Pai Gow Poker Rules
Pai Gow is a very interesting variation of poker to play, and its unique game play makes it an almost endless time of fun. Pai Gow is different than most of the other variations I have describe, because unlike the others, this pins you against the house.
Instead of making bets against another player, you are betting against the house or dealer, which is similar to Caribbean poker. Pai Gow is also unique in the way that it allows you to play two hands, instead of just one. These two hands consist of a five card hand and a two card hand. This is just the beginning to Pai Gow, and once you are introduced to the rules, you will see why it is so special.
Pai Gow rules are very straight forward and simple. Each player will receive 7 cards, and from these 7 cards you must make two poker hands. One hand consists of a five card hand and the other of a two card hand. The one catch in this rule however, is that your two card hand cannot be better than your five card hand.
An example of this would be if in your seven cards you have a pair of aces and a pair of fours. You are not permitted to make your two card hand be the two aces since that would be better than your five card hand consisting of only a pair of fours. This example would be different however if you have an additional pair of sixes. This would allow you to use your aces as the two card hand because you will now have two pair (fours and sixes) in your five card hand. This may seems a bit confusing at first but you will get used to it rather quickly.
Pai Gow Rules for the Joker
Pai Gow can also be played with two jokers included in a normal deck of cards. This variation of the game really makes the game more interesting and I find it a lot more fun to play it this way. There are special rules concerning the play of the jokers, and in the beginning it may seem confusing. Just remember, that practice makes perfect, and if for some reason you are unsure about a rule you can ask the dealer and they will be more then happy to assist you.
Two jokers are used while playing Pai Gow. These however cannot be used as true wild cards. The joker has two functions: first it can be used as an ace and secondly it can be used to complete a straight or flush. An instance in which you can use the joker to complete a straight or a flush is if you have four cards to a straight or four cards of the same suit. If this is the case, then you can use your joker as the fifth card to complete your straight or flush.
If you do not have a straight or flush draw, then the joker becomes a single ace. If you have an ace in your hand, you can use the joker to make a pair of aces. Some casinos will only use a single ace in their Pai Gow deck, so ask the dealer as to how many jokers are in the hand if you are curious.
When you play Pai Gow poker online, you are not playing a regular poker game. By regular poker I mean one that involves betting against other people. Pai Gow poker is played against a casino dealer and the only betting that takes place is before the hand is dealt.