Pok Deng is a Thai gambling card game in the comparing genre such as Mahjong or Poker, popular in its country of origin. However, the game has begun to expand out of the country thanks to the internet.
Pok Deng can be played by a large number of people at once, or as few as two players. Using a single deck, up to 17 Players can play at once.
How to Play Pok Deng?
Pok Deng uses the standard, Anglo-American 52-card deck. Jokers should be excluded from the 54-card Joker variant. Despite the potential for 17 Players, a small number is recommended, from 4-7 Players.
Game Setup and Bets
Players are facing the Dealer, rather than any other Players at the table. The game begins with each Player placing their bet.
Pok Deng, as a casino game, is likely to have a minimum and maximum bet limit set by the casino. Different casinos will generally set different minimums and maximums, depending on the expected funds of their clientele.
Dealing and Card Distribution
Once each Player has made their bets, the Dealer will begin to deal out two cards face-down to each Player from a freshly shuffled deck. Once each Player has been dealt their cards, the Dealer will then deal themselves two cards.
Players may then, in turn order, look at their cards and keep them or ask to be “hit” for a third card, or to have a third card dealt to them from the deck. Once each Player has had the chance to stand or hit, the comparing phase begins.
Players that choose to hit and be dealt an additional card will then reveal their cards, as well as the Dealer. During this comparison, the Dealer is allowed to draw an additional card, after comparing their hand to the other Players.
Scoring and Melds
Players will either win or lose, depending on the contents of their hand. Like in Poker, there are possible melds that increase the values of a hand beyond its constituent parts. The score of these hands is referred to as the hand’s “Taem.” These will be explained below in the “Scoring” section.
Comparison and Payouts
Once all of the Players that hit compare against the Dealer, and either win or lose, the Dealer will then compare their cards to all of the standing Players.
- Winners receive multiples of their bet, depending on the difference in Deng, or the bet multiplier.
- Losers lose their bet, as well as the Deng multiplier.
This means a bet of $5 can become a loss of $20, depending on the deng.
Once the round has ended, the Dealer collects the cards and shuffles the deck, before restarting a new round of the game.
Pok Deng Rules
- Pok Deng is played generally with 4-7 players and a Dealer. While it is possible to play with up to 17 Players, this makes all of the cards in the deck be used each game.
- Bets in Pok Deng are not paid out at a regular rate, as with many other games. Instead, the game pays out on bets based on the deng of a hand, or the multiplier associated with a particular meld.
- Melds are ranked and ordered, with the best melds beating all other melds, and all melds beating normal hands that are not melded but have high numerical value.
- Players do not play against each other, only against the Dealer.
There are several important factors that go into the scoring of a hand in Pok Deng. These factors include The meld type, the Taem, and the Deng.
Taem merely refers to the 1’s place of a hand’s numerical value. For example, 19 has a Taem of 9, and 190 has a Taem of 0.
Taem is not the most important factor when determining a hand’s value, that is actually the meld type. However, some melds cannot be understood without understanding the concept of Taem first.
As Taem refers to the 1’s place, face-cards, and 10s are worth 0 points, as a 10 will always add 0 to the 1’s place. 9 and 19 have a Taem of 9, so essentially are the same value in the game of Pok Deng.
The meld type is the primary determination for a comparison of two hands. There are four melds in Pok Deng.
The initial two cards dealt naturally with a Taem of 8 or 9. This means a 6 and 2, a 4 and 5, a pair of 9s, etc. So long as it was dealt as the first two cards, and has a Taem of 8 or 9. When being dealt pok, a Player must immediately declare pok and turn their cards up. Pok is the greatest meld, meaning only a Pok with higher Taem can beat it.
Known in other games as a three-of-a-kind. Tong is three cards of the same rank, only possible after a Player hits on their turn. Tong will only lose to Pok, or other Tong melds that have a higher Taem. Tong has a Deng, or bet multiplier, of 5.
A unique three of a kind which are all face-cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks). Sam Lueang has a Taem of 0, but it beats normal hands that do not form a meld even if they have a high Taem. Sam Lueang has a Deng of three.
|Meld Type||Description||Taem Value||Deng Multiplier|
|Pok||The initial two cards dealt naturally with Taem of 8 or 9.||8 or 9||–|
|Tong||Three cards of the same rank obtained after hitting.||Any||5|
|Sam Lueang||Three face cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks) forming a three-of-a-kind.||0||3|
Deng, as explained before, is another factor to consider in the hands. As previously explained, Deng is the bet multiplier. Compared hands compare their Deng at the end of the comparison. This means, a Player that beats the Dealer with a Deng of five, and the Dealer has a deng of zero, will receive a payout of 5x their initial bet.
Deng is subtracted, winning hand minus losing hand. A Deng of five beating a hand with a deng of three will pay out the winner for 2x their bet, or a deng of 2.
Imagine the following is an example game of Pok Deng:
- Player 1 is dealt 8♦, 5♥
- Player 2 is dealt 6♦, K♣
- Player 3 is dealt 2♣,10♠
- Player 4 is dealt K♠,K♥
- Dealer is dealt 10♥, 7♥
Players 1, 3, and 4 all hit.
- Player 1 is dealt a 4♥
- Player 3 is dealt a 7♦
- Player 4 is dealt a Q♥
- Dealer is dealt an Ace.
- Player 1 loses to the Dealer’s Taem of 8
- Player 2 loses to Dealer’s Taem of 8.
- Player 3 wins with their Taem of 9, but receives no Deng.
- Player 4 wins with their Sam Lueang, and the Deng of 3 for a 3x payout.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many cards are dealt in Pok Deng?
This depends on the Player, whether they hit or stand. A Player can be dealt either two, or three cards in Pok Deng.
How much do you win in Pok Deng?
Players of Pok Deng are paid out based on the Deng of their hand. The Deng of a Player’s hand is compared to the Dealers, with the difference in deng between the winning and losing hand determining a payout. A Player who loses to a Dealer’s hand with a deng of 3 must pay 3 times their initial bet.
Does the highest Taem win?
Not necessarily. The meld type is more important than the Taem. A Pok will always beat three cards that add up to 9, even if the Pok only adds up to 8 Taem.
Can you play Pok Deng online?
Yes, there exist multiple free online versions of Pok Deng. Some of the developers that offer these are Funky Games and Spadegaming.