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How to Play Pai Gow Poker

Pai gow poker is a variation of an ancient game using tiles that originated in Asia. The modern adaptation uses standard playing cards rather than the domino-like tiles used originally, and is popular in casinos around the world.

Pai Gow Poker Basics

A typical casino table game, the pai gow poker table can accommodate up to six players along with the banker who is acting on behalf of the casino. Everyone places their bets and the dealer creates seven-card stacks on the table for each player. To begin game play, the dealer tosses dice to determine who chooses their cards first.

How to Play

Once everyone has selected a stack of cards, players create two separate hands using two cards for one and five cards for the other. As in blackjack, each player is pitted against the banker rather than competing among themselves. The object of pai gow poker, however, is just like other poker variations - to end the game with the best hand.

How to Win

To win a hand of pai gow poker, a player must beat the banker's hands with both of their hands. One joker is used in the pai gow deck and can be used to create a straight, straight flush, or a flush. The joker can also be used as an ace. When a player beats the banker with one hand, but not the other, the round ends in a push with no winner.

Pai gow poker offers an interesting twist on traditional poker games. With a little practice, you can learn how to play this poker variation like a pro.