The object of the game is for both of the Player’s two hands to rank higher than both of the Banker’s two hands. In Pai Gow Poker any Player may elect to be the Banker in turn. The opportunity to bank will rotate from person to person, allowing the opportunity to bank twice including the house. As Banker, Players must have played a previous hand against the House Banker and have sufficient money on the table to cover all winning bets of other Players and Dealer.
The game is played with a traditional deck of 52 cards, plus a Joker. The Joker may only be used as an Ace or to complete a straight, flush or straight flush.
The Dealer will give everyone seven cards. A set of dice or a randomly generated number determines which player gets the first set of cards. The Players then each arrange their seven cards into a five-card ‘High-Hand’ and a ‘two-card ‘Low-Hand.’ The five-card hand is ranked as in poker, with the exception that an Ace-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. The two-card hand will either be a pair or two individual cards. The highest two-card hand is a pair of Aces and the lowest is a 2-3.
After all the Players have arranged their hands the Banker arranges the House’s hands according to a set of fixed rules known as the ‘House Way’. Then the Player’s five-card hand is compared to the Dealer’s five-card hand. Likewise the Player’s two-card hand is compared to the Dealer’s two-card hand. The highest hand wins. In the event of an exact match between hands, called a ‘Copy’ or tie, the tie goes to the Banker. If the Player beats the Dealer with both hands the Player wins even money. If the Player wins one and loses one the bet is a push. If the Player loses both the Player loses the entire wager.