Similar to other online poker games, Pai Gow is a variation of Five Card Stud. Pai Gow initially started as a tile game, but is now played with cards. The house and the player are each dealt seven cards, and the object of the game is to split the seven cards into the best five-card hand (sometimes called the high, or back, hand) and best two-card hand (the low, or front, hand). The best possible hand when you play Pai Gow is to have five aces.
The five-card hands and the two-card hands of the house and the player are compared to one another. The player wins if both hands are better than the house’s hands. If both have a winning hand then it is a tie. Two losing hands for the player means the house wins. In the event of a tie, the bet is pushed.
There are some rules that distinguish Pai Gow from other poker games.
Pai Gow uses a standard 52-card deck plus a joker, which acts as the fifth card to complete a Straight, a Flush, a Straight Flush, or a Royal Flush. The joker is counted as an Ace if there is no Straight or Flush.
Players cannot be bankers.
Hands are ranked the same way they are in Five Card Stud except that an A-2-3-4 Straight is the second highest, followed by K-Q-J-10-9.
The house charges a 5% commission on outright win. No commission is paid on losing hands or a tie.
The five-card hand must rank higher than the two-card hand.