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Traditional Pai Gow Poker – Players are dealt 7 cards and make a two-card low set and five-card high set. To win the primary bet, the Player’s two sets must be of higher ranking than the two corresponding sets belonging to the Banker. If both of the Player’s sets are lower than that of the Banker, the Player loses his or her primary bet. If either of the Player’s sets is higher and the other set is lower or equal to the corresponding Banker’s sets, the result is a tie, or push, and the Player neither wins nor loses, but retains his or her primary wager.


BANKER: The person taking on the bets for the hand. This function rotates among the players and the dealer.

COPY: Player’s hand has the same ranking as the dealer’s hand.

DEALER: The person dealing the cards. The dealer must always set his or her hand the House Way.

FOULED HAND: When the low hand will beat the high hand.

HIGH HAND: Hand configured with five cards. Must be of higher rank than the low hand.

HOUSE WAY: Predetermined configurations of the hand. Dealers must set their hands the House Way.

JOKER: The Joker behaves as a wild card. It can be used to complete a straight, flush or a straight flush. If it is not being used in that manner it is automatically considered to be an Ace.

LOW HAND: Hand configured with 2 cards. Must be of lower rank than the High Hand.

PAI GOW INSURANCE: This is an optional wager, and is independent of all other wagers. The player wins this proposition bet if they achieve a pre-defined hand ranking according to the posted pay table.

PUSH: A tie hand between the player and the dealer.

SET THE HAND: Separating the dealt hand into a five-card hand and a two-card hand.


1. Wagering limits shall be a minimum of $5.00 to a maximum of $500.00, inclusive.

  • The dealer shall visually inspect (and physically count if necessary) each player’s wager to verify that they are within the table minimum and maximum range allowed.
  • All wagers shall be placed within the designated wagering areas.
  • No verbal wagers shall be accepted.
  • All wagers shall be made before the dice cup is opened, or the automatic shuffler delivers cards.

2. A player may play more than one Pai Gow spot at a time. When playing two hands he or she is allowed to set both hands prior to the dealer setting their hand.

3. Two hands require doubling of the minimum, while playing three hands requires a $100 minimum per hands.

  • The House wager will be placed in the indicated wagering area by the top right hand corner of the chip inventory tray.

4. Side bets are not permitted.

House Way:

  • No Pair: Use second and third highest ranked cards for the low hand.
  • One Pair: Always use the pair as the high hand and use the highest-ranking cards for the low hand.
  • Two Pair:  Always split unless you have an additional Ace or Joker, then keep the two pair in the high hand and play the Ace/Joker in the two card hand.

NOTE: If both pairs are Jacks, Queens Kings or Aces or one of the pairs are 7’s-10’s, then split and play lowest pair in two card hand.

  • Three Pair: Always play the highest pair for the low hand.
  • Three of a Kind:  Always play in high hand

EXCEPTION: with three Aces, play one of the Aces for the low hand and two Aces in the high hand.

(Two) Three of a Kind – Play pair of the highest Three of a Kind for the low hand.

All Straights, Flushes & Straight Flushes:

  • No Pair: When given a choice to play either a Straight, Flush or Straight Flush, play the category which will allow the highest two cards to be played on the low hand.
  • One Pair: Play pair in low hand if a Straight, Flush or Straight Flush can be preserved in high hand. When having a pair of 10’s or better with an Ace / Face, Play it instead of the straight, flush or straight flush.
  • Two Pair: Use two pair rule.
  • Three Pair: Use three pair rule.
  • Three of a Kind: Play pair in low hand.
  • Full House: Use Full House rule.

Full House Rule:

  • Three of a Kind and Pair: Always split and play pair in low hand.
  • Three of a Kind and Two Pair: Play highest of the pairs in low hand.
  • Three of a Kind & Three of a Kind: Play highest three of a kind as pair in front hand.

Four of a Kind:

  • 2’s thru 6’s: Never split, play in high hand.
  • 7’s thru 10’s: Split unless an Ace can be played in the low hand, then keep the four in High Hand.
  • Jacks, Queens, Kings  & Aces: Always split.
  • Four of a Kind with a Pair: (or Three-of-a-Kind): Play pair in low hand.
  • Five Aces: Always split and play two Aces in low hand.

EXCEPTION: With five Aces and a pair of Kings, play the Kings in the       two-card hand.

Rules of Play:

1.   To begin, each player must make an Emperor’s Challenge Pai Gow wager. Each player may also place optional Emperor’s Treasure, Pai Gow Insurance and/or Jackpot wagers.

2.   Each player and the banker receive seven cards.

3.   After examining their seven cards, each player must set a two-card low hand and a five-card high hand and place each hand in their designated areas. If the low hand is incorrectly set to be of greater value than the high hand, the hand is a foul and settled in accordance with house procedure.

4.   The dealer then reveals their seven cards and forms a two-card low hand and a five-card high hand in accordance with the predetermined house way.

5.   The dealer examines each player’s hand and settles the Emperor’s Challenge wager as follows:

a)   If both the player’s low-hand and high hand are greater than the dealer’s hands, the player is paid even money, less a five percent commission, if applicable.

b)   If only one of the player’s hands is greater than the dealer’s hands, the player’s wager is a push.

c)   If both the player’s hands are less than both the dealer’s hands, the player’s wager loses.

6.   The dealer reconciles all optional wagers and pays according to the corresponding pay tables identified in Appendices A through C.

Optional Bonus Wagers

Pai Gow Insurance:

The player wins their Pai Gow Insurance wager if their seven-card hand is a Pai Gow (does not contain a pair or better). The Ace is always considered high and the joker is always considered an Ace. The wager is paid according to the pay table

Emperor’s Treasure:

A player wins their Emperor’s Treasure wager if their seven-card hand achieves a triggering event displayed on the corresponding pay table (Appendix B). Emperor’s Treasure may incorporate a bonus feature called Envy Bonus.

Envy Bonus:

To qualify for an Envy Bonus prize, the player must place an Emperor’s Treasure wager of $5 or more per hand. A player’s hand is awarded an Envy Bonus prize when another player’s hand, at the same table, achieves a triggering event listed on the corresponding Emperor’s Treasure pay table. A player may be permitted to play more than one hand. If a player is playing more than one hand, then one of their hands may be used as the winning triggering event for the other hand. The player’s hand that achieves the Emperor’s Treasure trigger event is not awarded both an Emperor’s Treasure prize and an Envy Bonus. This hand is only awarded the Emperor’s Treasure prize.