How to Play Pai-Gow Poker

Part 7: A free Vegas-Aces guide.

Table of Contents

How to Play at Home with Dice

This is good for players, if you want to play at home, but you don’t have the money to buy a random number generator or a shuffle machine.

Since you have no shuffle machine, shuffle the cards by hand before offering the deck for a cut. If the player is banking then they have the first option to cut the deck.

The Dealer deals out 7 hands of 7 cards each

Take the deck and deal out 7 hands of 7 cards each starting from the dealer’s left hand side and going right. The dealer will then straighten up the stacks, tilting the first hand on the left sideways a bit and the last hand on the right sideways a bit more. This is supposed to represent a dragon, with the lucky head on the left and the unlucky tail on the right.

Normally, this is the time the Random Number Generator would tell us where to deal the first set of cards, but since we don’t have a Random Number Generator, we’re going to have to rely on dice instead. Casinos usually don’t allow the players to shake the dice, but there is one exception to this rule and it’s when the Player is banking. The dealer will shake a dice cup, with 3 dice in it, a few times using only one hand. Every casino is different, some will want you to shake the dice exactly 4 times while others will say between 3 to 5 times, so make sure you know your house rules. The dealer will always be the one to uncover the dice cup; players are not allowed to touch the dice or the dice cup and if the dice bounce out of the cup or is touched by a player, then call over the floorman immediately and inform him of the situation. The floor will inspect the dice before putting it back into action. All bets must be in their betting circle before the dice are uncovered because once the numbers have been exposed no one can alter their bets.

Dice are either on top of each other or cocked sideways

The 3 dice will be totaled and the number shown will determine where the dragon’s head, or the first set of cards, goes.

Where the cards go based on the dice number

The number on the dice corresponds with the placement of the hands. The banker or the dealer will always be position number 1. Then starting from the right hand side going left the dealer will count the spots up to the dice total, giving each position a specific number. The banker-dealer position will always be numbers 1, 8 or 15. Remember, the dealer doesn’t need to count every spot starting from number 1. This would take too much time. Instead, the dealer will use the fact that the banker position is always 1, 8, or 15 and count forward or backwards depending on what number is shown on the dice.

After the dealer has delivered the first set of cards to the spot indicated on the dice, they will continue to distribute the hands, moving in a counter clock-wise rotation. All betting positions will receive a set of cards regardless of whether there is a player sitting there or not.

The dice will remain uncovered and unmoved until all of the hands are dealt with, then the dealer will cover the dice, shake the cup and place it to the right of the layout. After that, everyone will continue the game as normal.

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