Pai Gow Poker rules explained

Pai gow poker is a challenging card game. It is played with a regular card deck of 52 cards, plus a single joker (known as the ‘bug’), giving a total of 53 cards. Pai gow poker arrived in Nevada during the Eighties. The game is also known as Asian poker, or double-hand poker. It is also a hugely popular game in Asia.

Getting started

Just as with Caribbean stud poker, pai gow poker uses poker hands. There is one major exception though: the bug can be used to create a straight, flush or straight flush. Players should be comfortable with the rules of regular poker before playing pai gow poker.


First of all, the player has to place his or her bet on the table. After placing the bet, the player will receive seven cards from the dealer. He or she then has to create two hands – a five-card hand, and a two-card hand. The two-card hand is not allowed to be higher than the five-card hand. Should it be higher, both hands are considered 'false', and both hands lose.

Playing your hands

The five-card hand is played as in poker, with the exception that ace-two-three-four-five is the second highest straight. The two-card hand is a pair of two individual cards. Double Aces are ranked highest, and two and three are ranked lowest.

After arranging both hands, the dealer will line up his cards in the 'the casino way'. At this point, the player’s and dealer’s respective hands are compared. The highest hand will win. A tie means that the money goes to the bank. A win on both hands will pay even money, minus 5% commission. One win and one loss results in a tie. When a player loses both hands, he will lose his total wager.

The bug can only be used to create a straight, flush or straight flush. In all other situations the bug functions as an ace.

Pai gow poker payouts

Cards Payout
Straight flush,seven cards, no bug 8000:1
Royal flush + royal match 2000:1
Straight flush,seven cards + bug 1000:1
Five aces 400:1
Royal flush 150:1
Straight flush 50:1
Four-of-a-kind 25:1
Full house 5:1
Flush 4:1
Three-of-a-kind 3:1
Straight 2:1
The joker card.
The composition of cards a game of cards is played with.
Ordening cards according to the house standard.

We hope that our explanation of pai gow poker’s rules will contribute to your future successes when playing in online casinos!

Learn rules of other casino games: Pontoon

Add comment

Security code

Best online casinos

Royal PandaRoyal Panda

pai gow poker rules