How to Play Pai Gow Poker


Playing Pai Gow Poker is all the craze at online casinos.

The rules of pai-gow poker loosely come from Pai Gow, which is a Chinese game of dominoes, highly popular in Asia where it is played everywhere, in casinos and in other public venues.

Pai gow poker is also called Double-hand poker. It was invented in 1985 by Sam Torosian owner of the Bell card club, but it was never patented.

The rules of Pai Gow Poker

The rules of Pai Gow Poker are quite simple, but you still need to employ strategy and this is why the game is a lot of fun.

Even though this game was only invented recently, it has exploded in popularity, first in California then full circle back to Asia.

The game of Pai Gow Poker is played with one deck of 52 cards plus one joker. The joker stands for an ace except if it can be used to complete a flush or a straight. The hand ranking is the same as in regular poker, starting from high card, pair all the way to straights, flushes, quads and royal flush. Because of the joker, the highest hand is five aces.

What is rather unique in Pai Gow Poker is hat every player gets dealt seven cards and must separate them into a two cards hand and a five cards hand, where the 5 cards hand is stronger than the 2 cards hand.

The game is played against the house, which also receives 7 cards, unless one of the players acts as the dealer. The game is played at six-players tables so that each time 7 hands of 7 cards are dealt and the remaining 3 cards are discarded.

For you the player, you only need to compare your hand with the dealer's hand. Usually the house has to follow the "house way", which is a pre-specified manner of playing but you are free to use any strategy you want when breaking down your cards into two hands.

Pai Gow Poker strategy

If both your hands beat the dealer's hands, you win. If the dealer's hands both beat your hands, you lose. If only one of your hands beats the corresponding dealers' hand, then you push. If there is a tie, it is considered a win for the dealer, which gives a small advantage to the house.

Pai Gow Poker is a game of strategy (a game of skill), as you have to decide how to split your cards into two hands. As you want both of your hands to beat the house's hand you are trying to get the 2 strongest possible hands, but the stronger you make the two-card hand (if you have a choice), the weaker you may make the five-card hand.

The basic strategy is to put in front (the two-cards hand) the highest 2-card hand that you can legally set.

For example if you have a pair and nothing else, you should put the pair in the five-card hand and have the remaining two highest cards in front. This situation should always be played this way.

Another quite straightforward scenario is if you have nothing. You should put the second and third strongest cards in front, and this is almost always the best approach.

Another simple case is if you have 3 pairs and you should always put the strongest pair in front.

One example of a more difficult case is if you have a full house. You can put the set behind and the pair in front, but sometimes it is better to have the entire full house behind, if the pair is low (33) and you have an ace to put in front.

Other special cases require a decision and this is why the game is interesting, as the wrong split could lead to a loss for the winning hand. Anyway give a try to pai-gow poker and you should not be disappointed.

One online casino offering Pai Gow Poker is GoCasino. Visit them now, they have a very large welcome bonus by the way. Click here.

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