10+ on How to Play Pai Gow Poker (Against the Dealer)

Do you want to know how to play Pai Gow poker and become a master? Well, this game uses a set of 32 dominoes, however, it is a form of poker that instead uses a traditional deck of 52 cards + 1 Joker. This will make Pai Gow rules easier to be understood and played, especially for new players from the West who are used to card-based table games. 

In this Pai Gow tutorial, you will find out how to play this poker variation. So, read this article carefully to become a successful player! 


  • The 10 basic of 5-card rules in Pai Gow poker
  • Playing around with forming 5-card and 2-card against the dealer’s card
  • Comparing 2-card

How to Play Pai Gow Poker for New Player, Especially from West

For your information, Pai Gow is a card variation of the Chinese domino game which is called Pai Gow. It is an interesting but relaxed casino game that has become very popular.

Playing this game is actually really easy to understand. With a basic learning of the 5-card hands associated with the traditional poker and some simple rules, you will be a master on how to play Pai Gow poker in no time!

Learning the Basic of Pai Gow Poker

Of course, the first thing you need to know is to learn the basics of Pai Gow. This is a fundamental thing that you should pay much attention to become a master player in this one of the most popular types of poker. 

1. Learn the 10 Basic 5-Card Hands in Traditional Poker

Poker Gow is a variation that uses the traditional 5-card hand. However, instead of playing against the other player at the deck, all will be playing against the dealer’s hand. On how to play Pai Gow poker, the first thing you need to know is the basic 5-card poker hands, such as:

  • Royal Flush: The card Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and a 10 of the same suit
  • Straight Flush: The 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, such as Ace, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of clubs
  • 4 of Kind: The 4 of the similar cards with the different suits
  • Full House: The 3 cards of the similar ran + 2 cards of the similar rank
  • Flush: The 5 cards of the same suit
  • Straight: The 5 cards in sequence but can be from different suits, like 4, 5 6, 7, and 8
  • 3 of a Kind: The 3 of the similar cards
  • 2 Pair: The 2 matching cards of the similar ranking and 2 matching cards of another rank
  • A Pair: The 2 matching cards
  • High Cards: The highest ranking card in the hand

2. Make the Best 2 Hands out of the Cards You Are Dealt Every Round

On how to play Pai Gow poker, you are dealt 7 cards every round. Once you will get your cards, you need to set your best 5-card hand and your best 2-card hand. 

Moreover, your 5-card hand has to be better than your 2-card. And for your 2-card hand, the best you can get is a pair. Well, not every one of the 5 cards have to be a part of your hand. For instance, if you have 3 of a kind, the remaining 2 cards can simply from the rest of your 5-card hand. 

3. Try to Against Both of the Dealer’s Hands to win a Round

On how to play Pai Gow poker, you will need to beat the dealer, not other players at the table. It looks like Caribbean Stud Poker. If both your 5-card hand and your 2-card hand beats the dealer, you will win the round and double the bet that you placed.

Moreover, lose both of your hands against the dealer’s hands, so you will lose your bet. If you win one of your hands and the dealer wins the other, then the rounds will be ended in a push and nobody wins the round. If both of your hands tie the dealer, then the dealer will win that round. 

Playing Around

After knowing the basics of the game, let’s learn how to play Pai Gow poker around. This will be more interesting as you never expected before. Most importantly, you can increase the odds in this game. 

4. Choose the Dealer for Every Round

On how to play Pai Gow poker, if you are not playing at a casino, you can take turns being the dealer or also known as banker. The goal of this game is to beat the dealer, not the other players at the table. In addition, you can change the dealer after every round to keep the play exciting. 

5. Place Your Bet Before You Get Your Hand

On how to play Pai Gow poker, each player at the table needs to place their bets before the dealer will deal out 7 cards to every player. There will be a minimum bet and a maximum bet and you must place your bet between those amounts in the game. 

đź’ˇ Tips

Some tables at the casinos will have different minimum and maximum amounts. Therefore, you need to choose a table that you are comfortable playing. 

6. Wait for the Dealer to Drop 7 Cards to Every Player

After the first bet on how to play Pai Gow poker, the dealer will deal 7 cards to every player at the table and they will begin to form their 2 hands. Next, the dealer will deal themselves 7 cards, face up, and set their hands. 

You will take a look through the 7 cards you were dealt and from them into 2 hands that you will place face-up on the table. Moreover, every player including the dealer can see everyone’s hands at the table. 

7. Make Your 5-Card and 2-Card Hand

Another tip on how to play Pai Gow poker, you can look through your cards and make your 5-card hand with your best cards and 2-card hand with the best cards that you have left. Keep in mind, your 5-card hand needs to be better than your 2-card hand. 

Scoring in a Round

Now, you already know how to play Pai Gow poker around. It is our time to move how we score in a round. These tips will affect your winnings in the game. Therefore, you need to read one by one more carefully. 

8. Compare Your 2-Card Hand to the Dealer’s 2-Card Hand

After every player at the table has set their 2-cards, the dealer will deal the 7 cards and make their 5-card and 2-card hands. You can compare your 2-card hand to the dealer’s hand to see if yours is better. If you have a pair and they also have a pair, then the higher pair will be the winner. 

đź’ˇ Tips

The highest card of one hand against the highest card of the other hand if there are no pairs. On how to play Pai Gow poker, if the two highest numbers match, then the highest number of the second card will win.

For instance, if you have a 10 and a 4 and the dealer has a 10 and a 3, then your 4 against their 3, so you will win the hand. 

9. Match Your 5-Card Hand Beats the Dealer’s 5-Card Hand

You will only need to against the dealer’s hand to win that round. After you have compared your 2-card hand to theirs, check their 5-card hands to see how it will stack up next to yours. Keep in mind the 10 basic 5-card hands and check to see if your hand outranks the dealer’s hand. If your hand ties the dealer’s hand, then you will lose the game. 

10. With the Round by Beating Both of the Dealer’s Hands

On how to play Pai Gow poker, if both of your hands beat the dealer’s hands, then you will get double the amount that you bet. However, if you lose both of your hands and beat the dealer’s hands, then the dealer will collect your bet and add it to the bank. Well, you have to always remember that gambling can be extremely additive. Then, limit your betting to a healthy amount. 

11. Score a Push to Move on the Next Round

If you win 1 of your hands on how to play Pai Gow poker and the dealer wins the other, then the round will be ended in a push or a tie. It means that nobody will win and the play moves to the next round. For instance, if your 5-card hand defeats the dealer’s 5-card hand, however, if your 2-card hand is beaten by the dealer’s 2-card hand, the round will end in a push.

Final Words

Just just understood how to play Pai Gow poker. How? It is very simple to do, isn’t it? You just simply need to beat the dealer’s hands, not other players. Most importantly, you can be a master in this game by learning the 10 basics of 5-card. Well, it is your time to shine at your favorite casino. Or, you can give Pai Gow a try on the best online casino Malaysia. 


Garuda Casino is the Malaysian independent online gaming authority, providing trusted online casino news, guides, reviews and information.

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