Dealing with Pai Gow Poker starts as soon as you get the card in your hand to play the game. When you learn how to deal Pai Gow poker there are specific rules to the pattern the cards must be dealt. The hands are not handed out to the players until each hand has seven cards face down. When learning how to deal Pai Gow poker, the player that gets each hand is determined by luck, the roll of three dice. Players then form two hands, one of two cards and one of five cards, attempting to beat the dealer in both hands.
1. Shuffle the cards well
When you learn how to deal Pai Gow poker, the first step is to make sure the deck is well shuffled. In casinos, automatic shuffling machines are sometimes used to make it easier for the dealer and ensure the cards are mixed well.
2. Arrange the cards
Also you need to deal seven cards for each player at the table, including the dealer. Out of the 7 cards that you receive, you will need to arrange 2 separate poker hands by determining your best 5-card hand and your 2nd best 2-card hand. The 5-card hand is also known as your “High Hand” or “Back Hand”, since these 5 cards will contain your highest ranking hand, such as a straight, two pair and so on.
The 2-card hand is also known as your “Low Hand” or “Front Hand”, since these 2 cards will contain your 2nd highest ranking hand, such as a jack, 7 or a pair of nine’s.
Note that the cards are not placed in front of players at this time. They are dealt into a pile of seven cards, with the number of piles being equal to the number of players and the dealer.
3. The Hand ranking of cards and the Foul
The poker hand rankings for this game are the same as a normal poker game. When the player decides which hands to play where, they must remember that the poker ranking for the High Hand must be higher than the poker ranking for the Low Hand in order to qualify.
If it doesn’t, and the Low Hand is higher than the High Hand, then that hand is fouled and the wager is automatically lost. A foul will occur if the player sets their hand incorrectly; this will always result in a lost wager. For example, if the player places 3 cards in the Low Hand and 4 cards in the High Hand, then the hand is fouled and the bet is lost. But due to corporate reasoning and the house edge, this rule does not apply to the banker or the dealer. If the banker or dealer fouls a hand, the hand will be reset in the correct way and the game will continue as normal. Some casinos will want you to call over the floorman and notify him of the situation before resetting your hand.
4. Folding the hands
One of the rules that carried over from poker is that the player has the option to fold their hand. If the player wishes to surrender their hand, they will either push their cards under the bet and towards the dealer or they will throw their cards towards the dealer. When seeing this, the dealer will collect the player’s bet and lock it up in the rack.
5. Setting up the players hands
Each player is responsible for setting their hand and no one, except the dealer, is allowed to touch their cards. If the player is unsure about how to set their hand, they can ask for assistance from the dealer. As the dealer, you are only allowed to set the hand according to the house way and cannot deviate from this in any way.
Once the player is satisfied with their choice of hands, they will lay the cards face down in their designated areas. Then the dealer will flip over & expose their cards. Once the cards are exposed, the players are no longer allowed to touch their cards
6. Setting up dealer’s hands
The first thing that the dealer will do when they turn over their cards is rank their hand. This means that they will take the cards and set them up from highest to lowest from left to right. This is a good procedure to follow because it makes it less likely to miss any poker rankings.
The dealer has no choice of how the hand is set because the casino requires that it’s set the house way. The term “House Way” means it’s a pre-determined setting of the dealer’s hands depending on which cards they have received. Remember that the house way can and does vary from casino to casino.
7. Roll the dice
Also roll the dice to determine who gets which deck. Once the dice are rolled, count the value of each die and add them together. When you learn how to deal Pai Gow poker, you must start with the player to the left of the dealer and count each player in a circle clockwise until you reach the number equal to the total of the dice. This might require you to go around the table several times before reaching the value of the dice. Give the first pile to the player you stop counting on. Hand each of the remaining piles to the players in a clockwise pattern around the table.
Wait for each player to form a two card and five card hand with his cards. The dealer then forms his own best two card and five card hands, each card can only be used in one of the two hands.
8. Determine a winner
Once the dealer has finished setting their cards, they will now compare their hand with the player’s hand to determine who the winner is. Starting from the right hand side and going left, the dealer will expose the players High Hand, spreading all 5 cards far enough apart that the cameras can see them clearly. The dealer will examine both hands to see which one holds the higher ranking.
After that, the dealer will flip over and spread the players Low Hand, also determining which hand has the higher ranking. When spreading the cards, it is very important that the cameras can see everything clearly.
When comparing the dealer’s High Hand with the player’s High Hand, whoever has the highest ranking wins the hand. The same is done for the Low Hand. If the player’s cards outrank the dealer’s on both the High Hand and the Low Hand, then the player wins the wager and the bet is paid even money minus a 5% commission. We will go over commissions in another video. If the player wins a hand and loses a hand then the wager is pushed and no money is exchanged. One of the main attractions of Pai-Gow Poker is that there are a lot of pushes. So the player’s money can last a lot longer than if they were playing a game like blackjack. If the player loses both the High Hand and the Low Hand then they lose their wager.
There will be times when the player and the dealer will have exactly the same hand, and when all of the cards match this is known as a “Copy Hand” and the Banker will always win if there is a “Copy Hand”.
When you learn how to deal Pai Gow poker, realize that the player must have a better two card hand and five card hand than the dealer to win his bet. If the player wins one of the two hands, no money is collected. If the dealer wins both hands, the player loses his bet. If there is a tie on a hand, the dealer wins.