At our dealing school in Las Vegas, the number one thing that Pai Gow Poker student dealers find confusing is the Player-Banker rule. Most of the time, “player” refers to the customer and “banker” refers to the house, but in Pai Gow Poker, players may opt to be the banker.
The advantage to the player banking is that copy hands go to the banker. As a dealer, do not ask the player if he wants to bank, just know he may request to do so. Most casinos’ procedures require every other hand go back to the house bank; others allow a full circle around the table with each player being able to bank before the house banks.
Players may bank up to what they bet last round plus 10%. If they played two hands, they may not bank for the sum of those hands, simply the larger of the two bets. The player must also have enough money to cover all player bets in the event he loses every hand. The bonus bet is not included; the bonus bet is always a bet against the house.
If a player requests to bank and you’ve verified his bankroll is sufficient, ask how much he’d like to bank for. Take the money out of the rack and place it in front of you.
The player banker is spot #1. (If there are dice, the player shakes them and you uncover them.) Deal all hands, covering the banker’s hand until players set their hands.
After all hands are set, reveal the dealer’s hand to play against the player banker. (If a push, place the bet in the rack and discard dealer’s cards. If the player banker wins, place the bet in front of the rack on the right and discard the dealer’s cards. If the dealer wins, place the dealer’s cards in front of the rack on the right with the losing bet on top. Then bring the player banker’s cards into the dealer’s position and proceed as usual, keeping a pile of player banker wins and leaving the losers on the table (lay and pay).
In the end, use the player banker’s money to pay any wins, with the commissions going to the house. If the player banker has winnings, remove the commission before paying him.