Pai Gow poker has taken hold as a casino staple and is still going strong 30 even years later. The player’s goal is to make two poker hands – one 5-card hand and one 2-card hand.
If your two pai gow poker hands beat the dealer’s two poker hands, you win. If one of your hands wins, it’s a push. And if both of your hands lose, you lose your wager. Read on to learn more about the game and what it has in store for you.
Pai gow poker is the American version of pai gow – a Chinese dominoes game. Pai gow poker is less intense than other types of poker and becomes a real joy to play once you grasp the fundamentals. You’ll learn how to play pai gow poker in no time by following our step-by-step guide:
Basics of Pai Gow Poker
Pai gow poker shares a lot of similarities with other poker games but uses a 53-card deck: The standard 52 cards plus the joker. It is played with a dealer and a maximum of 6 punters around the pai gow poker table.
Making the First Move
To play pai gow poker, you need to place a wager according to the table minimum. After all, stakes are made, all players at the table are dealt 7 cards. With these 7 cards, you have to form two poker hands: A 2-card poker hand and a 5-card poker hand.
Understanding Your Hands
5-card hands follow the standard winning of poker hand rules. 2-card hands are pairs and high cards. The best 2-card hand is a pair of Aces, and the worst is a hand with 3, 2. The joker can double up as an Ace or wild card to complete a Flush, Straight, or a Straight Flush.
Playing Your Cards
When creating these two hands from your 7 cards, make sure the 5-card hand has higher cards than the 2-card hand.
Determining the Winner
All players’ hands are judged against the bankers. If both of your hands are better than the bankers, then you’re the winner. If only one of your hands beats the banker’s, that round is considered a draw or push, in which you neither win nor lose.
However, if both of the banker’s hands are better than yours, you lose your wager. You will also lose if you tie with the banker.
Beating the House
The house maintains its advantage in pai gow poker in numerous ways. The house edge for a regular player varies from an average of 2.5% to 2.8%. Part of that edge also comes from players losing a tie to the banker. The rest comes from the commission taken on winning hands.
How We Select the Best Casino Sites for Pai Gow Poker
At mycasinoadviser.com, we comb through the endless choice of websites out there and recommend the ones that only score highly for each of the criteria we’ve listed below.
Bonuses & Promotions – What’s a casino game without an awesome, juicy bonus? Promotions make pai gow poker games and any other casino games more exciting.
Security and Safety – You deserve nothing less than 100% trustworthiness and reliability when you play online pai gow poker. All the casino sites on our list are licensed by a reputable regulator. Also, we check the software, random number generators (RNG), and all the other technical aspects of the casino to ensure everything’s working as it should – and fairly for the player.
Selection of Casino Games – An enjoyable session isn’t only limited to one casino game, so we consider the casino’s game selection too.
Device Optimization – Pai gow poker games that run perfectly on any device are a must. Desktop, tablet, and mobile punters need to be able to play the same pai gow poker game with no problems, regardless of the mobile device they’re using.
We strive for excellent device optimization so you can play pai gow poker wherever and whenever.
Banking Options and Fast Payouts – Money transfers are important when playing pai gow poker and other casino games. We only choose casino sites with a wide range of banking options that guarantee fast payouts.
Customer Support – The way a casino treats its clients is a top priority for mycasinoadviser.com. Multiple channels for support such as email, telephone, live to chat also get brownie points from us.
Pai Gow Poker Online – Free Vs Real Money
Free pai gow poker and real money pai gow poker games are the same in terms of gameplay and rules. However, there are a few differences that are important for you to know.
Free Pai Gow Poker
Zero risk: gambling for free means you don’t have to spend or lose any of your money.
You can gamble at your leisure to get a feel for the game, learn the rules, and practice until you get good at it.
When you play for free, the game lasts for as long as you like.
Testing out free pai gow poker games in loads of different casino sites is feasible if you’re playing for free.
When you’re missing the buzz of the real money casino game but have no cash to spare, you can still get your fix with the free version.
Real Money Pai Gow Poker
Two words: cash wins! You can bag neat winnings when you play with real money.
There’s nothing like the thrill of betting real money on pai gow poker.
Minimum bets are often measly compared to the norm in Vegas or land-based casinos.
Bonuses and promotions are only available for real money pai gow poker.
There’s an element of skill to playing pai gow poker that can only get rewarded when you’re playing with real money.
Pai Gow Poker Hand Rankings
You need to be comfortable with the hand rankings before you can master pai gow poker. Here’s the list of possible hands in order of rank – study it well!
A, K, Q, J, 10 (Hearts)
A hand consisting of 10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit.
5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Spades)
A hand with 5 cards of the same suit in a sequence.