Pai Gow Poker Game Guide

Introduction To Pai Gow Poker

If you know Chinese dominoes or Chinese poker, Pai Gow Poker is considerably comparable to this. Instead of using pai gows or dominoes, the game uses cards. It’s also known as Double Poker Hand since players need to form two hands to win. Unlike classic Poker where you are against other players, in Pai Gow Poker, you are against the banker or the dealer. It is a more relaxed Poker game where you have a sense of camaraderie since everyone’s goal is to beat the banker. To learn more about how the game is played, continue reading our Pai Gow Poker tutorial.

Learn How To Play Pai Gow Poker

To win in a Pai Gow Poker game, you have to beat the dealer by having two winning Poker hands. The players receive seven cards from which a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand are made. The two hands made by the players should beat the dealer’s hands. The Poker hand combinations are similar to a classic Poker game. Before you play this game, you’ll need to learn the 10 Poker hand combinations.

Here’s a quick run down on the 10 Poker hands from highest to lowest rank: Royal Flush (Same suit for the cards Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10), Straight Flush (Same suit of five sequential cards), Four of a Kind (Same rank of four cards like KKKK or 9999), Full House (a combination of a Pair and Three of a kind), Flush (Same suit of any five cards), Straight (any suit five sequential cards), Three of a kind (same rank of three cards), Two-pair (two pairs of cards like 88 or JJ), Pair (same rank of two cards), and High Card (the player with the highest rank of a card when no combination is formed). The hands are the same whether you play Pai Gow Poker online or in casinos. In the beginning, Pai Gow Poker bets are placed before players are given seven cards.

After each player places their bets, the dealer deals seven cards to all players, including the dealer himself. The players arrange their cards to make a 5-card hand and a 2-card hand. After forming two hands, everyone places their cards on the table. The dealer then shows his two hands and compares them to each player. Whoever forms two high hands better than the dealer’s hands beats the dealer. There isn’t much pressure with Pai Gow Poker. With a little practise and experience, you’ll be able to have a basic understanding of how to beat the dealer.

  • Learn the 10 Poker hand combinations.
  • Place a bet at the beginning of the game.
  • The dealer deals seven cards to each player including the dealer himself.
  • Players must form two high hands (5-card and 2-card hands) to beat the dealer’s hands

Rules Of Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is played with a 53-card deck. The deck has a Joker card, which can be used as any type of card. It can become an Ace or any card to help form a Royal Flush, Flush or Straight. The players need to make the best combination to beat the dealer. In creating a combination, the player’s high hand (5-card) must beat their low hand (2-card). The 5-card and 2-card hands should be stronger than the dealer’s two hands to beat the dealer. If only one hand is stronger than the dealer’s hands, it is considered a Draw or a Push. If both the player and the dealer have the same hands, the dealer always wins that round. Pai Gow Poker bets include an optional side bet. Players can place a side bet to win jackpot payouts in case they form certain hand combinations. Since the game evenly distributes the cards, the Pai Gow Poker odds depend on the random distribution of cards and your skill in arranging the best hand possible. It’s also good to know that the game has a house edge of 2.84%. If you’d like to lower the percentage, you need to play as the dealer.

Pai Gow Poker Strategies

Pai Gow Poker strategy isn’t as complicated as a typical Poker game since you won’t really need to make serious betting decisions. You only need to make one bet at the beginning of the game and it all depends on how good you are at arranging your hands. When arranging cards, always remember that your 2-card hand should be weaker than your 5-card hand. However, you’ll need to find a way how to split your cards, in such a way both hands will beat the dealer.

Here are some simple Pai Gow Poker strategies. In case you don’t form any hands, always place the highest cards in your 5-card hand and the second-highest cards in your 2-card hand. If you form a pair, place it in your 5-card hand and place the other highest cards in your 2-card hand instead. If you get two pairs, place the stronger pair in the 5-card hand and the weaker pair in the 2-card hand. If you get a Four of a kind for Jacks, Kings, Queens and Aces, split them as well into two pairs for both your hands.

  • Your 2-card hand must be lower than your 5-card hand.
  • The 5-card hand has the highest cards and the 2-card hand has the second-highest cards.
  • Split your cards in such a way both hands will beat the dealer.

Different Types Of Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker has many variations which are only different because of its side bets. As mentioned, side bets are optional but can make a player’s winnings huge. The better the hand, the more jackpot payout it is if you placed a side bet. You’ll find different Pai Gow Poker side bets in casinos and online such as Emperor’s Challenge, Fortune Pai Gow and Pai Gow Mania. For instance, playing Fortune Pai Gow side bets pays players according to the value of the player’s seven cards. You will see the designated amount in the Fortune Pai Gow paytables. It also has an Envy Bonus which activates when the other player has a better card than you. When players make side bets, players can expect a jackpot payout in some hands including a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Full House, Four of a kind, and Three of a kind.

Tips And Tricks For Pai Gow Poker Beginners:

To increase your chances of winning in Pai Gow Poker, you’ll need to practise enough to get used to forming the best hands. As a beginner, it may take a while to get used to it. If you need help in forming a hand, you can always ask for help from the dealer as they are usually allowed to assist players. As a responsible player, you should know when to stop playing and stick to your bankroll. You need to separate your winnings from your bankroll so you’ll know if you still have a budget to play. It’s always a good feeling coming home knowing you have cash left with you.

Glossary Terms In The Game

  • Bankroll- a player’s budget set aside for placing bets.
  • Banker- the dealer of the game.
  • Ante- the initial bet placed before cards are dealt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I play Pai Gow Poker online for free?

Yes, you can. You can check your favourite online casino as most online casinos have demo or free mode versions of Pai Gow Poker. If you are a beginner, practise playing for free first to make you comfortable and get used to making better hands. Most online casino games are readily accessible via computer or mobile phones, whereas some may ask you to download a certain software to play.

What is Pai Gow Poker’s House Advantage?

Pai Gow Poker has a typical House Edge of 2.84%. The casino usually needs a 5% cut on all winning hands. Plus, the dealer wins Draw or Push hands. You have the chance to bring the House Advantage down if can play as the banker or dealer and we suggest staying away from placing side bets.

Can I consistently profit from Pai Gow Poker?

You can make a profit from a Pai Gow Poker game but not as huge as compared to a classic Poker game such as Texas Hold’em. You won’t necessarily become a professional playing Pai Gow Poker but you can turn the odds to your edge based on your skills. If you want to consistently make a profit, make sure to find a table that will let you become a dealer on every other hand to help lower the house advantage.

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