How to Play Pai Gow Poker at a Sacramento Casino

Posted on: September 1, 2015

A variation of the popular Chinese domino game Pai Gow, Pai Gow poker is one of the many lively table games offered at Sacramento Casinos. Learning how to play Pai Gow poker is simple and once you acquire the basic strategy, you will be on your way to enjoying this fun and unique game of skill! When playing Pai Gow poker at Sacramento Casino, a 53-card deck is used, with the single joker in the deck being semi-wild, as it can be used as an ace, or to complete a straight, a flush, straight flush, or a royal flush. Take the following list of rules for further detail on how to play Pai Gow poker:

1. Standard poker ranking rules apply, given the one unique Pai Gow rule that the, “wheel hand”, or the A2345 straight, is actually the second-highest ranking straight in the game. The ranking hand in Pai Gow is five aces, technically made up of four aces and one joker.
2. Each player is dealt seven cards, with which they create both a 5-card high hand, as well as a 2-card low high, with the rule that the high hand must be of higher poker value than that of the low hand.
3. Pai Gow poker rules rank the 5-card hand according to traditional poker rules, while the 2-card hand will either have to be a pair or a non-pair, after which the two individual cards can be used to determine the hand’s value.
4. Unlike other table games at Sacramento Casino, the players are allowed to bet against both the dealer, and the other players at the Pai Gow table. This feature of the game is referred to as, banking.
5. After the player’s hands have been set, the dealer then turns over his cards, creating his high and low hands in the same way as the players, but according the rules dictated by what is known as the, “house way.”
6. To determine the win, the player and the dealer compare their high hands and low hands, respectively; the hand with the highest poker value will then win the hand.
7. A five percent commission is charged when the ‘banker’ wins, a role which every player at the table will have the opportunity to play, though the turn rotation does depend upon the house rules at Sacramento Casino. Each player does however have the option of declining to bank, an option which is often favored by players. Should this be the case, the next in the rotation will take the position of the banker.
8. Should the player win both the high and low hand comparisons with the dealer, then the player wins the bet, minus the five percent commission. However, if the player wins one hand while losing the other, the result of the bet is a push. And if the player were to lose or tie both hands, that player loses the entire wager.
9. If the result of one of the hand comparisons is a tie, then the win will be designated to the dealer.

Now that you know the basic tenets of Pai Gow poker, come test your skills at one of the welcoming table located in Sacramento Casino!