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Pai Gow Poker - Eastern Promises

Pai Gow poker (the full and the only right name) is a variant of Chinese domino game called pai gow. This variation of the casino games is performed with 53-card deck (+ Joker). The game mechanism presents a one-on-one gameplay (the player against the house). The principal aim is to achieve a hand combination that is better than the rival's one.

The Pai Gow poker possesses a rather slow game process and plenty of tie situations.

Also the game may have the name Double-hand poker (invented for lazy ones no doubt).

The main object of the Pai Gow poker is to create 2 poker hands having 7 cards in possession. The hands must be the 2-card and the 5-card accordingly. Plus the 5-card hand must have the bigger total of cards than the 2-card hand (which is also called low, minor or small hand). Otherwise the foul is announced and you lose.


The round of the game begins with making of the wager which is the usual case. Next you receive 7 cards. Then you must arrange your 7-card hand into two: 2-card and 5-card hands. The last one is ranked as the regular poker hand. The 2-card hand is considered by pairs which usually beat the singleton. Thus the highest 2-card hand is a pair of Aces and the lowest one - 2-3 accordingly.

After you form your hands the dealer starts the same procedure according to a set of rules called the house way (no special strategies to beat the player are used). Then both of your 5-card hands are compared and the highest one wins.

In addition we have the next cases to consider:

  • Your 2-card hand mirrors the dealer one - the tie passes to the house;
  • You beat the dealer with both of your hands - you win 1:1, less a 5 percent commission;
  • You win one hand and lose one as well - the push is announced;
  • You lose all of your hands - the entire wager is lost.

The joker is used to form a straight, flush and straight flush combinations in accordance with card game rules. In all other cases it counts as an Ace.

In some gambling houses the dragon hand is present. Thereby the dealer deals the additional hand to an empty seat and the player may assume this hand if he would like.

In addition any player may perform the banker side in turn. Thus if a player decided to become a banker then the 5% commission is collected from him/her on the next win. The dealer becomes a player and places the wager sum which was bet last by a player who is a banker now.


As we see the rules of Pai Gow poker game are rather complicated and amusing to master. If you decided to try this very variant of casino card game you should study the given subject more thoroughly and consistently. Plus you should pay your attention to the next points of discussion:

  • Pai Gow poker strategy charts and mechanisms of realization;
  • Pai Gow poker house edges;
  • Pai Gow poker game variations.

Poker calculator can do extremely useful things. It is based on similar principle as online blackjack calculator.

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