How to play Pai Gow on

Pai Gow Poker is a simplified table game that grants the player an opportunity to achieve a big hand, which can pay as high as 8,000:1 on their bet. In Pai Gow Poker, how to play, a player gets seven cards, which they then split into a five-card hand and a two-card hand using the Pai Gow poker strategy. Both of the hand splits stack against the dealer in a head-to-head faceoff, getting 1:1 on their bet if they win each hand. Notably, Pai Gow Poker should not be confused with the title game, Pai Gow. Furthermore, Pai Gow Poker is not a poker game; it is a table game. In that way, it is similar to Fortune Three Card PokerTexas Hold’em Bonus, and Caribbean Stud.


Hands That Bank

The player-dealer duo sets up a bank against which the remaining players put up wagers. Each player can take the bank twice, after which the button revolves counterclockwise. Moreover, a player, in turn, can refuse or accept the player-dealer position.

The dealer of the house deals eight hands or piles directly in the anterior of the chip tray, where comprises four dominos. The player-dealer chooses one of the eight piles to deliver the first hand. Continuously, the dealer mounts an action towards the selected hand.

Setting the Hand

In Pai Gow how to play, each player lays out one pair into two sets of two tiles each, a high and a low hand, then places them face down in front of said tiles. This process is what you would describe as setting the hand. Now, a player can ask the house dealer to place the hand for him, and if so, set the to house way, that is, in a precalculated manner.

Once one pair and another sets up, the player-dealer exposes and sets his hand. The house way dealer turns each hand of the player counterclockwise, comparing each hand one at a time against the hand of the player-dealer. Generally, all dealing, analyzing, and payouts start with the action button and proceed counterclockwise. The player that wagers the most influences the setting of the hand.

Following the house way, the house dealer is supreme ruler over the shuffling and dealing of the cards, an orderly game, and the house payouts for each hand.

Roll of Three Dice

The position of the roll of three dice randomly decides the hands in this game. And as such, the player-dealer position can be either 1, 9, or 17. The total of the three dice determines the direction of the first hand. Speaking of dice, you should learn how to play Sic Bo.

Pai Gow Odds

Indubitably, it is crucial to be conscious of the odds and house advantage of any game you play in a casino. In Pai Gow Poker, what you need to know the odds of the player winning a hand, those of the dealer winning all the hands, and also the chance of a hand being a draw.

Backline Betting

For this game, multiple players can set wagers on the same hand. Backline betting is when a player bets on a hand, but his seat is not in a particular position on the table. Often, backline bettors stand behind a seated player, but may also sit in another seat location.

House Edge

Averagely, the house edge amounts to 1.5%. Relatively, this is low compared to other numerous casino games. As stated at the outset, you can significantly reduce this edge through deep gameplay in the Pai Gow strategy application. There is a percentage of 5 commission applied to your winnings on top of the house edge. It’s known as the rake, quite apropos.

Note: There is a commission-free variant known as EZ Pai Gow Poker.


  • Every player at the table deals in seven cards.
  • Players must divide their seven cards into two. Descriptively, two cards placed at the front, also known as the low hand (or “front hand”), and five cards placed at the back, also known as the high hand (or “backhand”).
  • The high hand must be higher than the low. This arrangement means that if the dealer deals you a truly despicable hand, you cannot try and win the low hand by making it more robust at the expense of the high hand.
  • The Joker serves as a wild card in any straight, royal flush, or straight flush. Otherwise, it is an Ace. As a point of note, you should be quite careful of this because new players often believe that their high hand is a three of a kind or a full house when they are a pair or two pairs, respectively, not to mention the Joker.
  • The standard poker ranking system applies to the high hand.
  • The low hand counts as a pair or a non-pair. The highest low hand consists of a pair of aces, and the lowest possible hand at the front would be 3-2. Therefore, a wise way of thinking about this from a poker perspective is that in Pai Gow Poker, the low hand ranks akin to the hole cards Texas Hold’em, but with any pair beating an Ace-King (AK).
  • Full house: Always split unless the pair is twos, and you have an AK to fire at the front.
  • Full house with three of a kind and two pairs: Play the highest pair in front.
  • Full house with three of a kind twice: Always play the highest pair in front.

Note: four of a kind is a hand made up of four cards of the same rank. It is a hand that consists of four cards of the same class. Effectively, having four aces is the highest- level four of a kind while four two pairs mean the lowest-level four of a kind.

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Pai Gow operates with 53 cards – your typical 52-card deck with one wild card. The object of the game is to divide your hand into a five-card hand and a two-card hand with both conquering over the dealer’s two hands to win. To note, the player needs to understand that the wild card is not a genuine wild card and is subject to specific rules. The card only acts like an Ace or the fifth card in either a royal flush or a straight. It can never function to constitute a pair of Queens or 10s.

The five-card hand is also described as behind, bottom, high or big. The two-card hand is also described as the in front, on top, hair, small, minor, or low. These hands have the same value as they would in traditional poker. However, there is a singular exception: Ace-2-3-4-5 is the second-highest straight or straight flush, and five aces become the highest hand in Pai Gow Poker. For the two-card hand, any pair will beat any two unmatched cards (no other combinations are possible). Unlike other poker games, no bluffing exists in Pai Gow poker.

When playing in online casinos, move the cursor over the cards you want.

Betting Options

Surprisingly, in Pai Gow Poker, on average, 41% of all games culminate in a push. Also, the odds of the residual outcomes are virtually even in terms of matching. The odds of the player winning amounts to 29%. On the other hand, the odds of a win by the dealer rounds up to 30%. As you can see, the dealer, who is playing on behalf of the house, has a slight advantage. While you are at it, check these other numbers on the bitcoin casino bonus.


As indicated above, both splits of the player must rank higher than the player-dealer and vice versa. To push (that is, for no money to shift hands), one of the player’s two hands must be an echelon higher and the other hand rank lower than the player-dealer’s two hands. You can also play the Blackjack card game in the process.


Outrightly, the only way for the player to win is to win both hands. These odds will lead to many draws, so the house has all rights reserved for a 5% commission on all player wins, which automatically deducts from the player’s credits. Aside from the commission, all winning wagers pay out at even money (1 to 1).


If the gaming site allows you to be the banker for half the hands you play, the negative expectation will fall to 1.42%. To reduce the house edge, you will have to be the banker for more than half the hands.


There is a reasonable probability that the player will be able to win against the banker while packing a steady hand. The likelihood of the banker holding a pair is about 42%. The math here means that you have increased chances of winning with the straight then does the banker. Remember, as a result of the wild card; you have the potential to hold five Aces, which beats a royal flush. Your hand of two cards can either be a pair or no pair; thus, your highest possible hand of two cards would be a pair of Aces.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pai Gow Beatable?

Yes, Pai Gow can be beaten. Winning means both his hands beat the dealer. For you to lose, it means both his hands are higher in value than, or equal to, yours.

Does Pai Gow Have Good Odds?

Pai Gow Poker does not broadly have high odds, therefore players should resist folding if they possess a five-card hand.

How Do You Win at Pai Gow Poker?

You win at Pai Gow by becoming a banker. The banker wins most of the time, so a player becoming one will dramatically improve his chances of winning.

What Does Pai Gow Mean?

The name “pai gow” loosely means to “make nine” or “card nine”.