Playing Pai Gow Poker

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Pai Gow Poker is a variation of the Chinese domino game Pai Gow. Pai Gow Poker is played with a 53-card deck, including one Joker.

Play begins by making a wager. A randomly generated number determines which Player gets the first set of seven cards. Each Player then arranges their seven cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The five-card hand (called the “high hand”) is ranked as in Poker. The exception to the standard Poker rankings is that A-2-3-4-5 is considered the second highest Straight. The two-card hand (called the “low hand”) is scored by pairs beating singletons, then by the individual ranks. The highest two-card hand is A-A and the lowest is 3-2.

After each Player has “set” their hand, the Dealer arranges their hand according to a set of fixed rules known as the “house way”. First, the Player’s low hand is compared to the Dealer’s two-card hand. Then the Player’s high hand is compared to the Dealer’s five-card hand. In the event of an exact match between hands, called a “copy”, the tie goes to the Dealer. If the Player beats both hands then the Player wins even money on their wager, less a 5% commission. If the Player wins only one and loses one, the bet is a tie called a “push”. If the Player is beaten on both hands, the Player loses their entire wager.

When setting the “low hand”, the two-card hand may not be higher than the five-card hand. If it is, then both hands are deemed “foul” and both lose. The Joker can only be used to complete a Straight, Flush, or Straight Flush. Otherwise, the Joker is treated like an Ace.

Rules of Play

  • Players are responsible for setting their own Pai Gow Poker hands.
  • Players may use two hands to touch the cards.
  • Players must keep their cards over the layout and in full view of the Dealer and surveillance at all times.
  • All primary Pai Gow Poker wagers pay 1-1 (even money), less the house commission. (Odds may vary with TGO approved promotions).
  • All Pai Gow Poker Bonus wagers will pay according to posted signage.
  • Dealers will set their Pai Gow Poker hand according to established House Rules.
  • Only English will be spoken while hands are in play.
  • No discussion or showing of hands will be allowed while hands are in play.
  • Players may assist other Players in the setting of a hand once the Player assisting has set and finished with their hand.
  • Dealers may assist a Player in setting their hand according to the House Rules.
  • Any hand set as a Foul Hand will result in a loss of the primary Pai Gow Poker wager; Bonus wagers will not be affected.
  • Players may play two consecutive spots at twice the table minimum per hand.
  • Players may play three consecutive spots at the table maximum per hand.
  • Players playing multiple hands must play and set each hand individually starting with the hand with the highest wager.
  • If a Player is playing multiple hands the Pit Supervisor/Manager may decide that the Player may have to give up playing their additional hands.
  • All bets are final after the first card has been dealt.
  • Players who choose not to play must give up their seat.
  • Management may request valid identification from Players.
  • If a Player refuses to identify him/herself, Management reserves the right to terminate their play.
  • Management reserves the right to terminate a guests’ play at Managements’ discretion.
  • The Pit Supervisor/Manager will correct any dealing errors occurring on the game.
  • No “Foreign” chips, tokens, currency, coin, coupons or any other forms of monetary exchange not issued by the Gila River Gaming Enterprises or the United States Federal Government will be accepted for exchange or play.
  • Summaries of the rules relevant to the method of play and odds paid to winning wagers shall be available to all Players in the Blackjack Area.
  • Side betting of any type is not allowed.
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