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How to Play Pai Gow




It is no surprise that players want to know how to play pai gow. The game is different from regular poker. Created in the mid-1980’s by Sam Torosian, pai gow poker has become widely popular at both land-based and online casinos.

Play Pai Gow Poker

The whole point of pai gow poker is to make two poker hands using one two card hand and one five-card hand. You win the game if your hands beat the dealer’s two poker hands.

To effectively play and win the game you need to know the outcome. So, our team is here to help you with that. A push is when only one of your hands win and if two of your hands lose you will lose your bet.

Once we have taken you through the rules and basics of playing pai gow, you will realise that the game is quick and simple to learn especially beginner players. The game is also perfect for anyone who plays poker and offers a fun and thrilling experience.

In this detailed guide, we will show you how the hands are dealt as well as an essential Pai Gow how-to. However, before you can start placing real money bets, you need to visit the best online casinos in the UK that offer free pai gow games. You can use this guide to help you maximize your chances of winning the game.

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How to Play Pai Gow and Win

As we have already noted, this Americanized version poker is a game of pushes. To win the game you have to make two hands. This game uses a standard deck of 52 cards and one joker. There is a total of six players that will sit on the table as well as the dealer. Below, our experts share a detailed step-by-step of playing pai gow poker.

  1. Much like any other casino game, the game of pai gow poker starts when a player places a bet before they are dealt any cards.
  2. Players need to split their seven cards into either a five-card hand or a two-card hand. The two-card hand is the small, front or low hand while the five-card hand is regarded as the big, high or back hand.
  3. If the high hand does not beat the low hand you will lose your bet.
  4. When you play pai gow online, you play against the dealer and not other players unlike at land-based casinos.
  5. Once your cards have been set, the dealer will reveal the banker’s hand. This game has only three outcomes, either the player and the dealer win both hands or the dealer wins one hand while the player wins the other. If the player wins the other hand, it is called a push. There are no money exchanges if it’s a push.
  6. The dealer wins the hand if they share the same hand with the player.
Pai Gow Poker How To

Dealing Method

The deal method in how to play pai gow poker is quite interesting.  Once the cards have been shuffled, the dealer will place them into a face-down piles that consists of seven cards. Each player gets a card as well as the dealer.  There will be four unused extra cards placed in the muck or the discard.

The seats are numbered one to seven starting with the banker as the first. To figure out who gets cards dealt to them first, a number is randomly chosen and the dealer will hand out the cards in a counter-clockwise direction.

The cards are placed face down and each player can then set their two pai gow hands after the dealer realizes any unused hands.

Also known as double-hand poker, this variant of poker allows a side bet on a 7 card pai gow (no hand).

Poker House Edge

The house edge of Pai Gow usually ranges between 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent. This is higher than most casino games. The bet will payout 1:1 excluding a 5 percent commission if the player wins both hands. Regarding the push, the player will get their bet back. It is important that you use a full-proof pai gow strategy if you want to lower the house edge to 2.5 percent.

Pai Gow Poker Hand

If you want to know how to play pai gow it is only possible to make high and pair cards for the two-card hand. A standard poker hand ranking applies for the five-card hand. The five-card hand needs to outranks the two-card hand. For instance, the five-card hand needs to be better than two-pair if the two-card hand has a pair of aces.

Additionally, the joker can be used to complete only a straight or a flush. If none of the mentioned situations apply, then the joker has to be an ace.

It should be noted that these rules might differ depending on the casino you choose. You will find that some gambling sites have rules that differ when it comes to the joker. However, there are more commonalities.

It is called a non-hand or a pai gow if a player cannot make a pair or better with their cards. Moreover, Pai Gow has a number of side bets that are used to characterize pai gow variants. The side bets take away or add from the initial bet on the hand. In addition to that, the side bets are basically players betting a bit more on the hand they hope to receive. Popular side bets include:

  • Emperors Challenge
  • Pai Gow Mania
  • Fortune Pai Gow