This is a poker variation based on the Chinese Domino
game Pai Gow
It can be played by up to seven players.
A deck 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.
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 five aces beating a royal 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.
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:
- If the player wins both hands the dealer pays out the amount staked
by the player.
- If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other no money
changes hands. This is called a "push".
- 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 in this
case, if the dealer wins or ties the other hand it is a win for the
dealer; if one hand is tied and the player wins the other no money changes
- 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
- 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.