Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow is a traditional Chinese casino game that is rich in history and cultural significance and is enjoyed throughout the Asian world.

Thanks to globalization and the trade of culture and ideas, Pai Gow has made its way to the Western hemisphere, where we can now enjoy the beautiful game of Pai Gow Poker.

Admittedly, the game has a complex set of rules and has a high entry barrier for new players. However, once you learn the game, it is a great experience to indulge in.

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The Rules Of Pai Gow Online

Pai Gao (牌九), spelled “Pai Gow” in casinos, means “make nine.” The number nine is important to this tile-based game as the maximum number you can make is indeed nine. The traditional version of Pai Gow is played with domino-like tiles rather than cards, which didn’t translate well to a Western demographic, which is why Pai Gow Poker was invented.

Pai Gow Poker is a variation of Pai Gow and Texas Hold ‘Em poker and has a more manageable set of rules than its traditional counterpart. Pai Gow Poker is much easier to translate to an online setting as well, seeing as there are fewer player-on-player and more player-on-dealer interactions.

This article will give you a detailed rundown on all you need to know about both iterations of Pai Gow. If you’re a beginner looking to familiarize yourself with this beautiful game, read on for more information.

How To Play Pai Gow Poker

The rules for Pai Gow and Pai Gow Poker are vastly different, as Pai Gow Poker is merely a loose interpretation of the traditional game. Pai Gow Poker employs a standard 52-card deck with a single Joker card and borrows more rules from the poker side than the Pai Gow side.

If you’re aware of the poker hand rankings, Pai Gow Poker shouldn’t be too difficult to accustom yourself to

Steps To Play Pai Gow At An Online Casino

  1. Place Your Bets and Receive Your Cards

    Take a seat at the virtual table and place how much you want to bet. After your wager has been processed, the dealer will deal seven cards face up to you and seven down to themselves.

  2. The Joker Card

    In Pai Gow Poker, the Joker acts as a filler card and can be plugged into 5-hands such as straights, flushes, straight flushes, or royal flushes.

    If you cannot form any of those hands, then the Joker simply acts as an ace to form pairs.

  3. Sort Your Hand

    Sorting out which hand to present is the meat and potatoes of Pai Gow Poker. The aim of the game is to arrange your seven cards into poker hands – one consisting of five cards and one consisting of two.

    The five-card hand must outrank the two-card hand. In that sense, you cannot arrange your two-card hand to have a pair of aces while you only have a pair of sixes in your five-card hand.

  4. Five and Two Card Hands

    For the five-card hand, the standard rules of poker hand rankings apply.

    The only difference between Pai Gow Poker hand rankings and normal Texas Hold’Em rankings is that the A 2 3 4 5 straight is considered the second-best straight in the game, as opposed to K Q J 10 9.

    For the two card hands, suits don’t matter – you only have to concentrate on whether you have a pair or not. A pair of aces would be the strongest two card hand you can have.

  5. Beat the Dealer

    It goes without saying that you want to be beating the dealer.

    Pai Gow Poker is a much slower game than other casino games, so you can really take your time and deliberate over the best course of action you want to employ for your seven cards.

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Top 3 Online Pai Gow Strategies

Although casino games are largely games of chance, some games have higher RTP (return-to-player) percentages than others. Pai Gow is a low volatility game that requires active participation from the player.

Thus, there are various strategies that you can employ to increase your chance to beat the dealer. Below are some of the best strategies.

  • Split Pairs

    This strategy can be complicated for new players, but the basic gist of splitting is that if you have two pairs (AA + JJ, for example), then you would put the AA in the two-card hand and the JJ in the five-card hand.

    The lower-ranking pair should always go in the five-card hand. Additionally, you should split full houses into trips and a pair. There are certain house rules for splitting cards, but generally, it is up to your discretion unless told otherwise.

  • Bankroll Management

    The best strategy any player can be aware of is managing their money. You can’t play if you don’t have money. Pai Gow Poker is a very slow-paced game with a lot of pushes, so thankfully, you won’t burn through your money that quickly.

    A progressive overload strategy where you incrementally increase your bet sizes upon winning may be a beneficial way to maximize profits. It’s important to play however you want as long as you are comfortable spending that money.

  • Playing The Bonus Bet Smart

    Bonus bets are typically a way for the house to rake in your money. It’s a known trap in the casino world; however, the reward can sometimes outweigh the risks.

    Seasoned players keep a mental note of the number of times the bonus hasn’t been triggered in a row and would strategically place a bonus bet when the timing is right. Of course, this is technically guesswork, but you can estimate when to bet on the bonus just like counting cards.

Pai Gow Poker Payouts

If you get a premium hand in Pai Gow Poker, you have the chance to win big! The table below shows you how much you’re able to win depending on what hand you get.

Hand Payout
7 Card Straight Flush 8,000 to 1
Royal Flush and Royal Match 2,000 to 1
7 Card Straight Flush With Joker 1,000 to 1
5 Aces 400 to 1
Royal Flush 150 to 1
Straight Flush 50 to 1
Four of a Kind 25 to 1
Full House 5 to 1
Flush 4 to 1
Three of a Kind 3 to 1
Straight 2 to 1

Pai Gow Tiles: The Traditional Chinese Game

Pai Gow Tiles (or just Pai Gow) is the traditional, original version of Pai Gow Poker. Although the aim of the game is rather similar where the player must form 2 ranking “hands”, the rules and terms are completely different and can be very foreign to those unfamiliar with Chinese culture.

The game uses 32 tiles which are ranked individually and can form pairs. Players must place their bets before any tiles are dealt. Unlike Pai Gow Poker, the original game of Pai Gow has a completely different ranking system.

Below is a list of the best hands you can get:

  • Gee Joon – domino six (2 white 4 red) & domino three (2 white 1 red)
  • Teen – domino twelve pair (6 white 6 red each)
  • Day – domino two pair (2 red each)
  • Yun – domino eight pair (8 red each)
  • Gor – domino four pair alternate (4 white 1 red each)
  • Mooy – domino ten pure (10 white each)
  • Chong – domino six pair pure (6 white each)
  • Bon – domino four pair pure(4 white each)
  • Foo – domino eleven pair (11 white each)
  • Ping – domino ten pair alternate (6 white 4 red each)
  • Tit – domino seven pair (6 white 1 red each)
  • Look – domino six pair alternate (5 white 1 red each)
Pai Gow Tiles Ranking

Have Fun With Pai Gow Poker & Win!

Play Pai Gow Poker Online & Win

Pai Gow truly is a wonderful game to enjoy if you’re looking for a slow-paced event that requires a bit of mental work. It can be tough to learn the rules at first, but once you get the gist of the game, it’s a lot of fun.

On top of that, the chance to win that 8,000 to 1 payout always looms over your head as a possibility. Due to the low volatility and high RTP of this game, it’s truly a player-oriented game.

Check out our trusted online casinos to find one that hosts Pai Gow Poker games online. What could be better than relaxing in the comfort of your own home and playing some Pai Gow Poker? Not much.

And if you enjoy Poker and Hold’em variations, you can check out the following games: Let It Ride Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and Caribbean Hold’em.