Pai Gow Poker is a unique form of poker-playing… as it doesn’t require you to play against other players!
A popular variation of the Chinese domino game ‘Pai Gow’, Pai Gow Poker is known as a safe game, due to the low casino edge, and high rate of pushes, or ties, meaning your balance doesn’t get eaten up.
Using a 53-card deck (there’s a joker), the aim is to beat the dealers hand, and get paid out accordingly!
How To Play
You begin by making an initial wager – after this had been made, you’ll be given 7 cards, which you use to make two separate poker hands.
The highest-scoring 5 cards must be placed together, in the ‘high cards’ section, while the two lowest cards must be placed in the ‘low cards’ section – this is done automatically online, so you don’t need to worry about this too much!
Your 5 cards are now known as your five-card-hand, and the low, as your low-card-hand.
The goal is for you to beat both the dealer’s hands, thus winning you the most money!
Your two card hand can only make up two types of hands – high cards, and a pair.
If you have a pair, you’re in a very good position, and of course, a pair of aces can’t be beaten.
High-card implies the highest cards – so for example, if you held an ace and a King, and the dealer held an ace and a Queen, you would win, as your high card is ace-king, while his is ace-queen.
The five-card hands follow normal poker rankings, listed below:
- Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, all of the same suit.
- Straight Flush – 5 cards in consecutive order, all of the same suit.
- Four-Of-A-Kind – Four kinds of the same value.
- Full House – Three-of-a-kind, and a pair.
- Flush – 5 cards all of the same suit.
- Straight – 5 cards in consecutive order, unsuited.
- Three-of-a-kind – Three cards of the same value.
- Two-Pair – Two different pairs – For example, a pair of 4s, and a pair of 10s.
- One Pair – One singular pair.
- High Card – The highest card.
It’s worth noting that the joker can be used instead of an ace, in a two-card hand, and as ‘whatever is needed’ in the 5-card hand.
If you’re dealt 7 cards and you don’t have a pair or higher, you then should place your second and third highest cards in the ‘low-card’ pile.
If you receive two lots of pairs, you have a few options. You can either use the highest pair in your highest hand, and put the low pair in the low hand, or you can put the two pairs together in the 5-card hand and play a two-pair as your main 5-card hand.
The best case scenario when it comes to pairs, is when you’re lucky enough to get 3 pairs. While this won’t generate huge payouts, it does give you an easy decision, and here, you should put the highest pair you have as your ‘low hand’, and the other two pairs in your 5-card hand.
If you’re dealt three of a kind, they should always be made part of the 5-card hand. A two card hand of high cards from the remaining cards should be at the front. If you have three aces though, you should use one ace in your low hand, and place the pair of aces in the high hand.
All winning bets are paid out at 1/1, which might not sound much, but it’s the bonus bets that really offer you the chance to win.
While it’s impossible to give exact figures, as every casino sets different structures, typically, the highest hands like the Royal Flush can end up paying hundreds, if not thousands of pounds… and sometimes – especially if the casino has a jackpot – it can reach many times that!
That’s a very simple introduction to Pai Gow Poker – the game can be a bit confusing at first, and take a bit of getting used to…
But that said, it can be a very rewarding game to play, and playing online adds a big benefit, because you don’t have to wait around for other players to figure out what they’re doing!
So go ahead…
Click below to start playing today, and see what your 7 cards hold!