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What Does a Joker Do in Pai Gow Poker?

Recently updated on December 21st, 2023

Jokers aren’t typically cards included in the deck when you play card games. But, pai gow poker does and the joker actually serves a specific purpose here. The game uses a standard 52 card deck plus a single joker card bringing the total cards in play to 53. The value and meaning of every in the deck can be checked using a poker hand ranking chart. But, because jokers aren’t commonly used in poker, you won’t find their value on the chart. This is where we come in.

Poker Card in Pai Gow Poker

The Purpose of a Joker Card in Pai Gow

If you have ever played slot games then you must have heard about wild symbols before. In a slot game, wild symbols act as a substitute for any symbol on the reels except a scatter, in an effort to form a winning combination. Similarly, jokers in pai gow poker are wild cards which takes up the function of an ace, or acts as a substitute to complete any flush, straight, flush or straight flush in the game.

Other Cards in The Game

The function of all the other cards in the game remains unchanged. Cards hold face value when you play pai gow poker, and they are listed in descending order as follows: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. Suites aren’t ranked in the game, so if you and your opponent have a hand that differs only in a suite then both your hands have the exact same value.

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