The game of Pai Gow Tiles which originated in Ancient China, is played in most oriental countries. Pai Gow is a game of Chinese dominoes. Literally translated, it means Cards-Nine. The game is played with dominoes and is the forerunner of American dominoes.
There are 32 dominoes used in Pai Gow which are mixed or shuffled by the House Supervisor. The dominoes are placed in eight (8) stacks of four (4) each. The Player/Dealer and up to seven (7) players are dealt one stack (four dominoes). The object of the game is to set the dominoes into two hands (front and back, two dominoes per hand) for the best ranking combination. If they are lower, the Player/Dealer wins. When the Player/Dealer and players have the same ranking combinations, the Player/Dealer is the winner.
It is necessary to memorize or refer to the chart for the first sixteen (16) rankings. The highest is the Supreme combinations, which is called, in Chinese Jee Joon - domino three (red 1, white 2) and domino six (white 2, red 4). The second through the sixteenth rankings are pairs or Bo. The pairs do not follow a number sequence from highest to lowest or vice versa. The pairs are actually symbols to the Chinese. For example, the second highest ranking is the pair of twelves called Double Heaven. The third ranking is the pair of twos called Double Earth. The fourth ranking is the pair of red eights or Double People, etc. (Seechart).
The thirteenth to sixteenth ranking pairs are not identical dominoes; they are known as mixed (chop) pairs.
After the pair rankings, the best combinations are the Wong (King which is the twelve (Heaven) and any nine. This ranking followed by the dominoes two (Earth) and the nine. Next is the Gong (Steel) which is the twelve (Heaven) and any eight followed by the two (Earth) and any eight.
When Bo (pairs) Wong, or Gong combinations cannot be made, the next combinations are ranked from nine to zero. These are the most common rankings and they represent the basis of the game of Pai Gow (Cards - Nine). For example, the two dominoes 10 and 9 make a 9. The 11 and 4 make a 5. The 11 and 9 make a zero.
With the four dominoes you are dealt, you make two combinations which will both total closest to nine. The object in setting both combinations is to have them both higher than the two combinations of the hand you are playing against.
When the same player and Player/Dealer have two dominoes totaling the same number, the combinations with the higher single ranking is the winner.
The unique feature about Pai Gow Tiles is that the Player/Dealer is rotated counter-clockwise among the players and House Supervisor after each game; that is, each player has the opportunity to deal against other players. The Player/Dealer can win, lose or push on each of the players individual bets. A Player/Dealer cannot win or lose more than he wagers. A Player/Dealer may pass the deal onto the next player if he does not wish to be the Player/Dealer.
After the bets are placed, the Player/Dealer casts three (3) dice which determine which player will receive the first stack of dominoes. The players will rank their dominoes and set the two combinations side by side in front of their bets. The Player/Dealer will show his hand first, and the House Supervisor will then open the hands of the players to determine the losers and winners. Amounts lost by players are collected in the center of the table by the House Supervisor. The winning bets are paid off with the Player/Dealer's money.
The collection rates are posted on each individual table. For the individual and pair rankings, please see a floor representative.
The 3 and 6 dominoes that make the Supreme combinations (Jee Joon) are Wild Dominoes. The 3 can be used as a 3 or 6. The 6 can be used as a 6 or 3. For example, dominoes 6 and 4 make zero; however, this 6 can be used as a 3, which makes 7, and is a better combination.
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