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Ben Horlock

Learning how to play Pai Gow Poker might seem like a tedious thing at first, but the game is not filled with complex rules that will bamboozle you. In fact, Pai Gow Poker is quite easy to play, with similar hand rankings to standard poker.

The game does have a different approach in terms of betting and creating your best hands, as you need to put together two hands instead of one. That might seem confusing, but it will all be cleared up when you check out how we break it down for you.

What is Pai Gow Poker? How it Works

With approximately 60 million poker players in the US, there are many versions to choose from, including Pai Gow. It remains a game that blends elements of poker with the traditional Chinese game of Pai Gow. In understanding how to play Pai Gow Poker, there are a few elements you need to grasp first.

Each player and the dealer receive seven cards, which they need to arrange into a five-card “high” hand and a two-card “low” hand. The object of the game is to form two hands that collectively beat the dealer’s hands.

The player wins even money if both hands are victorious, loses their bet if both hands lose, and pushes if one hand wins and the other loses. This variation of poker can also be found in online casinos, where a random number generator ensures that the game is fair. Plus, the Pai Gow Poker rules remain the same for its online counterpart as well.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker Online

How to Play PThe rules for Pai Gow Poker are easy enough to understand but it will help you to see how the game progresses from when you are dealt your cards to when the hand ends. Here is how everything works with a standard round of online Pai Gow Poker. ai Gow Poker Online

  1. Deal and Receive Cards:

    To play Pai Gow Poker, players, including the dealer, are first dealt seven cards each from a standard 52-card deck plus one joker.
    Deal and Receive Cards:
  2. Create High and Low Hands:

    You then arrange the seven cards into a five-card “high” hand and a two-card “low” hand. The high hand has to be better than the low hand.
    Create High and Low Hands:
  3. Comparison with the Dealer:

    Your hands are then compared with the dealer. To win, both the high and low hands must beat the dealer’s hands.
    Comparison with the Dealer:
  4. Winning and Losing:

    If you win both hands, you win the round and receive even money (minus a small casino commission). If one hand wins and the other loses, it’s a push, and you retain your bet. If both hands lose, you lose your bet.
  5. Ties:

    Determine the winning hand in the event of a tie in one hand and a win in the other. Ties with the dealer result in a win for the dealer.
  6. Joker Usage:

    Use the joker as an ace or to complete specific poker hands like a straight, flush, or straight flush.
  7. Strategic Decisions:

    Employ strategic decision-making to set the two hands optimally for a higher chance of both winning against the dealer.
  8. Bonus Bets (Optional):

    Consider participating in optional bonus bets for special hands or combinations, offering additional payout opportunities.
  9. Next Round:

    Repeat the process for the next round.

Setting A Pai Gow Hand

A Pai Gow Poker game has three different hand settings you need to keep in mind. We have touched on the Pai Gow Poker hand rankings, but now, let’s see how to set a Pai Gow Hand.

Player Hands

In Pai Gow Poker, players are dealt seven cards and must arrange them into two hands: a five-card “high” hand and a two-card “low” hand. The high hand follows standard poker hand rankings, while the low hand is a pair or high card.

House Hands

Similar to players, the house (dealer) in Pai Gow Poker must also set two hands using the seven cards dealt. The objective is to create a high hand and a low hand that can beat the corresponding player’s hands. The house’s strategy may vary, but it typically involves following a set of rules known as the “House Way.”

The House Way

The House Way is the predetermined set of Pai Gow game rules or guidelines used by the dealer to arrange their cards in Pai Gow Poker. These rules are established by the casino and may vary slightly between different crypto poker sites. The House Way is used to maximize the house’s chances of winning while maintaining a fair and consistent approach. It dictates how the dealer should set their hands in various situations.

Pai Gow Poker Hand Rankings

You’ll need to grasp the different Pai Gow Poker hands before you truly start playing the game on a casino app. Here are how the various hands in this poker variant are ranked. You’ll notice some differences from the standard forms of poker. It’s important you understand these to know how to play Pai Gow Poker.

