example, if you and the dealer both have a low hand of A-K, the dealer wins.

Setting a Pai Gow hand

Only pairs and high cards can be formed in the two-card hand. Standard poker hand rankings apply to the five-card hand. It is critical that the five-card hand beats the two-card hand. For instance, if the two-card hand is a pair of aces, the five-card hand must be superior to the two-pair.

The joker can only be used to finish a flush or straight. If neither of these conditions holds true, the joker must be an ace. (Although other casinos have alternative rules for the joker, this is by far the most frequent.)

A pai gow, or non-hand, occurs when a player is unable to build a pair or better with their cards—for example, if you were dealt Q-9-7-6-5-3-2.


Pai Gow Poker Ranking
  1. Royal flush – A, K, Q, J and 10 of the same suit
  2. Straight flush – 5 succeeding cards of the same suit
  3. Four of a kind – 4 cards with the same rank plus one unmatched card
  4. Full house – a pair and three cards with the same rank
  5. Flush – 5 cards of the same suit
  6. Straight – 5 consecutive numbers, mixed suits, lowest straight is Ace to five
  7. Three of a kind
  8. Two pairs
  9. One pair
  10. No pair

Pai Gow Poker Payouts

The dealer will arrange their hand once all players have finished putting up their hands. Following that, they will compare their hands to the hands of the other players and pay the winners.

  • If both of your hands defeat the dealer’s hands, you will be rewarded 1:1 on your ante.
  • If you win one hand but lose the next, the bet is put back (a tie).
  • The dealer wins all ties, which means that if you have the same hand as the dealer, such as a pair of Kings in your top hand, the dealer wins.

It’s worth noting that most casinos charge a 5% commission on profits, which raises the house edge. This behavior has been banned in several areas, making the game considerably more enjoyable for the gamer. If no commission is involved, the house edge is expected to be roughly 1.3%.

10 Simple Tips when Arranging Pai Gow hand

To make a profit on a Pai Gow gaming hand, you must defeat both of the dealer’s hands, therefore making a really powerful hand at the rear while having something like 9-high at the top is usually not enough. You’re considerably better off with two reasonably powerful hands than one super-strong hand combined with air.

If you are given a pair or better but no made hand, place your highest-ranking card in the rear and two second highest ranking cards in front.
If you have AA with any other pair, two high pairs (JJ through AA), or a high pair coupled with a medium pair (7s through 10s), always split them.
Unless you have an Ace, split two medium pairs or a combination of a high pair and a low pair (22 through 66). You can play two pair in the back and Ace-high in the front if you have an Ace.
Unless you have an Ace or a King, always split two medium pairs or a medium and low pair combo. You can also play Ace or King-high in the front with two pair in the back if you have one of these.
Unless you have trip Aces, always play trips in your back hand. Ace-high in the front and a pair of Aces in the back
If you have JJ+ quads, always split them into two pairs.
Unless you have an Ace to play in the front, split quad 77 through TT into two pairs.
Keep quad 6s and below in the back and play whatever the best hand you can make in the front.
Unless you have an extra pair, always split full houses into trips plus a pair combos. In that situation, play the higher of the two pairs in the bottom hand.
Unless you have a pair of Kings to put in front, always split five aces (when you have a Joker).


Although Pai Gow Poker isn’t as popular at live casinos, likely due to the fact that hands might take a while to complete (which casinos don’t enjoy), you can find plenty of venues online to play the game for free and for real money. If you can find a casino that does not charge a commission on winning hands, this game is a good way to pass the time and have some fun.

You won’t lose much on most sessions thanks to the minimal house edge and frequent splits. Of course, you shouldn’t anticipate to win big, but, like with any table game, you can hit a hot run when you least expect it!