How to Play Fortune Pai Gow Poker: Rules & Strategy

fortune pai gow poker

5 minutes

Last Updated: February 23, 2024

Fortune Pai Gow Poker is a variant of the popular Pai Gow Poker Game. The major difference between this version and the conventional one is that it offers an optional bonus wager known as the Fortune bonus. In addition to the base game wager, a player can place a bet of $1–$100 on the Fortune bonus and earn rewards for using all seven cards to create the best hand possible. 

All wagers on the Fortune bonus that exceeds $5 qualify for an additional bonus known as the Envy Bonus. This bonus is paid when another player on the table (aside from the player that placed the wager) earns a four-of-a-kind card or any other higher-ranking combination. Read on for more on gameplay rules and strategies for Fortune Pai Gow Poker. 

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Rules 

The gameplay and rules for Fortune Pai Gow Poker is similar to that of the regular Pai Gow Poker. The only difference is that the player can place a fortune bonus bet and an envy bonus bet in addition to the base wager. 

This game is played on a table with a maximum of seven players, with one of them acting as a dealer. A 53-card deck is used, which includes one joker and 52 regular cards. In Fortune Pai Gow Poker, the joker is a sort of wild card that can be used as an ace or otherwise used to complete a flush, a straight or a straight flush

Fortune Pai Gow Poker is a player vs dealer game and the best possible poker hand is declared winner. At the start of the game, each player and the dealer receive seven cards all placed face down. When all the cards have been dealt, each player sets his or her hand by arranging the cards into two separate hands. The goal is to create one five-card hand with the highest value and a two-card hand with the next highest value. The five-card hand must always be the higher hand. You can ask the house dealer for help if you are not certain how to set your hands. 

After setting their hands, players place their card face down while the player-dealer also sets and reveals his hand. After the dealer reveals his hands, each player’s hand is revealed as well and compared to the dealer’s hands. 

The outcome of a game of fortune pai gow poker depends on the rank of a player’s hands compared to the dealer’s. The player wins if both of his five-card and two-card hands are higher than the dealer’s and loses if both hands are lower than the dealer’s. If the game ends in a split (one higher hand and a lower one), the game ends in a push, which means no wins and the wager is returned to the player. 

If you placed the Fortune Bonus wager at the start of the game, the dealer determines if the hand qualifies for a bonus payout based on the Fortune pay table. Players that placed the Envy Wager can also win bonuses if any of the other players get a four-of-a-kind card or higher rank.  

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Card Ranks 

The 53 cards used in Fortune Pai Gow Poker (52 regular cards and a poker card) have different ranks. The rank of the cards you get and their combination will determine whether you win or lose in this game. Individually, the most valuable card is the Ace, followed by the King, Queen, Jack, Ten, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. The ace may also be the lowest card in a straight combination of Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, while the Joker can be used as a wild card to complete a straight, flush or straight flush. It can also be paired with an ace. 

Here’s a breakdown of card rankings in Fortune Pai Gow Poker from the highest to the lowest. 

  • 7 Card Straight Flush (no Joker): This hand consists of seven cards all of the same suit with consecutive ranking. This combination is only valid if no joker is used. The highest ranking 7 card straight flush you can get is An ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, and 8, while the lowest ranked is  7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and ace. If you place a fortune bonus bet, a natural 7-card Straight Flush is the highest-paying combination. It will earn you an 8,000 to 1 reward in addition to the base game winnings. 
  • Royal Flush + Royal Match: In this combination, the 5-card hand consists of an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 cards, while the two-card hand consists of a king and queen. 
  • 7 Card Straight Flush (With Joker): This is a variant of the 7-card straight flush, but with a joker to complete the combination. 
  • Five Aces: This is a combination of 5 aces making up a hand.  Usually, you’ll need a joker to complete a five-ace hand combination. 
  • Royal Flush: This is a hand with an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 cards. All the cards in this combination must be of the same suit. 
  • Straight Flush: A straight flush hand consists of five cards of the same suit and with consecutive ranking. The lowest ranking straight flush you can get is a 5,4,3,2, and ace combination. Similarly, the highest ranked straight flush you can get is a king, queen, jack, 10, and 9 combination. 
  • Four of a Kind: This hand consists of four cards all of the same rank. The highest ranked four-of-a-kind combination you can get is four aces while the lowest you can get is a four 2s.  
  • Full House: This is a 5-card hand with three of a kind and a pair of cards. The highest-ranked full-house combo consists of three aces and two kings, while the lowest consists of three 2s and two 3s. 
  • Flush: This is a 5-card hand that consists of cards of the same suit, not in consecutive ranking. An ace, king, queen, jack and 9 combination is the highest-ranked flush hand you can get, while a 7, 5, 4, 3, 2 card combination is the lowest-ranked flush. 
  • Straight: A straight consists of five consecutive ranking cards, but not of the same suit. The highest-ranked straight hand combo you can get consists of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10, while the lowest-ranked straight you can get will consist of 5, 4, 3, 2, and ace cards. 
  • Three of a Kind: As the name suggests, a three-of-a-kind hand consists of three cards of the same rank. The highest-ranked three-of-a-kind combo will contain three aces while a combination with three 2s is the lowest three-of-a-kind card you can get. 
  • Two Pairs: This is a hand with two pairs of cards. The highest-ranked two-pair combo you can get will consist of two aces and two kings, while the lowest-ranked consists of two 3’s and two 2’s. 
  • One Pair: This hand consists of a single pair of cards of the same rank. A hand with two aces is the highest-ranked one pair, while a hand with two 2s is the lowest-ranked. 
  • High Card: this is a five-card hand that does not fall into any of the categories listed above. An ace, king, queen, jack, and 9 combination is the highest-ranked high hand, while a hand with 7, 5, 4, 3, and 2  cards is the lowest ranked High Card. 

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