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Make Nine

Also known as Pai Kow, or Pai Gow in Cantonese, and known as Pai Jo in Mandarin.  An ancient Chinese or Korean gambling game that may also be found in some casinos in Nevada, USA.  Played with a Chinese domino set, three dice to determine order of play, and stakes.  Four players actually take part in play, but any number of onlookers may take part by placing their wagers on one of the players actually playing.


Each player in turn throws three dice, with the highest thrower becoming the first banker.

The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, and then stacked in "woodpiles" of two piles-of-sixteen with each pile made of four rows of four stacked tiles.  The banker then deals, anticlockwise, four stacked tiles to each player from one of the two piles-of-sixteen.

Players look at their four dominoes and make two hands with one as their "high" hand and the other as their "low" hand.  Players and onlookers then place their bets down.  The banker may set a limit if he wishes.  The other players then reveal their "high" hands followed by the banker revealing his "high" hand.  The other players then reveal their second "low" hands followed by the banker revealing his "low" hand.  The banker wins all wagers placed on any player's tiles if he beats both hands.  If any player beats both of the bankers hands then they, and any onlookers who bet with him, take their wager back and receive the same amount again from the banker.  If no player has clearly won both hands then the wagers are withdrawn.

Once the first round and wagers are settled, the banker deals the remaining sixteen tiles, four for each player, and a second round is played as before.

The deal now passes to the player to the banker's right who becomes the new banker.  Players may drop out of play at any time they wish, with any onlooker who wishes, taking their place.


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