Pai Gow Poker By Christina Applebaum Pai Gow Poker is basically a card game version of the Chinese domino game Pai Gow. It is also known as double-hand poker. 7 cards are dealt to each player and the dealer. Everyone then tries to make the best 5 card and 2 card poker hands from the 7 cards they were dealt, with the 5 card hand ranking higher than the two card hand. In Pai Gow Poker the players are playing against the dealers hand rather than each others like in Blackjack. The deck in Pai Gow Poker consist of the normal 52 card deck plus a Joker for a total of 53 cards. The cards, ranked, from highest to lowest are: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. the ace can also be the lowest card in a straight in the 5 card hand. After the cards have been dealt they players in turn compare the 5 card hand and 2 card hand they have arranged out of the 7 cards they were dealt against the dealers hand. If both the players hands beat both the dealer's hands, then the player wins. If both the dealers hands are higher than both the player's hands, then the player loses. If both the dealer and the player have one winning hand each then it is a push and neither one wins. A tie is also a push. Now let's get back to that Joker I mentioned. In 5 card hands the Joker acts as an Ace ORthe Joker can complete any straight or flush in a 5 card hand. Now in the 2 card hands the Joker is just another Ace. The 2 card hands can be one of two things, a pair and not a pair. In a 2 card hand with an Ace and a Joker (with the joker being an Ace in 2 card hands) that would be a pair of Ace's. But a Joker and a 5 (any suit) would just be an Ace ad a 5, in other words not a pair. And that, is Pai Gow Poker in a nutshell.