October 2019

Rules of Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker. A maximum of six players sit around the table along with the dealer.

The object of the game is quite simple: to beat the banker. The banker can be the dealer, another player at the table, or a player-dealer “team.”

To do so, you make two poker hands with the seven cards that are dealt:

  1. A five-card “high” hand (also known as the back hand/big hand)
  2. A two-card “low” hand (also known as the front hand/small hand)

Your high hand must beat your low hand. For example, if your low hand is a pair of fives, your high hand must be better than a pair of fives.

Once you set your hands, the dealer reveals them along with the banker’s hands. There are then 3 possible outcomes:

  1. The player wins both hands and wins their bet.
  2. The dealer wins both hands and the player loses their bet.
  3. The player wins one hand and the dealer wins the other, in which case the hand is a push and no money exchanges hands (except the commission–more on this later).

Ties go to the dealer in Pai Gow Poker. For example, if both you and the dealer have a low hand of A-K, the dealer wins that hand.

Our rating – 6.9/10

We all know Scratch Cards

scratch card, also called a scratch off, scratch ticket, scratcher, scratchie, scritchies, scratch-it, scratch game, scratch-and-win, instant game or instant lottery in different places, is a small card, often made of thin paper-based card for competitions and plastic to conceal PINs, where one or more areas contain concealed information which can be revealed by scratching off an opaque covering.

Applications include cards sold for lottery games and quizzes, free-of-charge cards for quizzes, and to conceal confidential information such as PINs for telephone calling cards (otherwise known as recharge cards) and other prepaid services.

In some cases the entire scratchable area needs to be scratched to see whether a prize has been won—the card is printed either to be a winner or not—or to reveal the secret code; the result does not depend upon what portions are scratched off. In other cases, some but not all areas have to be scratched; this may apply in a quiz, where the area corresponding to the right answer is scratched, or in some gambling applications where, depending on which areas are scratched, the card wins or loses. In these cases the card becomes invalid if too many areas are scratched. After losing one can scratch all areas to see if, how, and what one could have won with this card.

Our rating – 8.3/10

Baccarat 101

If you’re looking to sit down at a Las Vegas casino table game with few complexities and a lot of James Bond-style fun, baccarat is your go-to game. There are three possible outcomes—a player win, a banker win and a tie—and the dealer pretty much does all the work.

As host Jeff Civillico explains in the how-to video below, players bet either on the player’s side, the “banker” (aka the dealer) side or for a tie. Cards two through nine are face value, while a 10, jack, queen and king cards have a value of zero. An ace is worth one.

The dealer then deals out the cards face up—two each for the player and banker—and whichever hand totals closest to nine wins. If you’ve bet on the player hand and it has the closest to nine, the winnings are simply double what you bet.

If you’ve bet on the banker hand and it wins, it pays 95 percent of your wager.When the cards dealt are greater than nine, you have to add the two together and drop the one (or two) to get the value.

For example, a hand of nine and seven cards dealt would add up to 16, and with the first digit dropped, the value in the game is six.

Here are some more rules to help you ace a baccarat game:

  • If either the player or banker is dealt a total of eight or nine, both the player and banker stand.
  • If the player’s total is five or less, then the player will receive another card. Otherwise, the player will stand.
  • If the player stands, then the banker hits on a total of 5 or less.
  • The final betting option, a tie, pays out 8-to-1. Conveniently, there are also sheets at the table for you to keep track of your score.

Our rating – 8.2/10