Piegow Card Game

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This is a casino gambling game based on the Chinese Domino game Pai Gow but played with playing-cards and poker combinations instead of with dominoes. It can be played by up to seven players.

  • Pai Gow poker is an American card game based on the Chinese domino game, Pai Gow. The major difference in the two games is Pai Gow poker is resolves using cards and not dominoes.
  • Pai Gow Poker was invented in 1985 by Sam Torosian, owner of the Bell card club in southern California. However, his is a name few people recognize. While other have made millions inventing casino games, Sam received some bad legal advice that card games were not patentable, and never filed one for his game.
  • The name 'pai gow' is loosely translated as 'make nine' or 'card nine'. This reflects the fact that, with a few high-scoring exceptions, the maximum score for a hand is nine. If a hand consists of two tiles that do not form a pair, its value is determined by adding up the total number of pips on the tiles and dropping the tens digit (if any).

This intriguing game combines elements from the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the American game of poker. The object of Pai Gow is to make the two best poker hands. Players use a traditional deck of 52 playing cards plus one joker. The joker must be used as an ace or a wild card to complete a straight or a flush.

A pack of 52 cards plus one joker is used. The joker is a wild card which can be used only as an ace, or to complete a straight, a flush or a straight flush.

Piegow Card Game

On each deal the dealer plays against the other players. Before the deal, each of the other players puts up a stake.

Seven cards are dealt to each player. All players other than the dealer look at their cards and divide them to form two hands - a two card hand and a five card hand. The relative values of the five card hands are the same as in poker, with one exception: A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest type of straight or straight flush, ranking between A-K-Q-J-10 and K-Q-J-10-9. Five aces is the highest hand, beating a straight flush. For the two card hand, any pair beats any two unmatched cards, but no other combinations are possible.

The player must arrange the cards so that the five card hand is higher than the two card hand (so if the two cards were a pair of aces, the five card hand would have to contain two pairs or better). Players are not allowed to discuss their hands at any stage.

Game

How To Play Pai Gow Card Game

The players place their two hands face down, and when all are ready, the dealer's seven cards are exposed. The other players may not touch their cards from this point on. The dealer forms the seven exposed cards into a five and a two in the same way as the players.

Then all the players' cards are exposed. The result between the dealer and each player is determined by comparing the player's 5 card hand with the dealer's 5 card hand and the player's 2 card hand with the dealer's 2 card hand:

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  1. If the player wins both hands the dealer pays out the amount staked by the player.
  2. If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other no money changes hands. This is called a 'push'.
  3. If the dealer wins both hands the dealer wins the player's stake.

If either hand is tied, the dealer wins that particular hand. So if the dealer wins one hand while the other is tied, or if both hands are tied, the dealer wins. If one hand is tied and the player wins the other it is a push (no money changes hands).

Note on the deal
When this game is played formally, a rather elaborate method of dealing is used. Seven hands of seven cards are dealt, one card at a time, and the remaining four cards are discarded unseen. The dealer then throws three dice and counts around the players at the table counter-clockwise, starting with himself, up to the dice total to determine who gets the first hand which was dealt. The following hands go to the other players, in counter-clockwise rotation.
Dealer's advantage
The dealer obviously has an advantage (winning tied hands), so if you want the game to be fair everyone has to deal an equal number of times during the session.

Cool Card Game

For another description, see the Pai Gow Poker FAQ of the newsgroup rec.gambling.misc

The Pai Gow Poker at The Pogg has rules, analysis and a strategy calculator.

Pai Gow Card Game Basics

The Casino-info.com site has a page of Pai Gow Poker rules and strategy.

Pai Gow Poker Free has information on Pai Gow Poker rules, strategy and odds and a selection of places where you carn play online for fun.

Pai Gow Card Game Basics

The Pai Gow Poker section of the Casino Advisor web site has Pai Gow Poker rules and advice.