As one of the most popular variations of poker, Pai Gow Poker includes elements from Chinese dominoes and American high card games. With unique rules, it’s a fast-paced game that is easy to learn and is interesting for players of all skill levels, as dragon tiger online game. The following guide will show you how to play the game, including the different hands and their values. Learn more about Pai Gow to become a pro in no time.
History of the game
Pai Gow Poker is a relatively new game, having only been invented in 1985. However, it has quickly become one of the most popular poker variations due to its simple rules and fast pace. The game was created by Sam Torosian, the owner of the Bell Card Club in Gardena, California. Inspired by the Chinese game of Pai Gow, he created a version that would be familiar to American poker players.
The game quickly caught on, and by the 1990s, it could be found in casinos all over the United States. Today, it is still a popular game that can be found in both land-based and online casinos.
Pai Gow Poker is played with a 52-card deck plus one joker. Unlike other poker variations, this game is not played against other players. The game’s object is to beat the dealer’s hand by creating two hands out of your seven cards – a five-card hand and a two-card hand.
The game can be played anywhere from two to seven players. Once everyone has placed bets, the dealer will deal each player seven cards face down. In addition, the dealer will deal themselves six cards and put the seventh card face up. Even though there are not enough players for all seven seats, the dealer will still deal with each seat.
After that, it will be time for each player to evaluate their hand and decide how they want to set up their two poker hands. The five-card hand must be higher than the two-card hand, otherwise known as a “back” or “high” hand. Remember that Aces can count as high or low in this game.
Now the players have set up their hands, it will be the dealer’s turn. The dealer sets up their own two poker hands according to a pre-determined set of rules known as “the house way.” These rules will vary depending on the casino, so it is a good idea to ask the dealer beforehand or check with the house rules.
Once all the hands are set up, it’s time to compare them. If both of a player’s hands lose to the corresponding dealer’s hand, that player loses. If one player’s hand wins while the other loses, it is a push, and no money exchange occurs. And finally, if both of the player’s hands win, that player wins. There are many pushes in Pai Gow Poker, so it’s essential to understand that not every hand will result in a win or loss.
Hand set up
Now after you know the basic rules of Pai Gow Poker, let’s look at the different types of hands and their values. They are as follows:
- High Card. This is the weakest hand, and it consists of any hand that does not have a pair or better.
- One Pair. This hand consists of two cards of the same rank, such as two Aces or Kings.
- Two Pairs. This hand contains two pairs, such as Ace-King and 4-4.
- Three of a Kind. Also known as “trips” or a “set,” this hand contains three cards of the same rank, such as Ace-Ace-Ace.
- Straight. This is a five-card hand in which all the cards are consistent, such as 5-6-7-8-9.
- Flush. This hand contains five cards of the same suit, such as Diamonds 3-6-9-Jack-Queen.
- Full House. Also known as a “boat” or “full boat,” this hand contains three of one rank and two of another, such as Ace-Ace-4-4.
- Four of a Kind. Also known as “quads,” this hand contains four cards of the same rank, such as 9-9-9-9.
- Straight Flush. This is a five-card sequential flush, such as 5-6-7-8-9, all in Hearts.
- Royal Flush. The best hand possible is a Straight Flush that goes from 10 to Ace and is all in the same suit, such as Diamonds Jack–Queen–King–Ace–10.
- Five Aces. It’s very rare, but if a player has five Aces (with or without the joker), it beats everything else.
The joker can be used as an Ace or to complete a Straight, Flush, Royal Flush, or Straight Flush. It cannot be used for anything else.
There are three stages, and they are as follows:
- The Deal. Each player is dealt seven cards face down, while the dealer receives eight cards (seven faces down and one face up). Players then look at their hands and set them into two poker hands.
- The Set Up. Once all the players have set up their hands, it is the dealer’s turn to do so. They will follow pre-determined rules known as “the house way” to set up their two poker hands.
- The Showdown. Once all the hands are set up, it is time to compare them and see who has won. The player with the winning hand or hands will take the pot. If there is a tie, no money exchange will occur.
After the Showdown, the dealer will collect all the cards, shuffle them, and start a new hand. This process will continue until all the players have decided to quit or run out of money.
Pai Gow Poker gives players many betting options, which is why it’s such a popular game. Players can bet on the “ante,” the “bonus,” or both. The ante is a small bet that all players must make before dealing with any cards. The bonus is an optional side bet that usually has a high payout if you hit sure hands (usually three-of-a-kind or better).
Some casinos also offer a “super bonus” or “fortune bonus,” which is an even higher payout side bet. When a player makes a fortune bet, they bet their hand will be a Straight Flush or higher. The super bonus is usually only offered at high-limit tables, and it pays out if the player hits a Straight Flush or higher with specific card combinations. For example, hitting a suited Ace-King-Queen in some casinos pays out a specific bonus.
Also, there is a progressive variation in which a player can make an additional side bet to be eligible for the progressive jackpot. The size of the jackpot will depend on how many people are playing and how much they have bet.
As you can see, this game creates a lot of additional opportunities to hit it big. Also, there are a lot of versions of the game from different developers, so players can always find something new to try.
Basic Pai Gow Poker strategy
A few basic strategies can help you improve your game. One of the most important things to remember is that you should always set up your two poker hands in a way that gives you the best chance to win at least one of them. For example, if you have a pair of 9s as your backhand and nothing else worth noting, it’s usually better to play those 9s in your front hand so they can compete against just two cards.
Another general rule is not to split pairs unless doing so gives you a straight or flush. Otherwise, keeping the pair together will give you an advantage over somebody who didn’t do this superficial level of planning. Of course, following these tips won’t guarantee success every time but understanding how probability works can only help increase your chances of winning in the long run.
The general rule of thumb is that you should only use the joker if doing so creates a better hand. The exception to this rule is if you have a pair of Aces – in that case, play one Ace with the joker and keep the other two by themselves.
One more thing to remember is that the dealer always has an advantage, so don’t expect to win every hand. The best you can do is play smart and reduce the house edge as much as possible.
With these basic strategies in mind, you should be well on your way to success at the Pai Gow Poker table. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the game – that’s what gambling is all about.
Increase your winnings in Pai Gow Poker — top tips
Like all casino games, the house always has an edge. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize that edge and give yourself a better chance of winning:
- Study up on strategy. Winning in this game is about understanding the odds and making good decisions based on those odds. A little research will go a long way in helping you make more informed choices while playing.
- Use bonuses and promotions wisely. Many casinos offer special bonuses for playing Pai Gow Poker, so take advantage of them. These can help offset the inherent house edge and give you a better chance of coming ahead in the long run.
- Manage your bankroll responsibly. Like any gambling game, it’s essential only to bet what you can afford to lose without putting too much burden on your finances. Stick to a budget and don’t go over it, no matter how tempting it may be.
- Quit while you’re ahead. It can be tempting to keep playing when you’re on a winning streak, but Discipline is essential if you want to walk away from the table with money in your pocket. Know when to quit and cash out while you’re still ahead.
- Avoid side bets. While they may seem an excellent way to make some extra money, side bets usually have terrible odds. It’s generally not worth putting your money down on these kinds of bets – you’re better off sticking with the main game.
- Try the game in demo mode first. If you’re unsure how to play or the odds, try playing in demo mode at an online casino before risking any real money. This will allow you to learn the features and get comfortable with the game without worrying about losing your bankroll.
Playing Pai Gow Poker is easy – it’s about understanding the rules and hand values. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to become a pro in no time. This guide has helped you learn everything you need to know about this exciting game.