Pai Gow Poker Terms - Learn the Game's Lingo

Pai Gow Poker is an American take on the classic Chinese domino game; Pai Gow. The game is played on a table that is similar to that used in Blackjack online and uses a regular 52-deck of cards plus a wild card adding a great spin on the game! Before you dive straight into playing the game for real money, we highly recommend that you go through our comprehensive Pai Gow Poker Online Guide which explains the nature of the game, its rules, strategy and ways you can possibly manage your money whilst playing the game. But first, go ahead and get yourself familiar with the Pai Gow Poker Lingo below!


Ante: The initial bet you place during your Pai Gow game is called an Ante.


Banker: The person who takes bets for the hand is called a banker. In brick-and-mortar casinos, the players typically take turns being the banker. However, in online casinos, the dealer is always the banker.

Back-hand: A back-hand is the rem which describes a 5-card hand after the 7 card-hand is split into 2. One hand consist of 2 cards (this is the front hand) and the back one will consist of 5 cards.

Betting Spot: A betting spot is where you as a player place money during a game.

Bankroll: The money you’ve dedicated to playing Pai Gow Poker is called your bankroll. You can learn more about how to manage your money by reading CasinoTop10’s article on Pai Gow Money Management.


Copy Hand/Copy: A copy hand is a hand which ranks the same as the dealer’s hand. In this case, the house would always win.

Co-Banking: This particular option is available at some land-based casinos, but not all. Co-banking occurs when the house and the player are 50/50 partners.


Dealer: Whilst playing Pai Gow, like most other table games, your cards will be dealt by the casino’s dealer.

Dragon Hand: This type of hand occurs as a result of the dealer handing out cards in empty spots around the Pai Gow table. If this occurrence arises when you’re playing the game, any player at the table can opt to bet on the hand and play with two hands. Yet, if nobody bets on the hand, the cards will be removed by the dealer.


Front Hand: The name of the two-card hand which is typically placed in front of the 5-card hand called the backhand. This is also sometimes referred to as the Low hand.

Flush: A hand which consists of any five cards that are all of the same suit.

Four-of-a-kind: A hand which contains four kinds of the same value.

Full House: A full house consists of three cards of a kind plus a pair.

Fouling your Hand: This occurs when the front hand outranks the back hand.


High-hand: A high-hand, which is also known as ‘Hand Behind’ or ‘Bottom Hand’, is the 5-card hand which is found behind the Front Hand that consists of 2 cards.

House Edge: The house edge is a term which is used to describe the mathematical advantage the house has over the player in a particular casino game.

House Way: A prearranged strategy which is used by a dealer when setting their hands. When playing Pai Gow Online you as a player will also have the option to use the ‘house way’.

House chips: Instead of money, casino chips are used instead in order to represent your bankroll which is similar to other table games.


Joker: A card that works as a ‘wild card’ in Pai Gow. This can be used to substitute a particular card in order to form a winning hand.


One-Pair: Two cards of the same denomination are called a pair.


Pair: Two cards that match in rank are called a pair. For example: A King and a King would be a pair.


Royal Flush: When you acquire a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace which happen to be of the same suit.


Singleton: A card which is not identical in rank to any other card. In effect, it does not form a pair.

Shoe: The shoe is the place the cards are dealt from. Typically, Pai Gow is played by using a deck of 52 cards plus one joker which is used as a wild card.

Split: This refers to the action performed in separating you’re the 7 cards a player has been dealt during the first phase of the game. Once the player has selected the two cards to be split from the rest of the cards, they will be split into a front hand from a back hand.

Straight: A hand with five cards in a sequence regardless of suit is called a straight. For example: 9-8-7-6-5


Three-of-a-kind:  A hand which has three cards that are all of the same ranking.

Two Pair: A hand which consists of two pairs is called a two pair. For example, having two Kings and two Queens would be considered 2 pairs. 


Win:  A win in Pai Gow occurs when a player has both a high hand and low hand which beat that of the dealer.

Wild Card: See Joker. Only one is available in each deck of cards.

Learn the Rules, Strategy & Pai Gow Terms & Start Playing The Game 

pai gow poker termsPlaying Pai Gow Poker can feel like a breath of fresh air for most poker fans who have grown tired of playing the same game over and over. Once you’ve learned the rules and strategies involved you can then go ahead and start gambling for real money. Looking for an online casino to play Pai Gow? If so, have a look at our comprehensive list of ranked and reviewed casinos in order to find one which is both safe and secure and that offers both the best online casinos that payout and the best online casino bonus around.

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