How to Play Pai Gow Poker
at Blue Lake Casino Hotel

Poker is a classic game, but sometimes, you need something new to keep the game interesting. Pai gow poker is one of the exciting variants growing in popularity throughout the country, and Blue Lake Casino is excited to offer it to our players. If you are new to the game, any of our friendly and knowledgeable dealers would happily explain the rules. We also offer these guidelines here for you to prepare.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker at Blue Lake Casino in California

Standards of Play

For every round of pai gow poker, seven cards are dealt to each player, face down. The game aims to make the highest-ranking five-card hand and the highest-ranking two-card hand. Both hands must beat the dealer. Players do not compete against each other, only the dealer.

The best two-card hand you can make is a pair. The other option is to have a high card. But the ranks are the same for the five-card hand as in a traditional poker game. The other twist is when you can make a complete seven-card hand out of your two hands.

The following table shows the rankings in a pai gow poker game:

Rank Hand Dealt Hand Requirements
1st 7 Card Flush All seven cards are of the same suit, such as all hearts or all spades. 
2nd Royal Flush + Royal Match The Royal Flush + Royal Match is a special hand in pai gow poker that consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, with the King and Queen having the same suit.
3rd 7 Card Straight Flush All seven cards are of the same suit, and they are in consecutive order.
4th Five Aces The hand includes five cards that are all Aces.
5th Royal Flush This hand consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all of the same suit.
6th Straight Flush Five cards that are in consecutive order and of the same suit.
7th Four-of-a-Kind The hand includes four cards that are all the same face value, such as 2s or Jacks.
8th Full House The hand includes three cards of the same value combined with a pair (of another value).
9th Flush Any combination of five cards that are of the same suit. 
10th Straight Any combination of five cards that are in consecutive order.
11th Three-of-a-Kind The hand consists of three cards with the same face value.
12th Two Pair The hand consists of one pair of two cards of the same face value and another pair of two cards of the same face value (though of a different value than the first pair).
13th A Pair Two cards that have the same face value.
14th High Card The hand has no cards of matching value, and there are mixed suits. Known as “nothing.” The hand’s value is determined by the highest-value card in the mix.

Dealing Procedures

Gameplay starts with the dealer passing out seven cards to each player. Four unused cards are dealt into a discard pile after the cards are dealt to each player.

Players then pick up their cards and make the best two-card hand and five-card hand they can out of those cards. They then “set” their cards into the two hands on the table.

Gaming Table

The five-card hand must always outrank the two-card hand. The five-card hand is then placed in a pile closest to the player (in the designated box on the table), and the two-card hand is placed perpendicular to it above it. Falling to put the cards in the right place can cause players to forfeit their hands, so make sure you are following the rules. Always ask the dealer if you are unsure.


There can be as many as seven players in a pai gow poker game, including the dealer. Outside of a casino, one of the players at the table can be designated the dealer. However, in a casino, the dealer is always the person working for the casino.

House Fee Collection

Casinos typically take a five percent commission from each play. You pay this commission whether you win the bet or not.

Betting Scheme

Betting starts before you are dealt your cards. Typically, you would bet the table minimum.

After getting your cards, you will be able to raise your bet. Remember, you are only playing against the dealer’s card. You are not trying to beat any other players.

Casino Real Fortune Pai Gow Poker House Way

Fortune pai gow poker is a fun variant with an optional bonus bet. Before the winning bet can be determined, the dealer will set the cards this way:

No Pair The second and third highest cards are placed in the front. 
One Pair The second-highest unpaired cards are placed in front of the high-ranking pair.
Two Pairs If the big pair consists of Aces, Kings, or Queens, the small pair goes in front. If the pairs are Jacks, 10s or 9s, both go in the back. Everything else goes in the back of a Queen or higher can go in the front.
Three Pairs The highest-ranking pair goes in the front, and the other two pairs go in the back.
Three of a Kind Three of a kind go in the back, while the other two cards go in the front. 
Straight, Flush, or Straight Flush The two highest cards go in the front, with the remaining cards at the back.
Full House The highest possible pair goes in the front.
Four of a Kind Follows the same rules as three of a kind.
Five Aces A pair of Aces goes in the front.

Fortune Bonus Bet

With this wager, you want to make the best two-card handout of your seven cards. You are not limited to how the hand compares to your five-card hand, so you can simply take the best two cards.

Envy Bonus

If you place an envy bet, you will win if any player at the table gets four of a kind or better. These bets are paid out after the other wagers.

Place Pai Gow Poker at Blue Lake Casino

Visit Blue Lake Casino today to play pai gow poker and enjoy a fun variant of this classic game, along with many others. You’ll enjoy exciting betting opportunities and fast-paced gameplay!