The History of Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker combines the elements of the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the American game of Poker. Pai Gow Poker is played with a traditional deck of 52 cards and one Joker which may be used only as an Ace or to complete a Straight or Flush. Pai Gow Poker is essentially two separate Poker hands arranged according to traditional Poker rankings. Thus, the highest two-card hand is two Aces, and the highest five-card hand is five Aces (four Aces plus the Joker).
Pai Gow Poker at Resorts World
Resorts World offers the traditional version of Pai Gow Poker. In the traditional version, a 5% commission is collected on all winning wagers.
How to Play Pai Gow Poker
Each Player will receive a seven-card hand. The Players arrange their seven cards to make two hands: a five-card hand and a two- card hand. The five-card hand must always be of higher poker rank than the two-card hand.
In the absence of i-verify, the Dealer will shake a dice cup containing three dice to determine which Player will receive the first hand. The Dealer will count counter-clockwise from the Banker position (number one) and deal the seven hands (each containing seven cards) clockwise to each position whether there is a Player there or not.
A Player may request that their hand be set according to the “House Way”, which is a predetermined method of setting the hands. The Dealer will always set the House Hand according to the “House Way.”
After all Players’ hands are set, the Dealer will expose the Banker’s hand. The Dealer will set the Bank hand according to the “House Way.” The Banker’s hand is then compared to each Player’s hand and wagers decided.
Object of Pai Gow Poker
The object of Pai Gow Poker is for each Player to arrange their cards into two hands in such a way that they both rank higher than the Banker’s two hands. The five-card hand must rank higher than the Banker’s five-card hand, and the two-card hand must rank higher than the Banker’s two-card hand. Should one hand rank exactly the same as the Banker’s hand, it is a tie. Ties are called “Copies.” The Banker wins all copy hands.
Winning hands are paid even money; losing hands lose all money wagered. If one hand wins but the other hand loses, the result is a “Push” or a standoff, in which case the wager is not acted upon.
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Setting The Hands
Each Player at the table will arrange his seven cards to make two hands: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Players are responsible for setting their own hands and should do so with care. The five-card hand must always be of higher poker rank than the two-card hand. A hand which contains more or less than the required number of cards, or a two-card hand which is set higher than the five-card hand, will be fouled and a Supervisor must be notified. The Supervisor or Pit Manager will make a decision regarding a fouled hand.
Each Player will set his two-card hand face down in the “Second Highest” square, which is directly above and perpendicular to the “High Hand” square. Each Player’s five-card hand will be placed face down in the “High Hand” square.
Once a Player has set their hand, that Player may not touch their cards. All cards must remain above the table and in full view of the Dealer at all times.
After all Player hands have been set, the Dealer will expose
and set the House Hand. The House Hand will always be set according to the “House Way.” The House Hand will be placed parallel to the Bankroll Rack in descending order of value from left to right. The five-card hand will be placed closest to the rack (approximately one inch from the edge). The two-card hand will be placed above the five-card hand, parallel to the rack, and in descending order of value. Both hands will be aligned with the left edge of the Bankroll Rack.
Setting Hands the “House Way”:
A Player may request that his hand be set according to the “House Way” which is a predetermined method of setting the hands. In this case, the Player will place their hand face down in the “High Hand” area. The Dealer will cap the Player’s cards with a “House Way” button. The Player may change their mind and set their hand anytime prior to the exposure of the Bank hand. No Resorts World employee may offer any advice on how to set a particular hand.
Whenever a Player requests that their hand be set according to the “House Way,” the Dealer will set that Player’s hand, in order, during the “Reading of the Hands.” The “House Way” button will remain with the hand until a decision has been made on that hand and the corresponding wager acted upon.
To set a hand according to the “House Way,” the Dealer will first expose the seven cards and arrange them into a two-card hand and a five-card hand that follow predetermined “House Way” rules.
Pai Gow Poker Rank of Hand
- Four Aces and a joker.
- An Ace-high five-card hand of the same suit in numerical sequence.
- Five cards of the same suit in numerical sequence.
- Four cards of equal rank.
- Three cards of the same rank and two different cards of the same rank.
- Any five cards of the same suit – sequence is irrelevant.
- Five cards in numerical sequence – suit is irrelevant.
- Three cards of the same rank.
- Two different sets of two cards of equal rank.
- Two cards of the same rank.
- A hand that does not contain at least a pair, and that does not contain a straight
or a flush. It is ranked by its highest card.
Pai Gow Poker “House Way”
NO PAIR: Place the 2nd and 3rd highest cards in front.
ONE PAIR: Place the pair in back, highest two other cards in front.
TWO PAIR RULES
*PLACE BOTH PAIRS IN BACK IF ACE IS PRESENT.
**PLACE BOTH PAIRS IN BACK IF KING OR HIGHER IS PRESENT.
THREE PAIR: Place high pair in front.
ACES: Place Ace and next highest card in front.
KINGS AND BELOW: Place three of a kind in back, two highest other cards in front.
TWO SETS: Place pair from higher set in front.
STRAIGHT or a FLUSH
WITH ONE PAIR: Play the straight or flush in back.
WITH TWO PAIR: Play according to two-pair rules.
WITH THREE-OF-A-KIND: Place complete hand in back, pair in front.
