The game is played using a common 52-card deck, plus a single joker. It truly is played on a table set for six players plus the dealer.
Every single player is playing against the banker, who might be the casino dealer or a single from the other players at the table.
Scope of the Game
The object in the game would be to generate two poker hands out on the seven cards in your hand: A five-card poker hand plus a two-card poker hand. The five-card hand should rank larger than your two-card hand. The two-card hand is normally referred to as the hand “in front” or “on top”, and the five-card hand is called the hand “behind” or “bottom”, as they’re placed that way in front on the player when he is carried out setting them.
The cards are shuffled, and then dealt towards the table in seven face-down piles of seven cards, with four cards unused, irrespective of the amount of people today playing.
Betting positions are assigned a number from 1 to 7, starting with whichever player is acting as banker that hand, and counting counter-clockwise about the table. A random quantity from 1 to 7 is determined (either electronically or manually with dice), and also the deal starts with that assigned position and proceeds counter-clockwise.
1 prevalent way of working with dice to ascertain the dealer starting quantity will be to roll 3 six-sided dice, then count betting spots clockwise from the initial until the number around the dice is reached.
If a player is not sitting on a particular spot, the hand continues to be assigned but then placed inside the discards with the 4 unused cards.
The only two-card hands are one pair and high cards; no straights, flushes, and so on.
Five-card hands use common poker hand rankings, with one exception: in most Nevada casinos, the hand A-2-3-4-5 ranks above a king-high straight, but below the ace-high straight A-K-Q-J-10. At most casinos in California & Michigan, this rule doesn’t apply; the A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible straight.
The joker plays as a bug: that is, inside the five-card hand it can be used to complete a straight or flush, if possible; otherwise it truly is an ace. Inside the two-card hand, it always plays as an ace. (Exception: In several Southern California casinos, the joker is completely wild.)
Winning the game
If each and every of your now-separated hands beats the banker’s corresponding hand, then you win your bet. If only one of your hands beats the banker, then you push. If both of your hands lose to the banker, then you lose.
On each and every individual hand, ties go towards the banker (for example, if your five-card hand loses towards the banker and your two-card hand ties him, you lose). This gives the banker a small advantage. If you foul your hand, meaning that your low hand outranks your high hand or that there are an incorrect number of cards in each hand, there will be a penalty, either re-arrangement of your hand according to house rules or forfeiture in the hand.
In casino-banked games, the banker is generally required to set their hand in a pre-specified manner named “house way”, so the dealer does not have to implement any strategy in order to beat the players. When a player is banking, he’s free to set the hand however he chooses. However, the player has the option of “co-banking” together with the house, and if this option is chosen, the player’s hand have to also be set the house way.
California casinos typically charge a flat fee per hand, such as 5 cents or one particular dollar, to play, win or lose. Other casinos take out of winnings a 5% commission. Whilst this seems higher, it should be noted that a hand of Pai Gow poker takes a long time to play compared to, say, blackjack, and there are many pushes, so the house doesn’t collect that 5% as often as it would collect the house percentage on other games.
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