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Pai Gow Poker Rules


PaiGow poker has its roots in the ancient Chinese game of PaiGow, and is now a blend of the ancient game and American poker. PaiGow poker has grown quickly in popularity. When you play PaiGow poker, the dealer and player will be dealt 7 cards each to make a five card high-hand and a two card low-hand. To win, you must beat both of the dealer's hands. If you only succeed in winning one of the two hands, the round results in a tie. The dealer wins absolute ties (i.e. King/Queen vs King/Queen).


PaiGow poker is played with a traditional deck of 52 cards plus a Joker. The deck is reshuffled after every hand. Each player is dealt 7 cards and must split them into two separate hands. The first hand is referred to as the "high hand", and consists of 5 cards. The second hand is referred to as the "low hand", and consists of only 2 cards. The player's low hand is played against the dealer's low hand, and likewise for the high hand. The game follows general poker ranking rules: one pair, three of a kind, etc. (see below).

The 5-card hand must always rank higher than the 2-card hand. For example, if your seven cards are: Ace, Ace, 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, you cannot place the two Aces as your "low hand". The pair of Aces must be kept in the "high hand" (i.e. the 5-card hand). PaiGow Poker follows the standard rules of the Nevada Gaming Commission. The exceptions, however, are that players cannot play the dragon or act as dealer. Furthermore, the players do not lose their bets if they mistakenly create a "dead hand" ( i.e. incorrectly arranging low and high hands), but are merely warned to rearrange their cards.

(Note: The deck of cards is reshuffled at the beginning of each new hand).

Card Hands

The Joker card is wild but only used to complete Straights, Flushes, and Straight Flushes. When used in Straights or Straight Flushes the Joker becomes the value and suit needed to complete the hand. When used in Flushes the Joker becomes the highest value card in the suit that is absent. If used alone, the Joker becomes an ACE. The Joker can never be used to create pairs other than with another ACE, three of a kind, four of kind, or five of kind hand. The following chart is from highest hand to lowest hand.

Hand Hand Description
Five Of A Kind Aces only. Four aces plus a joker
Royal Flush Ace - King - Queen - Jack - 10 of the same suit
Straight Flush Five cards in sequence of the same suit.
Four Of A Kind Any four cards of the same value
Full House Three of a kind and a pair
Flush Five cards from the same suit
Straight Any five cards in sequence but not of the same suit
Three Of A Kind Three cards of the same value and two unmatched cards
Two Pair Two cards with the same value with another two cards of the same value with any other card.
One Pair Two cards of the same value and three unmatched cards


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