Introduction To Pai Gow Poker
If you’ve ever played the oldest Chinese betting game called pai gow, then playing a pai gow poker game is going to be easy since the rules are almost the same. The original pai gow Chinese game uses tiles or dominoes, whereas its pai gow poker version uses a 52-deck card. Since it’s also a poker variation, the gameplay is all about getting the best hands to win the pot. However, instead of playing against other players, you’re playing against the dealer. Luckily, this game guide will help you learn how to beat the dealer.
How To Play Pai Gow Poker
The game starts with placing bets at the centre of the table which is termed as the pot. The game only consists of one bet placed for each round. It isn’t like a typical poker game where bets are placed for each card revealed by the dealer. After the betting round, each player, including the dealer, is dealt with seven cards. From the seven cards received, you now have to form the two highest-ranked poker hands possible.
When all players have finished forming a hand, the cards are revealed and the dealer determines the winner. Whoever has the best poker hands wins the pot. It’s also worth mentioning that aside from the initial bets, this game’s bets can also have an additional side bet. A side bet can help you win the jackpot payout if you were able to form a certain combination. However, it’s not always advisable to place side bets since pai gow poker odds depend on the hands you form.
To win pai gow poker, you’ll be forming two hands from the seven cards: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Both five-card and two-hand cards should beat the two hands of the dealer. If both of your hands are better than the dealer’s, you win the pot. However, if you can only beat one hand of the dealer, you lose the round. In an unlikely case that you have the same hands as the dealer, it is considered a “draw” and the dealer still wins.
- First, all players place a bet.
- Second, the dealer gives seven cards to each player.
- Third, players form a five-card and a two-card hand and reveal them to the dealer.
- Fourth, whoever forms the highest five-card and two-card poker hands wins the pot.
Pai Gow Poker Rules
Whether you’re playing pai gow poker casino or online, you need to know by heart the ten poker hand combinations. The poker hand combinations from highest to lowest rank are Royal Flush (A, K, Q, J, and 10 of the same suit), Straight Flush (five cards of the same suit in sequential order), Four of a Kind (four cards of the same rank), Full House (a pair and a Three of a Kind), Flush (five cards of the same suit), Straight (five cards of any suit in sequential order), Three of a kind (three cards of the same rank), Two Pairs (a hand with two pairs), Pair (two cards of the same rank), and High Card (the highest card when no combination is formed). Once you know the ten combinations, it will help you win and have better pai gow poker odds. One important feature of pai gow poker is the use of a Joker card. Aside from the 52 cards, you can also receive a Joker card, which is used as a wild card to complete any combination.
Pai Gow Poker Strategies
Since a pai gow poker game doesn’t involve bluffing or intimidation, you can expect a simpler strategy. All you need to do is to figure out a way to form two hands that’ll beat the dealer’s two hands. Thus, you can’t put all of your best cards in your five-card hand. You need to make sure your two-card hand is also high enough to beat the dealer. However, as a rule of thumb, your five-card hand should be higher than your two-card hand.
In pai gow poker, you have to distribute your highest cards in your five-card and two-card hands. For instance, if you are dealt Quads or Four of a Kind of Aces, Kings, or Queens, you need to divide these cards that will both benefit your five-card hand and a two-card hand. Thus, you can put two Aces in your five-card hand and another two in your two-card hand. This will assure you that you can beat the dealer’s hands.
- The five-card hand should have a higher rank than your two-card hand.
- Evenly distribute the highest cards you have to both your five-card and two-card hands.
- Don’t put all your best cards in one hand.
Different Types Of Pai Gow Poker
If you love pai gow poker, we recommend trying out its other variations such as Fortune Pai Gow, Emperor’s Challenge, Pai Gow Mania, and many more. The differences of the variations are only minimal as it only varies with side bets and some basic rules. For instance, playing Fortune Pai Gow involves placing side bets, hoping to form certain hand combinations such as Three of a Kind or higher. If you want to place a side bet without needing to form poker hand combinations, then you should try emperor’s challenge. Lastly, for the Mania game, players can place two side bets of their choice. Some players prefer this pai gow poker variation since the chance of getting hand combinations with two side bets is higher.
Tips And Tricks For Pai Gow Poker Beginners:
If you’re a beginner in pai gow poker, we don’t really recommend playing the side bets as the odds of getting specific hand combinations are usually low. For this reason, we suggest staying away from side bets so you don’t lose money. The best way to win in pai gow is to memorise the ten poker hand combinations in order to confidently make the perfect strategy for you. As long as you understand how to form high ranking hands for both five-card and two-card hands, then you’re good to go. Plus, we always recommend having a bankroll and being disciplined enough to stick to the budget.
Glossary Of Terms In The Game
- Bankroll – a budget or amount of money you set for playing.
- Pot – the total amount of bets at the centre of the table.
- Quads – another term for Four of a Kind.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I practice playing pai gow poker?
The best way to practice the game is to try a demo or free version in reputable online casinos. Most online casino games have a free version of the game so you don’t have to spend. However, should you decide to earn and win money, then you can play the paid version.
How will I know an online casino is legitimate?
Before playing with real money to play pai gow poker, check if the online casino is licensed by a reputable organisation. Some of the most well-known gambling organisations are Malta Gaming Authority, The UK Gambling Commission, and the Danish Gambling Authority. You’ll normally find the online casino’s license at the bottom of the site or on the About page.
Is it safe to bet with real money online?
If you’re going to play pai gow poker online, choose an online casino with a license that has garnered good reviews. Once they have a good reputation, it is safe to say that your money is safe. However, we recommend having extra security when it comes to transferring money to your online casino account before playing a pai gow poker game.
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