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Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is the American version of Pai Gow, a traditional Asian game played with tiles that resemble dominoes. To make it easy, Pai Gow was introduced in the American market using standard 52-card deck and joker. As outlined in the rules of Pai Gow Poker, you can use the joker as an Ace or as a wild card to complete a Flush, a Straight, or a Straight Flush. Pai Gow Poker is compatible with mobile, Windows and Mac devices.

Basics of Pai Gow Poker

To start playing Pai Gow Poker, you need to place a bet according to the table minimum. After all bets are made, all players at the table are dealt seven cards and must make two poker hands-a two-card poker hand and a standard five-card poker hand. The five-card hand is often referred to as the bottom, high, behind or big hand, while the two-card hand is referred to as small, on top, low, minor, or in front hand.

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Pai Gow Poker

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When creating these two hands from your seven cards, make sure your five-card hand has higher cards than the two-card hand. For instance, if you are dealt A-A-4-6-7-10-J (and you do not have a Flush), put the Aces in the five-card hand, not the two-card hand. If your two-card hand has the highest cards, it is called a "Foul," and you lose automatically.

Basically, five-card hands follow the standard winning poker hand rules, while two-card hands are simply pairs and high cards. The best two-card hand is a pair of Aces, and the worst is a hand with 3, 2.

Once you have your two hands in the order you like, place them on the table with the two-card hand in front and the five-card at the back, hence the nicknames. Your main objective is to win both hands against the banker, and in this case, the banker can be one of the players at the table or the dealer.

Determining the Winner

All players' hands are compared to the bankers. If both of your hands are better than the banker's, you will emerge a winner. If only one of your hands beats the banker, that round will be considered a draw or push in which you do not win or lose. However, if both of the banker's hands are better that yours, you lose your bet. You will also lose if you tie with the banker. This is one of the ways that the house maintains an advantage in Pai Gow Poker.

Playing Tips

Become the banker whenever you can, since bankers have a better chance of winning compared to other players. However, you need to make sure you have a good bankroll since you will be covering the bets of all players.

Also, try and balance out both the five-card hand and the two-card hand to better your chances of winning, as some players purely concentrate on the five-card hand and forget about the two-card hand or vice versa.

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