You and the dealer are each dealt 7 cards – yours face up and the dealer’s face down. You must split your cards and skillfully arrange them into two separate hands:
- A low hand consisting of 2 cards
- A high hand consisting of 5 cards
The two-card hand is always either a pair or not a pair. You must be sure that your 2-card hand has a lower ranking than your 5-card hand. For example, should you be dealt 7 cards consisting of: K-K-A-Q-7-6-5, you will use the two Kings as part of your 5-card hand and not part of your 2-card hand. For example:
The dealer’s cards are kept face down until your hands are set. The dealer arranges his cards into a 2-card and 5-card hand, with the 5-card hand having a higher Poker value. The dealer’s two hands are then compared with your two hands. You win only if both of your hands beat both of the dealer’s hands. The dealer wins if both of the dealer’s hands beat both of your hands. If you win one hand and the dealer wins the other, a Push (tie) is declared.
|Five of a Kind||Aces only. Four aces plus a joker.|
|Royal Flush||Ace-King-Queen-Jack-10 of the same suit.|
|Straight Flush||Five cards in sequence of the same suit.|
|Four of a Kind||Any four cards of the same value.|
|Full House||Three of a kind and a pair.|
|Flush||Five cards of the same suit.|
|Straight||Any five cards in sequence but not of the same suit.|
|Three of a Kind||Three cards of the same value and two unmatched cards.|
|Two Pairs||Two cards with the same value with another two cards of the same value with any other card.|
|One Pair||Two cards of the same value and three unmatched cards.|
When the player and the dealer compare hands that have the same rank, this is referred to as a “copy hand”. In this situation, the dealer wins. For example, if your low hand is composed of an A-K and the dealer has an A-K as well, the dealer will win that portion of the hand.
If you win both hands, the payout equals the amount wagered (1 to 1) minus 5% of the win, which is the bank’s (the house) commission. Your actual winnings are thus 95% of your bet. If there is a push, your wager is returned to you.
How to Set your Hands
The following strategy is the way in which the house plays and is a very safe strategy that is difficult to improve upon.
Pai Gow Poker Strategy
Any Pair of 2’s through 6’s is referred to as a “low pair”, 7’s through J’s a “medium pair” and Q’s through A’s a “high pair”.