Pai Gow Poker: Rules and Strategies 

Pai Gow Poker: Rules and Strategies 

One of the classic poker game variations is Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow, developed by an American casino owner in the middle of the 1980s, quickly became a classic casino game and is still popular today.


Simply put, the players create two poker hands: a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. The player wins if his two poker hands are better value than the dealer’s two poker hands. Pai Gow Poker is called double-hand poker because of its characteristics.


The winning combinations are the same as traditional poker, including full houses, Royal Flush, Straight Flush and Four-of-a-Kind.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker?

There are several players at the table. They play against the bank. The dealer provides the first pot in the game session. The game uses a deck of 53 cards (including one joker). The ranks of the cards and the hierarchy of combinations are exactly the same as in standard poker.


Before the cards are dealt, the banker forms the pot and the other players place their bets. The dealer forms 7 stacks, each with 7 cards. The stacks are distributed among the players based on the result of three dice rolls.


Then all players divide their cards into two parts: a high hand (5 cards) and a low hand (2 cards). An important rule must be observed here: the high hand must always be higher than the low one. Otherwise, at the opening, the participant is automatically defeated (such a situation is called “dead hand”).


After splitting, the cards are opened and each player individually compares his cards with the banker’s cards. The following variations of the final draws are possible:


  • If a player wins one hand but loses the other, the result is considered a draw and the bet is returned to the player.
  • If both players’ hands win, the banker must pay the player’s bet on a one-to-one ratio.
  • If both hands lose, the player loses the bet.
  • If the player’s hand is equal to the banker’s hand, the banker wins and the player loses the bet.


Once the winner is determined, a casino charges a 5 percent commission on each bet that is a winning bet (regardless of whether the banker or a regular player placed it). This card game is available at many online casinos, including Check this guide and taste an amazing victory!

Pai Gow Poker Game Strategy

The choice tactics of Pai Gow poker depends on their preferences and game situations.


The most important thing in Pai Gow strategy is to understand the situation of the low hand. The winnings come only when both hands are high, so it is often necessary to sacrifice strong combinations. 


  • No combinations


If a player has no combinations, the best thing is to keep the highest card and move the second and third cards following the highest card to the low hand. 


  • Pair


In the case of Pair, players have to keep this combination and choose the two highest cards out of the rest of the cards, leave Pair untouched and put it into a low hand. 


  • Two pairs


This combination is quite common, about 22%, and it’s more complex. The players can split both pairs by flipping one pair into the other hand. Remember to always split two pairs if one pair is an ace. 


  • Three Pairs


With this combination, moving the highest pair to the other hand is necessary. 


  • Three


This combination can be broken when there are three aces. Then one ace is removed as a minor hand. 


  • Full House


In this case, the players have to keep the triplet and move a pair to the other hand. However, there are some exceptions: with two combinations, a full house and a pair. 

  • Straight or Flush


Street or Flush combinations should be kept and the rest should be carried over. Split only if the ace and king can be carried into the small hand. 


Pai Gow Poker is a card version of the Chinese game of dominoes called Pai Gow. This traditional game is so fascinating and easy to learn that it has become extremely popular!