Online Pai Gow Poker is a banking game derived from the ancient Chinese domino game known as Pai Gow. The object of the game is to create two hands, consisting of five and two cards each, that beat the banker’s hand.
If you are already familiar with this unique game’s rules and want to skip ahead and start playing, visit our online casino reviews page for where to find the best tables to play.
If you need instructions and a lesson in strategy, read the below summaries and click on the links for their related pages. We’ll have you playing and winning in no time.
The game begins with the banker and each of six potential players receiving 7 cards. Players and banker all attempt to make the best five card high hand and two card low hand possible, with hands ranked according to traditional poker valuation. One exception exists: A2345 is the second highest straight. Rounds are lengthy, making this a game you can enjoy for hours with only a few dollars.
Good game strategy rests almost entirely on how you arrange your front (2 card) and back (5 card) hand. Because all cards are dealt at once and you can neither fold nor raise, the singular skill to develop is how to best split your hand. An important strategy is choosing the right table at which to bet; choose well and you have the power to increase your bankroll significantly.
Read more on Pai Gow Poker Strategy
Free casino games are one of several advantages to betting online versus in land casinos. Free games allow new players to practice and familiarize themselves, in a risk-free environment, with game rules and bet types. Seasoned players can tighten their strategy and test new tips and techniques. Gambling City’s free Pai Gow Poker game in flash lets you practice with no download required.
Odds & Probabilities
Because it’s relatively new to most gambling fans, few handbooks on game probabilities exist. That doesn’t mean there are no odds to consider. In fact, Pai Gow Poker bets, odds and payouts are quantifiable and unchanging, thanks to the games structure. Gambling City provides you the information you need to measure your chances of receiving and winning with each possible hand.
Read more on Pai Gow Poker Odds
The game is fun, but few know how to bet and win. Most new players, and even a few seasoned veterans, create hands as if they were gambling in any other poker game. This strategy is, as several losing game histories prove, destined to fail. A few simple Pai Gow Poker tips can remedy this. Here, a quick list of dos and don’ts.
Read more Pai Gow Poker Tips
Origins of the Game
The roots of this game are tied to the ancient Chinese game, Pai Gow, which translates to “make nine”. Originally played with dominos, the game was symbolic and quite difficult to master. Conversely, Pai Gow Poker is fairly easy to learn, which perhaps accounts for its quick proliferation after being introduced to Vegas casinos in 1987.
Glossary—Terms and Definitions
Standard poker and Pai Gow Poker share a few common terms. But once you get past the basics, much of the language changes. Read the game’s glossary before taking a seat at the table, and stay focused on what’s important—your cards. You’ve got to talk the talk before you can walk the walk.
Though not nearly as popular as Omaha Hi-Lo, another two-hand poker game, Pai Gow Poker has become a cult favorite in both brick and mortar and online casinos.
Its deck includes a joker, for a total of 53 cards. Seven cards are distributed to each of six potential players and a banker within a single, initial deal. Each participant then constructs his best front (2 card) and back (5 card) hands, in the hopes of emerging the winner.
Standard hand valuations apply, with the exception of A234. Here, it is the second highest straight. Each player has the chance to be the banker, a unique stipulation that provides an opportunity to increase one’s bankroll significantly. Ties are awarded to the banker and penalties are issued to those whose low hand outranks their high hand.
The challenge is in knowing how to put together the most competitive hand combinations.
Because of the time it takes to analyze and construct hands, this unique poker variation tends to have a somewhat slower game pace than other card games, a fact that permits participants with more modest bankrolls to spend less and stay longer at the tables.