Pai Gow Poker is not just a card game, it’s also based on dice. 53 cards are split by the banker into 7 hands. The roll of the dice determines who gets which hand. It’s random, so the strategies that you can normally use when playing poker, like bluffing, don’t work. There are some ways to improve your chances, though.

Most importantly, always be the banker if you can. It’s more beneficial.

Strategies center around the joker, because it’s the wild card, which can act as any card you want it to be.

Your hands are the two card hand and the five card hand. If the five card hand doesn’t rank higher than the two card one, you foul and for you the game is over. You can use the joker in either card.

An example of using the joker in the two card hand, when you have a pair, is when your cards are the joker, 10, 10, 5, 2, 9 and 6. The pair is the tens, making the five card hand. You can make a second pair with the nine to win the two card hand. You could also make three of a kind, paying better than a pair. That also means losing the bet on the two card hand.

In this situation consider not the cards but which option will mean more cash if you win. It’s possible to lose both hands if someone has a higher pair. A three of a kind means better edge over the house, but someone might have a better hand than yours. Stick to the three of a kind if you have one. If you choose pairs it’s quite likely that you lose anyway – pairs in poker are about 42% common.