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A Beginner’s Guide to Pai Gow Poker


Pai Gow Poker is an interesting Poker variation that can be found at several brick-and-mortar casinos and online gambling venues. The game elegantly combines the elements of the Chinese domino game Pai Gow and the renowned casino classic Poker. As with other Poker games, Pai Gow Poker offers players the chance to try their luck and skills against the casino gaming venue.

This Pai Gow Poker guide explores the basics and gameplay rules of the game. Also, we cover the important Pai Gow Poker terms that are often used by experienced casino players. Then we go on to explain the potential payouts for this Poker variation. Stick with us!

Pai Gow Poker Basics


Pai Gow Poker may not have as long a history as other renowned casino table games like Blackjack and Roulette. But it’s undoubtedly an exciting casino game to try your hands at. Speaking about its origins, Pai Gow Poker was developed by casino owner Sam Torosian in the mid-1980s.

Pai Gow Poker does have some deep historical roots, though. Some gameplay elements of this Poker variation have been taken from Pai Gow Tiles, which is being played by the Chinese people for several centuries. In Chinese, the name Pai Gow translates to “Make Nine”. And it depicted the maximum score one could get in the game, except for some special instances.

As you’d be knowing, several Poker variations pit one player against the dealer. Here, the dealer is only involved with dealing the cards and ensuring the gameplay rules are being followed. However, Pai Gow Poker is played somewhat differently than other Poker variations. In Pai Gow Poker, you’re playing the game against the dealer. In some instances, you can also choose to be the dealer yourself.

As a beginner, it’s important for you to understand the Pai Gow Poker rules and Poker terms and terminologies. Fortunately, the rules are easy to learn and we’ve covered them in detail 

in the following section.


How to Play Pai Gow Poker?

As mentioned earlier, the game of Pai Gow Poker is played against the house. As such, the goal of the game is to beat the dealer. For that, you’ll need to form two separate hands – both of which need to be stronger than the dealer’s hands.

As with other Poker variations like Four Card Poker, Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker is played using a standard 52-card deck. Note that the card deck for Pai Gow Poker also includes a Joker, which can act as a semi-wild card during the gameplay round. For the unversed, semi-wild means the card can be used to complete any straight or flush sequence.

The gameplay round of Pai Gow Poker starts with you placing the “Ante” wager. After that, everyone at the table receives seven cards face down. After getting your cards, you will have the chance to see them and will need to arrange them into two different hands, as follows:

  • One hand involving five cards
  • One hand involving two cards

The best possible outcome you can have in Pai Gow Poker is both your hands are able to beat the dealer’s hands. As with other Poker games, the standard Poker hand rankings are used to determine the winner in this Poker variation. It’s important to note that your top hand (hand comprising two cards) must never be stronger than your bottom hand (hand comprising five cards).


Pai Gow Poker Payouts


Now that we’ve covered the gameplay rules for Pai Gow Poker, let’s take a look at the potential payouts for the game. When playing Pai Gow Poker, the dealer arranges their hand once all players are done with setting up their hands. After that, a comparison between the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand is made to determine the winner. The potential payouts for the game are as follows:

  • Both of your hands are able to beat the dealer’s hands. Here, you’ll receive a payout of 1:1 on your “Ante” wager.
  • You’re able to beat one hand but lose on the second one. In this case, the outcome of the game is a tie.
  • In Pai Gow Poker, the dealer wins all ties.

Note that many Pai Gow Poker games charge a 5% commission on your winning hand, which adds to the overall casino advantage. But you’ll also find Pai Gow Poker games at casinos online that don’t charge a commission fee. In games where there’s no commission involved, the casino advantage stands around 1.3%.

Side Wagers in Pai Gow Poker

Since its introduction, the game of Pai Gow Poker has evolved to take several different forms. While all these games follow the same basic rules, some of them come with additional gameplay features. Also, some Pai Gow Poker games allow you to place side wagers, adding to the overall thrill and excitement of the gameplay.

Many Pai Gow Poker side bets involve wagering that you’ll have a hand that’s at least three or a kind or better. For the unversed, Pai Gow Poker side wagers are independent of the main bets and don’t have anything to do with the game’s outcome.


Pai Gow Poker Strategy


Pai Gow Poker doesn’t require players to make highly complicated decisions. As such, it’s a relatively simple game from a strategic viewpoint. But many players consider using a playing system such as the Big Slick Poker strategy that can help them in improving their overall winning chances.

As a Pai Gow Poker player, it’s important for you to always have a bankroll management system in place. While this won’t directly improve your winning chances, it will surely help you in limiting your losses. Also, managing your bankroll effectively means you can have a more enjoyable and entertaining Pai Gow Poker experience.


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Post Name : A Beginner’s Guide to Pai Gow Poker

Posted On : 26/05/2023

Author : Reggie Wilfred