EXCEPTION: With an Ace and a pair of Kings, Queens, Jacks, or 10’s, play the Ace in front and the pair in back if the front hand can be improved.
WHEN GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN A STRAIGHT OR FLUSH:
PLAY THE HAND THAT WILL RESULT WITH A HIGHER HAND IN FRONT.
FULL HOUSE: Put the highest permissible pair in front.
ACES, KINGS, QUEENS, JACKS: Always split.
10’s, 9’s, 8’s or 7’s: Always split, unless a King or Ace can be played in front.
6’s AND BELOW: Never split.
FOUR OF A KIND: Play the pair in front. WITH A PAIR (OR THREE-OF-A- KIND).
FIVE ACES: Place pair of Aces in front, unless a pair of Kings can be
played in front.
THREE ACES THAT INCLUDE A JOKER: If Joker can be used in a straight or flush, play the straight or flush.
JOKER IN A FLUSH: Joker will be used as an Ace, if an Ace is present the Joker will be the next highest value card.
Fortune Pai Gow Poker
Fortune Pai Gow Poker is identical to the normal Pai Gow Poker game with the exception of an optional Bonus Wager side bet.
When a player makes the Bonus Wager they are betting that of the seven cards they receive, they will be able to create a qualifying five-card poker rank hand. The Bonus Wager wins an odds payoff based on the rank of the five-card poker hand
regardless of how the player sets their seven cards. Additionally, if any player at the table makes a five-card hand of four-of-a- kind or better, then the other players who have made the Bonus Wager $5 minimum qualify to receive the Envy Bonus payout, regardless of their own hand.
Procedure for “Fortune” Bet
- The Bonus wager is made at the same time as the regular Pai Gow Poker wager.
- The minimum Bonus Wager is $1. The maximum is $200.
- Any Bonus wager of $5 or more qualifies the player for the Envy Bonus. An Envy button will be placed ON TOP of their Bonus Wager bet to indicate they are qualified to receive an Envy Bonus and to help prevent bet capping.
- The Bonus Wager may be larger than the regular Pai Gow bet.
- The hand will be played as normal.
- Working from right to left, the Dealer will begin exposing the Player’s hands. The Bonus Wager is determined independent of the Pai Gow Poker wager. If any qualifying five-card poker hand can be created from the Player’s seven cards, then the Player wins the Bonus Wager regardless of the outcome of the Pai Gow Poker Wager
- The Pai Gow Poker Wager is determined first, then the Bonus Wager.
- After settling the Pai Gow Poker Wager of a player who has placed a Fortune Bonus Wager, the Dealer shall rearrange the seven cards of the player to form the best possible hand for the purpose of the Fortune Bet Bonus Wager.
***if any player at the table has placed a Fortune Bonus bet that qualifies them for the Envy Bonus, the Dealer shall rearrange the cards of EACH Player at the table that placed a Fortune Bonus Wager.
- If the hand does not qualify for a Fortune Bonus payoff, the Bonus bet and the cards are collected and locked up.
- If the hand does qualify for a Bonus payoff, but not the Envy Bonus, the bet should be paid out according to the pay scale below and then the cards are locked up.
- If the hand qualifies for an Envy Bonus, regardless of the hand’s outcome, the cards are to remain face up on the table and if that player has a Fortune Bonus bet, the Bonus bet is to remain on the table and unsettled until all remaining hands are exposed and settled.
- After all other Pai Gow and Fortune Bonus Wagers have been settled the dealer shall, from right to left, settle ALL Envy Bonuses and unsettled qualified Fortune Bonus Wagers.
- After collecting and discarding these remaining hands, the hand is complete.
- If the qualifying hand is a four-of-a-kind or better, inform the supervisor immediately.
- Do not use the Bonus Wager to pay the Pai Gow Poker hand.
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Progressive Pai Gow Poker Procedures
Progressive Pai Gow Poker is identical to the normal Pai Gow Poker game with the exception of an optional Progressive Wager side bet. When a Player makes the Progressive Wager they are betting that of the seven cards they receive, they will be able to create a qualifying five-card poker rank hand.
The Progressive Wager wins an odds payoff based on the rank of the five-card poker hand regardless of how the Player sets their seven cards. A Player may opt to split a straight flush, five Aces, or a full house etc., but will still be paid for the Progressive Wager.
- The Progressive Wager is made at the same time as the regular Pai Gow Poker Wager.
- The Progressive Wager is $5. This bet will not be returned to the Player.
- A Player may bet the Progressive Wager regardless if they have bet the Bonus Wager, but they must bet the Pai Gow Poker hand.
- The Dealer will call for any more bets on the progressive and announce that the bets are closed.
- After all wagers are made, the Dealer will then hit the “coin in” button and collect the $5 cheques.
- The Dealer will make sure that each progressive red light is lit properly. If there is a problem, a supervisor must be called.
- The hand will then be played as normal.
- Working from right to left, the Dealer will begin exposing the Player’s hands. The Progressive Wager is determined independent of the Pai Gow Poker Wager and the Bonus Wager. If any qualifying five-card poker hand can be created from the players’ seven cards, then the Player wins the Progressive Wager regardless of the outcome of the Pai Gow Poker Wager.
- The Pai Gow Poker Wager is determined first, then the Bonus Wager. The Progressive Wager will be paid last, immediately following the Fortune Bonus Bet payout.