You can play Pai Gow Poker at brick-and-mortar and virtual casinos alike. The game is played with 53 cards, consisting of a standard 52-card deck plus one joker.
In Pai Gow Poker, a single stake automatically gives the player two hands, and both of those hands must defeat the Dealer’s two hands for the player to win. The game ends in a tie and the player gets his or her money back if either of their hands wins. The stake is lost if both players’ hands are losers.
An Overview of the Origins of Pai Gow Poker
In comparison to more traditional casino games like blackjack and roulette, Pai Gow Poker is a more recent innovation. Sam Torosian, proprietor of the California Bell Club, is credited with inventing it in 1985. It is said to have been influenced by Pai Gow, a Chinese game played with dominoes rather than cards.
Sam had hoped that a patent for his version of Pai Gow Poker would help him save his failing poker club. Unfortunately, he received bad advice and didn’t file for a patent on the idea.
There was a lot of excitement when the game first debuted at the California Bell Club. Since no patent was issued, other casinos were free to offer the same game without paying royalties to the game’s inventor.
Although Sam may not have been paid as much as he deserved for his innovation, the game is a huge success in every other way. Over the past 35 years or so, Pai Gow Poker’s popularity has skyrocketed, and the game is now offered in thousands of casinos throughout the world.
Online Pai Gow Poker Strategy
Although the learning curve for Pai Gow Poker is a bit steeper than that of games like blackjack or roulette, the game can still be mastered in a single sitting. In fact, if you take your time reading the accompanying instructions, you should understand the basics before you ever begin playing.
Pai Gow Poker, like most casino card games, is played on a baize-covered table, with the initial step being to make a wager. You’ll then receive seven cards in a horizontal row, all showing their faces to you. Two groups of five cards and two groups of two cards will be dealt face down to the Dealer.
Second Highest is written in large, bold letters across the top of the table above your horizontal row of playing cards. This is because your second hand requires you to choose two cards from your original hand of seven. Your Highest or initial hand consists of the remaining five cards.
Playing Pai Gow Poker for Victory
After you have formed your second-highest hand by moving two cards from your bottom row of seven to the top row, the dealer will reveal his cards. The five cards in his hand constitute his Highest hand, while the other two form his Second Highest.
Currently, your two hands will be compared to the Dealer’s corresponding hands to determine who has the better hand. The following criteria will determine whether you win, tie, or lose:
You win the game if your highest hand ranks higher than the dealer’s highest hand, and if your second highest hand ranks higher than the dealer’s second highest hand. Even if the payout on your bet will be 1:1, the house will keep 5% of your earnings as their commission.
A tie is declared if one of your hands is equal to or higher than the equivalent hand held by the Dealer. Your wager amount will be refunded in this scenario.
Your wager will be lost if the Dealer’s two matching hands beat both of your hands.
A contest of skill and chance.
Like many other card games, skill and chance are equally important in Pai Gow Poker. You have little control over the cards you are dealt, making it a game of chance; nonetheless, talent is involved in deciding how to divide your initial seven cards into two hands.
Planning out which cards to utilize to make your 2nd Highest hand and which to keep to make your Highest hand can increase your chances of winning.