The game is typically played with a standard 52-card deck, along with a single Joker, which serves as a wild card. This Joker can be used to complete a straight, flush, straight flush, or as an Ace.

Pai Gow Poker is typically played between the player and the dealer, with each striving to create two separate poker hands from the seven cards dealt. The goal is to form a five-card "high" hand and a two-card "low" hand, both of which  must rank higher than the corresponding hands of the dealer to win.

To begin a round of Pai Gow Poker, players place their bets, and then seven cards are dealt face down to each player, including the dealer. Once the cards are dealt, players must arrange their cards into a high hand and a low hand. The high hand consists of five cards and follows standard poker hand rankings, while the low hand comprises the remaining two cards.

The rules for setting the high and low hands are strict. The high hand must always outrank the low hand, and if a player's hands are arranged incorrectly, they automatically lose the round, regardless of the hand's strength. For example, if a player's low hand is stronger than their high hand, it's considered a "foul" and results in an immediate loss.

After all players have set their hands, the dealer reveals their cards and arranges them according to a specific set of rules known as the "house way." The dealer must follow these predetermined rules, which vary slightly from casino to casino, ensuring a fair and consistent gameplay experience.

Once both the player and the dealer have arranged their hands, the hands are compared individually. If both the player's high and low hands beat the dealer's corresponding hands, the player wins. Conversely, if both of the dealer's hands are stronger, the player loses. If only one of the player's hands is stronger, it's considered a push, and no money changes hands.

One of the most appealing aspects of Pai Gow Poker is its slow pace, which allows players to savor each decision and strategize accordingly. Since the game relies on both luck and skill, players can employ various tactics to gain an edge over the house. For instance, some players aim to create two equally strong hands, while others prioritize building a powerful high hand and a weaker low hand to maximize their chances of winning.

Additionally, Pai Gow Poker offers a unique social element, as players have the option to bank the game, essentially acting as the dealer against other players. This adds an extra layer of excitement and interaction to the gameplay, as players can compete against each other while also facing off against the house.

In conclusion, Pai Gow Poker is a captivating casino game that blends the best aspects of traditional Chinese dominoes and Western poker. Its combination of luck and skill, coupled with its slow pace and social aspects, makes it a favorite among gamblers seeking a refreshing alternative to standard card games. Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned player, Pai Gow Poker offers a rewarding and entertaining experience for all.