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What is Pai Gow Poker

Wendy Poli | April 20, 2023 | Updated on: April 20th, 2023

Pai gow poker is a fun and exciting card game that you can play at your favorite online casino. This game is a unique fusion of traditional Chinese dominoes and Western poker.  With the potential to win big, it’s no wonder why Pai gow poker has become a popular choice for many casino-goers.

If you’re new to Pai gow poker, this guide is perfect for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, including the rules of the game and advanced strategies to help you increase your chances of winning. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you master the game and enjoy the thrill of this game.

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How to Play Pai Gow Poker

At its core, Pai Gow Poker is a game of skill and luck. This game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker, and the objective is to create two poker hands – one with five cards and one with two cards – that beat the dealer’s hands.

The first thing that happens before the game starts is players must place a bet on the table. Once the bets have been placed, the dealer will deal seven cards to each player and themselves. The player must then use their seven cards to create two hands: a five-card hand (also known as the “high” hand) and a two-card hand (also known as the “low” hand). The five-card hand must be higher in value than the two-card hand, and both hands must beat the dealer’s hands to win. If the player wins both hands, they are paid out at even money minus a commission fee if they win one hand and lose the other, it’s considered a push and the bet is returned. If the player loses both hands, they lose their bet.

Pai Gow Poker Strategies

One of the most important Pai Gow Poker strategies is to pay attention to the house way. The house way is the predetermined way the dealer is required to set their hands. Knowing the house way can help you make better decisions about how to set your own hands.

Another important strategy is to focus on creating a strong five-card hand. Since the five-card hand must be higher in value than the two-card hand. Its important to prioritize creating a hand that can beat the dealer’s hands.

It’s also important to be aware of the odds of winning each hand. For example, if you have a pair in your seven cards, it’s often a good idea to split the pair between your high and low hands. This can increase your chances of winning at least one hand.

House Way

The house way is an essential component of the Pai Gow Poker strategy that can greatly improve a player’s chances of winning. It refers to the predetermined set of rules that the dealer must follow when arranging their hand. As a player, understanding the house way is crucial, as it can inform your own decision-making process and help you create a strong hand.

The house way doesn’t have a standard rate therefore players must find out what it is at the online casino they are playing at. For example, some house ways dictate that pairs should always be split between the high and low hands. While others may allow for more flexibility in the arrangement of pairs. Some casinos also allow players to ask the dealer for guidance on how to arrange their hand, which can be particularly helpful for novice players.

Side Bets

These optional wagers can make the game even more thrilling and potentially increase your winnings. However, it’s important to understand how they work before diving in.

Side bets are additional wagers that can be made alongside your main bet. They offer the chance to win big pay-outs, with popular options being the Fortune Bonus and the Progressive Bonus. The Fortune Bonus pays out when your hand contains a three-of-a-kind or better, while the Progressive Bonus offers an increasing jackpot for hitting certain hands, like a seven-card straight flush.

Just keep in mind that side bets come with a higher house edge, meaning the odds of winning are lower than in the main game. To avoid overspending, set a budget before playing and limit the amount of money you spend on side bets.

FAQs

What is Pai Gow Poker?

Pai Gow Poker is a card game that combines elements of traditional Chinese dominoes and Western poker.

How many players can play Pai Gow Poker?

Pai Gow Poker is played with up to six players, plus a dealer.

What are the basic rules of Pai Gow Poker?

In this game, players are dealt seven cards and must use them to make two poker hands – one with five cards and one with two cards. The goal is to have both hands beat the dealer’s hands.

How is Pai Gow Poker scored?

Pai Gow Poker hands are scored using standard poker rankings, with a few exceptions. In some cases, the five-card hand must be higher than the two-card hand.

What are some common Pai Gow Poker strategies?

Some common strategies in Pai Gow Poker include splitting pairs and keeping high-ranking cards together.

Can you play Pai Gow Poker online?

Yes, many online casinos offer Pai Gow Poker as one of their games.

What is the Pai Gow Poker house edge?

The house edge in Pai Gow Poker can vary depending on the casino and the specific rules being used. On average, it ranges from 2.5% to 2.7%.

Are there any side bets in Pai Gow Poker?

Yes, many Pai Gow Poker tables offer optional side bets, such as the Fortune Bonus and the Progressive Bonus.

Can you play Pai Gow Poker for free?

Yes, many online casinos offer free versions of the game that allow players to practice and get familiar with the game before playing for real money.

Is Pai Gow Poker a game of skill or luck?

Pai Gow Poker is a game of both skill and luck, as players must make strategic decisions about how to split their hands and which cards to keep together.