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How to Play Pai-Gow Poker
Playing as Banker
           “Banker” is just a title, given to a position, and it can be either a dealer or a player. Player Banker When the player takes on the role as the banker, they’re called “Player-Banker”, and at the same time, the house will act as a player, even though the dealer will still handle all of the cards and cheques. The reason why someone would want to play as the Banker, is because the rules are slanted in favor towards the Banker. So when playing as Banker, the player is basically playing with zero house edge.

           At the very beginning, the house will start off the round as Banker. Once the dealer has banked a hand, the Banker position will rotate around the table, starting from the dealer’s right hand side and going left.

           Banker button next to players bet A “Banker” button is placed in front of the betting circle to indicate who is banking. Each player has the option to bank a hand or pass up the turn, and players are only allowed to bank one hand per rotation. The “Banker” button will always be in rotation, going back and forth between the players and the dealer. If there are no players who want to Bank, then the dealer will automatically be the “Banker” until there is a player who request to Bank. Every casino is different, but in Las Vegas, it’s okay for the player to bank, if it’s only themselves and the dealer at the table.

           If a player wants to bank a hand, then they must have wagered on the previous hand, before they can qualify as Banker. The reason why the amount the player wagered on the last hand matters, is because both the player and the dealer must wager that same amount when the player is banking. Another thing the player must have to qualify for Banker is enough currency to cover all of the player’s bets on the table. This is because all of the other players, plus the dealer, are now playing against the Player-Banker.

           The Player, acting as the Banker, must bank on the same spot as their previous wager. Banker bet is placed in center of table

           Placement of spot number After all of the bets have been placed, the dealer will lay out their “wager” last by placing it on the center of the table in front of the rack. If the table has a random number generator, then card placement will be determined by that, but if the table uses dice then the Player-Banker will be the one to shake the cup and expose the dice. When counting spots to determine who will get the first hand, make sure to start with the Player-Banker since the Banker spot is always #1, and then continue counter clock-wise. Placement of spot number After the dealer gives himself a hand, he will place the house bet on top of the cards. Dealer places bet on cards

           All of the other players on the table, except the Player-Banker and the dealer, will set their hand first. When everyone is finished, the Player-Banker is allowed to set their cards. Only when the Player-Banker is finished ranking their cards is the dealer finally allowed to set his hand. This is a good time to remind you that, unlike players, both the house and the player-banker cannot foul a hand. If a hand is set wrong by the player-banker then the house will take control of the hand and reset it the house way. If the dealer has to reset the hand, the Player-Banker is still financially responsible for the outcome of all the hands.

           When the dealer has finished setting his hand, he will flip over the Player-Banker’s cards first, compare them with each other and then complete the take-and-pay procedure. If the Player-Banker beats the dealers hand then the dealer will leave their “wager” up on the center of the table and this is now the beginning of the Player-Banker’s bankroll. If the Player-Banker loses, then they have to pay the “wager” and the dealer will take the cheques and verify that it is the same amount before locking them up in the rack.

           The dealer will place the houses cards in the discard rack before snatching up the Player-Banker’s cards and placing them in front of the dealer. Dealer takes Player-Banker cards Now that the Player-Banker’s cards are in front of the dealer, he will proceed as normal. Starting from the right hand side and going left, the dealer will compare the Player-Banker’s cards with the Players cards and if the hand is a tie, the bet is pushed and no money is exchanged. If the player loses, then the money is taken and placed in the Player-Banker’s bankroll, located at the center of the table. If the player wins, then the dealer will pay them from the bankroll, minus a 5% commission going to the house. If there is no money in the bankroll, then the Player-Banker will give the dealer the correct amount of money needed to pay the bet. At the end of the round, the remaining bankroll will be given to the Player-Banker, minus a 5% commission on the winnings.

           Every casino is different, but in some casinos, when the player banks a hand, they have the option of requesting that the dealer co-bank with them. Co-banking means that the house will bankroll as partner for 50% of the declared player’s bet. The Player-Banker’s hand will be set the house way by the house dealer, which means the dealer will not receive a hand.

