Pai gow is an ancient game played with 32 Chinese dominoes, also known as tiles, which form 16 possible pairs. The objective of the game is to beat the Banker's two hands, a high hand and a low hand, with your high hand and low hand. The first order of business in each hand is to establish who will bank the hand. The Banker can be any player or the casino. A player who banks the game must be able to pay off all wagers during his stint as Banker (although many casinos allow the banker to share that responsibility with the house on a 50-50 basis), and must also have wagered in the previous round when the casino acted as Banker. The banking option is offered to each player in turn, rotating in a counterclockwise direction. Players are not obligated to bank, and if all players decline (as often happens), the casino banks the game. When the casino banks the game, its hands are always set according to a house formula for making hands. Players do not have to used that formula when they bank, and are free to arrange their hands any way they choose. Play begins when the house dealer mixes the tiles and then creates eight stacks of four dominoes. After the players place their bets in the betting circles in front of them, the dealer shakes three dice in a cup and slams the cup down on the table (POW) The number rolled determines which players receives the fist stack of tiles. To decide which player gets the first stack, the dealer counts counterclockwise from the Banker around the eight places at the table (so the Banker would get the first stack if the dice totaled 9 or 17). After determining where to start, the house dealer then gives out four tiles to each player, and the players arrange a high and a low hand.