Playing Pai Gow – Part 4

We’re moving right along with our Pai Gow series. You’re almost a professional Pai Gow player now. Since you know most of the game play, it’s now time to talk about the hand rankings Pai Gow. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to play if you don’t understand what makes a winning hand.

Five Aces

Unlike traditional poker-based games where the Royal Flush is king, in Pai Gow, the five aces hand is trump. Getting five aces is tough and there’s only one way to do it. You need to get all four aces in the deck and the joker.

Royal Flush

To get a royal flush, you must have the 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of one suit-like Clubs. The Joker can be used in place of the Ace.

Straight Flush

The straight flush consists of five cards in sequential order that are all of the same suit. Here’s an important note. In Pai Gow, the A-5 straight flush is the highest ranking straight and the King-high straight flush is the second highest.

Four of a Kind

To get a four of a kind, you need four cards of the same rank, such as four Jacks. Remember, the Joker can be used as an Ace.

Full House

When you have three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank-like three Jacks and two Queens-you have a full house. Should both you and the Banker have a full house, the player with the highest-ranking three set of cards wins. The pair won’t matter.


Five cards that are all of the same suit and not in sequential order is a flush hand. The Joker can be used as an Ace of any suit, so if you have the Joker, you just need four cards of the same suit.


When you have five cards in sequential order and they are of more than one suit, you have a straight. If they were all the same suit, you’d have a straight flush. The Ace can be used at the front, such as A 2 3 4 5, or the end, such as 10 J Q K A.

Three of a Kind

Simply put, three cards of the same rank is a three of a kind hand-like AAA.

Two Pair

You have this hand when you have two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, such as: JJ KK.

One Pair

Having two cards of the same rank is having one pair-like 44.

High Card

Finally, if you have absolutely nothing above, you have a high card hand. This is the worst hand in Pai Gow.

When you’re setting your 2nd highest hand, which consists of just two cards, you’ll have either a high card hand or one pair. Needless to say, when you have one pair as your 2nd highest hand, you have a great shot at winning that hand.

And there you have it. You’re now ready to take on the Pai Gow playing world. In our final article on playing Pai Gow, we’ll go over a couple of quick strategy tips.

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