There are quite a few variations of poker that have surfaced over the many years this format of card game has been around. Now, with the internet and online casinos as refined as they’ve become there is the option for players everywhere to experience poker variations from around the world.
One of the more interesting and unique variations of this card game classic is Pai gow poker and players unfamiliar with this variation will find it relatively easy to pick up and play as well as filled with unique thrills specific to its gameplay. Always worth trying something new and with a variation of what is already a casino superstar the expectations should be rather high.
Jumping Straight into Pai Gow Poker Rules
This format of poker utilises a dealer aspect as well as a 52 card deck and a single joker. Up to 7 players can play, including the dealer, with 7 cards being dealt out to each. Should a player be absent then the cards will either be discarded or another player can bet blindly on this hand as well as their own, called a Dragon hand. Either way the objective of Pai gow poker is to arrange the 7 cards into 2 separate hands, a top hand consisting of 2 cards and a bottom hand consisting of 5. The rules specify that the bottom hand should be stronger than the top hand, with the usual hand rankings in effect.
Once players have placed these cards and been cleared of fouling, making an error with placement or value, they are then pitted against the dealer’s hands. The top hand compares with the dealer’s top hand and the same is for the bottom hands. For a player to win they must best both of the dealer’s hands, for a tie on a single hand swings the way of the dealer and a tie across both hands, one wins top, the other bottom, results in both parties losing. The game of Pai gow poker definitely requires some resolve as well as a firm understanding of poker hand rankings and possible combinations.
Briefly Commenting on Poker Hand Rankings
Just because the rankings are universal for all games of poker doesn’t mean that players can forget the exact order or perhaps just be unfamiliar with the ranks at all. So, without further ado, the lowest hand is the high card. This is immediately followed by the pair, which at this point is important to note, the strongest top hand for the game of Pai gow poker, since only 2 cards are placed.
Next is two pair, then 3 of a kind. This is beaten by a straight then a flush, both require 5 full cards, with the former needing 5 consecutive cards and the latter 5 suited cards. Then comes the full house and the 4 of a kind hand, and finally the straight flush, a combination of the two, ending in the highest of all poker hands, the royal flush, 10 to Ace all suited.