What is pai gow poker?

Sam Torosian created the Pai gow in the year 1985. He was the owner of the Bell Card Club. The Pai gow also called as the double hand poker is quite popular in the US. It is the American version of Pai gow, which is played with Chinese Dominoes.  The Pai gow is played with the entire deck of 52 cards and one joker. The number of players who can play the Pai gow can range from 2 to 7. The highest card rank is given the Ace, and the lowest position is given to the number 2. The Pai gow game is played clockwise.

The following are some of the things you need to know about Pai gow:

  • Winning condition.
  • Deals.
  • Hand Rankings.
  • Win Reckoning.
  • Variants.

Winning conditions:

A player is dealt seven cards and in that the player must create two poker hands. A five card hand and a two poker hand should beat the dealer’s corresponding hands. These two cards are also called as “in front” or “on top” or “hair,” or the “small” or “minor” or “low” hand. These two cards must have lower ranks than the other five cards. The other five cards are called as the “hand behind” or the “big hand.”



The dealer of the game deals seven cards to each player and four cards are kept aside and those cards do not get used regardless of how many people play the game. The dealer has the upper hand on winning the game. So if you want to play a fair game, then everyone in the game needs to get a chance of being the dealer. The dealer has to throw the three dice and counts in clockwise directions around the players.

Hand Rankings:

The five card rankings are similar to that of poker, but the A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest type of straight or straight flush. The five Aces are the highest hand which beats the straight hand. Any two unmatched cards can be beaten by a pair of cards if no other combinations are possible.

Win Reckoning:

If the player’s hand beats the baker’s hand, then that player wins the bet. If there is a tie, then it goes to the banker. If the low hand cards outrank the high hand cards, then the player fouls the game. If the player wins in both the hands, then the dealer has to pay out the amount that is stalked by the player. If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other hand then no money is dealt with anyone, this situation is called as the push. If the dealer wins both the hand, then the player has to pay the money which is stalked.


The variations of the Pai gow game was formulated between the years 2004 to 2009. The variations of the Pai gow poker game is Pai gow Mania, fortune Pai gow, emperors challenge, shuffle master etc.




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