What Does the Joker Mean in Pai Gow Poker?

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The joker card in pai gow can be used in three different ways.

  1. It can be used to complete a straight.
  2. Or it can be used to complete a flush.
  3. It will act as an ace in a two-card hand.

All this means that the joker will replace another exact card. However, there are two jokers in the standard card deck, and the use for both differs. There are card games that ignore the difference. So, the jokers can either be used as replacements for damaged or lost cards in the deck. The joker will take the rank of the lost card and the suit of the joker.

Pai Gow Poker Joker

Joker Rules in Pai Gow Poker

In pai gow poker, a pack of 52 cards is used which will have one joker. As we have mentioned, the joker can be used as an ace online or complete a straight or flush, making it a wild card.

If you have an A, joker, Q, J, and ten from the same suit, you have a royal flush. However, if you have A, A, Q, J and ten, it is considered a flush because you have a pair of aces from the same suit. So, this means that you can’t use it to complete a suited pair, but it can act as the K from the same suit of the other hand to complete a royal flush.

What happens when you have a hand with a pair of fives or is 7, 6, joker, 4, 3 from the same suit? On both hands, it is a straight flush. These hands are valid in pai gow poker. It is because one has a top pair hand while the other completes a straight flush.


When a joker replaces an exact card, there will always be a suited pair in a single deck. If you use the joker to complete a straight or flush, then it is easier to handle. It does not take on the card value because it completes a hand and fills in the gap. So, the take out is that when a joker completes a hand, it is not taking the space used by an existing card but be a gap filler.