Pai Gow Poker is a version of the Chinese game of Pai Gow played with cards instead of dominos. The game was invented in the mid-80s and has grown in popularity since then. Whether you are familiar with the original Pai Gow or not you will enjoy Pai Gow Poker once you understand how it works. Because Pai Gow Poker is such a specialty casino game, not all online casinos have it. Therefore, we have put together a list of top casinos that stock the fascinating game of Pai Gow Poker. Additionally, we have attached an easy to follow guide of how to play the game.
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How to Play Pai Gow Poker
To learn how to play Pai Gow Poker you need to understand the difference between it and what inspired its birth which is Pai Gow. Pai Gow is played with dominoes while, Pai Gow Poker is played with a deck of 52 cards with a single joker. Pai Gow Poker merges the exciting game of poker with the oriental dominoes game. The players’ aim is to make two poker hands, one with 5 cards and the other with 2 cards out of the seven cards each player gets. That hand combination must beat the dealer’s hand combination. There is a hierarchy of hand combination as in poker.US players who want to give the game a chance need to understand the Pai Gow Poker rules, strategy and different bets.
Pai Gow Poker Rules
Pai Gow Poker makes use of a deck of 52 cards with one joker. The joker is similar to what a wild is in online slots. This is because it can substitute any other card to form a winning straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush. It also has the power of an Ace when it’s not in winning combination.
Pai Gow Poker has three basic rules:
- Bets are placed before the cards are dealt.
- Each player gets a hand of seven cards.
- There are no additional card draws from the deck; players have to separate their hand into five-card and two-card poker hands.
Best Pai Gow Poker Hands
The best hands in Pai Gow Poker are similar to poker hands with two exceptions. The best five-card hand is five aces made up of four aces and one joker, which as we said earlier has the rank of an Ace. Whereas in traditional poker the best hand is a Royal flush. The second highest ranking hand is the straight flush A-K-Q-J-10 and the straight but A-2-3-4-5 and lastly the K-Q-J-10-9.
A List of the Best Hands in Pai Gow Poker
- Five Aces and a joker.
- Royal flushA, K, Q, J, 10,
- Straight flush Five cards in sequence and the same suit.
- Four of a kind All four cards of the same rank.
- Full house Three of a kind with a pair.
- StraightFive cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.
- Three of a kindThree cards of the same rank.
- Two pairTwo different pairs.
- PairTwo cards of the same rank. The highest-ranking pair is two aces and the lowest is a two and a three.
- High Cardthis applies when you have none of the previously mentioned hands above, the highest card plays.
How to Win Pai Gow Poker
Players can only win if one or both their hands beat the dealer’s hand. A player wins when both his five card combination and pair beats both the dealer’s hands. In that case the player wins equal to 1:1 excluding the 5%house edge. If only one of the players hands beats the dealers hand the game is over and all players’ bets are returned. in Pai Gow Poker a tie is a guaranteed loss for the player. Where the players and the dealer’s hands match, it is known as a copy and the dealer wins all.
Even the players hands are better than the dealers, the low hand must be lower value than the front. Where the front hand is lower in ranking than the two-card hand. If the two-card hand it is referred to as a “foul” and the player loses.
Pai Gow Poker Glossary
- Low hand – the two-card hand in the seven cards that the player has.
- Front / high hand – the five-card hand.
- Copy – A player’s hand which ranks the same as the dealer’s hand. Automatic loss for the player.
- Foul – when the low hand has a higher value than the front hand.
- Wild Card – the joker which can substitute any other card to form a winning hand.