Pai Gow on

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Casino Captain

Pai Gow is a combination of the Chinese game “Makes Nine” and the American game of poker.  Pai Gow is a game of skill and offers players a very nice chance to win. In this game, all players are wagering against the house or bank, not  against each other. Unlike the original Asian version that is played with dominoes, Pai Gow is played with a standard deck of cards. The goal of the players is to hold two hands of cards that rank higher than the bank’s two hands. Pai Gow is played around a special table. This table has room fer a maximum of 6 players.


To start the game, the dealer assumes the role of the banker fer the first deal.  This position of banker then moves from player to player around the table. The players have the option to decline the option of being the banker.  When this happens the option goes to the next player. Pai Gow is played with a Joker in addition to a standard deck of cards.  This Joker is utilized as a wild card when making flushes, straights and straight flushes or as an ace in any hand.  Some casinos will even let the Joker count as a completely wild card.


Once the dealer has shuffled the deck, they will deal out seven stacks of seven cards and discard the last four cards. Bets must then be placed.  At this time, the dealer rolls three dice to determine which player will receive the first stack of cards. The dealer takes the sum total of the three dice. Starting with himself, the banker will count the players at the table in a clockwise motion going around the Pai Gow table until he reaches the sum of the three dice.  The player that the dealer stopped on receives the first hand. The six remaining hands are dealt out to the players in a counterclockwise motion. Once the players have received their stack of seven cards they set them into two hands.  One hand consists of five cards and one consists of the other two cards. The hand containing only two cards is known as the low hand. This hand is placed in front of the hand containing five cards, which known as the high hand. Every player’s high hand is ranked from highest to lowest according to the chart below.  This chart varies slightly from the standard American poker hand rankings. The basic difference is that when playing Pai Gow at, five aces beats out a royal flush and is the highest hand in the game. Five aces is achieved by combining a Joker and four aces.


The ranking of the low hand is quite simple. A pair of aces is the highest hand available.  Each pair combination is ranked from aces down to twos.  If no player has a pair, then the high card will win.  This is again ranked from aces to twos. Each player’s high hand must be of a higher value than their low hand.  If the low hand of a player turns out to be higher than their high hand, then the hand is said to be foul and the player automatically loses his bet. After each player has set his high and low hands, the banker’s cards are turned face up by the dealer. At this time, the banker (not the dealer)  must arrange their stack into a high hand and a low hand. At this point the banker’s  two hands are compared against the other players’ hands. In order fer a player to win both of the player’s hands must beat both of the banker’ hands. In any case that the banker’s low hand and a player’s low hand are of equal rank, then they are considered copies. This also holds true fer the high hand as well. The banker wins all copies. In all cases that a player has one better hand and one lesser hand than the banker the result is a draw and no money is paid out to either the banker of the dealer. In the event that a player wins the dealer will pay that player even money on their bet with the banker’s chips. When the player loses his bet is given to the banker by the dealer. Each winning bet is subject to a 5% commission by the house. Go Play!


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