           At a number of casinos, the Player-Banker will have the option to ask the dealer to sit out, which means that the house will not place a wager or play a hand. Now, I know what you dealers out there are thinking! Dealer is dealing Pai-Gow Poker This doesn’t mean that it’s a good time for the dealer to go take a smoke break, a coffee break, or any other kind of break! The dealer is still responsible for staying at the table, dealing the cards and collecting the 5% commission. At other casinos, the Player-Banker can ask the dealer to bet an amount less than the Player-Banker’s previous wager. In any case, the house minimum and maximum will always apply between the Player-Banker and all of the other players.
The Dragon Hand
           The Dragon Hand is a side bet that allows you to play an additional hand, but only one player can play at a time. The Dragon button is placed on the first available hand that's empty The button for the Dragon Hand rotates around the table so that way everyone has the option of having a turn. The wager for the Dragon Hand must be exactly the same amount as the player’s original Pai-Gow Poker bet. The Dragon button is placed on top of the cards When the cards are dealt out to the players, the first available hand that is sitting on an empty spot will be the Dragon Hand. The dealer will identify this as the Dragon Hand by placing a dragon button on top of the cards.

           The Dragon Hand and the button will then be picked up by the dealer and offered to the next player sitting counter-clockwise to the last person who played the Dragon Hand. If the player refuses to play the Dragon Hand then it will be offered to the next player on the left until all players have been given the choice to play the hand.

           If no players accept the Dragon Hand, then it will be placed in the discard rack. place the dragon button on top of the players original hand The Dragon Hand rotation will continue until a player decides to play it.

           lay down the dragon hand in the same way as original hand When the player is done setting their hand, they will lay it to the right of their original bet, in the same manner that they laid their first hand.

           If the player is banking, then they’re not allowed to play the Dragon Hand or any additional side bets. If the dealer forgets to offer the Dragon Hand and instead places it in the discard rack, then it will automatically become a dead hand. A Dead Hand is a hand that no longer qualifies as a playable hand.
The Fortune Bonus
           The fortune 
				bonus and the envy bonus Fortune Pai-Gow Poker is identical to Pai-Gow Poker but with an additional bonus wager. It’s mandatory that the player have money on a normal Pai-Gow Poker bet if they wish to play the Fortune Bonus, they cannot play the bonus by itself. The player can bet any amount they want on the bonus; it doesn’t have to be the same amount as their original wager. The minimum a player can bet is $1, while the maximum can be either $50 or $100, depending on the house.

           Royal Match listed 
				on the table In order to win this bonus, the player must have a qualifying 5 card poker hand out of all 7 cards that were dealt. It doesn’t matter how the player sets their hand, if they qualify, they’ll still receive their winnings.

           A list of the Fortune Bonus payouts will be posted either on the layout or on a sign. If you see “Royal Match” on the list, this is referring to a King and a Queen with the same suit located in the low hand. The King and the Queen have the 
				same suit

           No Fortune Bonus wagers are allowed on a Dragon Hand. If the player wants to tip the dealer on a fortune bonus bet, be aware that some casinos have a maximum payout for tipping.
The Envy Bonus
				 fortune bonus and envy bonus button If the player makes a Fortune Bonus wager of $5 or more, then that player qualifies for an Envy Bonus. All Envy Bonus payouts are listed somewhere on the table. The dealer will place a button in front of the Fortune Bonus wager to show the camera’s that it qualifies for the Envy Bonus. If the player doesn’t win a bonus, then their bet is taken but the dealer will make sure to leave the Envy button up. This way if another player has a qualifying hand then your envy bonus will still be recognized and paid. Only at the end of the hand will the dealer make sure to remove all Envy Bonus buttons that don’t apply anymore.

           If there is a situation where more than one player has a qualifying hand, then all Envy Bonuses will be paid accordingly for each qualifying bet.

           The player cannot envy the dealer’s hand or their own, regardless of whose banking. No matter how much the player wishes, begs, or pleads, the house will not pay the player for the dealer’s good hand. They are in the business of making money, not losing it.
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