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Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker, sometimes called Asian Poker or Double Handed Poker, was first introduced in California in 1986. It was immediately popular upon introduction and was added to the floor of every card room in the State of California. Before long, it was on the casino floor of the gambling halls of Nevada. Its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds and its appeal is widespread.

The object of the game is to beat the banker. The banker can be any player or the dealer. Any player who wishes to bank must accept responsibility for all wagers made during that round of play. The banking option will be offered to each player, in turn, rotating in a counterclockwise direction. The banking player must have chips enough to cover all wagers placed in that round and must have wagered in the previous round that the dealer acted as banker. No player will be required to accept the bank and the dealer will act as banker when all players decline.

All players and the dealer will receive seven cards, which they will use to construct two separate hands, of two cards and five cards. These hands will be set or ranked using standard poker rankings. Seven cards will be dealt to each betting area, including the dealer, regardless if a player is present.

The two card hand is called the second highest, the low hand or the front hand. The highest ranked two card hand would be a pair of Aces. Since only two cards are used, a straight or a flush would be an impossibility. The five card hand must always be equal to or higher in rank than the two card hand. If the two card hand is set higher than the five card hand, the hand is considered a foul and that player is an automatic loser. The five card hand is called the high or highest hand, or the back hand. The five card hand will contain normal poker hands, i.e., straights, flushes, four of a kind, etc., the highest possible five card hand is Five Aces, which is formed by using the 53rd card in the deck, the Joker. The Joker can be used as an Ace, as the missing card in a straight, straight flush, royal flush and as the highest card absent from a flush. It will assume the rank of the card it replaces or it will be ranked as an Ace. The joker may never be used to form pairs, three, four or five of a kind, with any cards other than Aces.

In order for the player to win, his two card hand and his five card hand must be higher in rank than the corresponding two card hand and five card hand of the bank. If both of the player's hands are higher than the banker's hands, the player will be paid the same amount as he has wagered, less a 5% commission. The dealer will collect the commission when the winning wager is paid. If either hand of the player is higher than either hand of the banker and the other is not, the hand will be considered a tie or a push and no money is won or lost. No commission will be charged on pushes and the player will be allowed to change or remove his bet before the start of the next hand.

If neither of the player's hands are higher than the banker's hands, the player will lose. The player will only lose the amount wagered and no commission will be charged on losing hands. Sometimes, when comparing the player's hand to the banker's hand, the cards of the two card hand or the five card hand will be identical. This is called a "copy hand." The bank will automatically win all copy hands. This is one advantage of being the banker.

Each player at the table shall be responsible for setting his or her hand and no other person except the dealer may touch the cards of that player. Each player shall be required to keep the seven cards in full view of the dealer at all times. Once each player has set a high and low hand and placed the two hands face down on the appropriate area of the layout, the player shall not touch the cards again. The dealer must set his or her hand by using a set of rules known as "The House Ways." A copy of these rules are available at the Security Podium.

Also, any player wishing to join in a partnership with the house may do so by requesting co-banking. Co-banking occurs when the requesting player and the dealer act as the banker on a fifty-fifty basis. When co-banking is in effect the bank hand will be handled by the dealer, and the hand set according to House Ways.

Three dice, contained inside a shaker, will be used to determine where the first card will be dealt. The dealer, when the house is banking, or the banking player will be counted as 1, 8, or 15. After the cards have been shuffled and cut, the dealer or banker will shake the dice. The dice are uncovered and totaled by the dealer. The count will begin with the dealer or banking player and continue in a counterclockwise direction until it matches the total on the dice. That position will be marked as the starting point for the dealing procedure.

All bets must be placed prior to the dealer's announcement of "No more bets."

Let it Ride and Three Card Poker are trademarks used under license from SHFL entertainment, Inc.