Five Aces – A, A, A, A, Joker

Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, all the same suit.

Straight Flush – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, all the same suit.

Four of a Kind – 3, 3, 3, 3 etc

Wild Royal Flush – Joker 10, J, Q, K,

Full House – 7, 7, 7, 9, 9

Flush – 2, 5, 8, 10, Q, all the same suit

Straight – 9, 10, J, Q, K

Three of a Kind – 4, 4, 4 etc

Two Pair – 6, 6, etc

One Pair – Q, Q, etc

High Card – K high etc

Pai Gow Poker Side Bets

There are various side bets one can make in Pai Gow Poker. An instant withdrawal casino will generally (or can) charge a commission per hand, so keep that in mind. Here are the different side bets you can make.

Fortune Pai Gow

This side bet is based on the player’s seven cards and their ability to make a high-value hand. Winning combinations can lead to bonus payouts, with the top prize often awarded for a seven-card straight flush.

Pai Gow Mania

Pai Gow Mania involves placing a side bet on the possibility of the player creating a Pai Gow Mania bonus hand, which is a seven-card straight flush. The Pai Gow bonus poker payout increases with the rarity of the straight flush.

Emperor’s Challenge

Emperor’s Challenge is a side bet where players bet on the strength of their seven-card hand. Winning combinations, such as four-of-a-kind or a straight flush, lead to bonus payouts.

Progressive Fortune Pai Gow

This side bet involves a progressive jackpot that accumulates over time. Players can win a share of the jackpot by achieving specific rare hands, such as a seven-card straight flush or a five-ace hand.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker

Fortune Pai Gow Poker is a popular variant of the traditional Pai Gow Poker that adds an exciting twist with the inclusion of a side bet known as the Fortune Bonus. In this version, players have the opportunity to win bonus payouts based on the strength of their seven-card hand, making it an engaging and potentially lucrative addition to the game.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Pay Table

In Fortune Pai Gow Poker, the pay table outlines the bonus payouts for specific combinations of cards in a player’s seven-card hand. The pay table typically includes various winning scenarios, with the highest payouts awarded for rare hands, like a seven-card straight flush or five aces. Each hand’s bonus amount is determined by the strength of the combination, offering players an additional incentive beyond the standard Pai Gow Poker gameplay.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Bonuses

The Fortune Pai Gow Poker side bet introduces bonuses that players can win in addition to their regular Pai Gow Poker winnings. Common bonuses include payouts for certain types of hands, such as four-of-a-kind, full houses, or other special combinations.

Rank of Hands in Fortune Pai Gow Poker

Understanding the rank of hands in Fortune Pai Gow Poker is key for both regular gameplay and the Fortune Bonus side bet. The rank is typically consistent with traditional poker hand rankings, with variations to accommodate the unique aspects of Pai Gow.

Best Pai Gow Poker Strategies

Using a Pai Gow Poker strategy is a great way to ensure consistent performance with this variation of the game. Once you know the Pai Gow rules, you can start sharpening your skills with a well-thought-out strategy.

Having a strategy is great for Pai Gow Poker for beginners, as it gives them some solid parameters to work with. You could always try demo games or use casino bonuses and promotions to play poker games like Chinese Poker, Caribbean Stud or Mississippi Stud if you are new:

  • Setting a Hand – Multiple Ways: One of the key strategies in Pai Gow Poker is setting your hand as best you can. Given the seven cards dealt, consider different ways to arrange your five-card high hand and two-card low hand. This flexibility allows you to maximize your chances of winning at least one of the hands against the dealer.
  • Guarantee a Push: To avoid losing both the high and low hands, consider arranging your cards to create a strong low hand, even if it means sacrificing some strength in the high hand. This strategy aims to secure a push rather than risk losing both hands to the dealer.
  • Co-Banking with the Dealer: In most of the top crypto casinos, players have the option to co-bank with the dealer, taking turns acting as the banker. Co-banking allows you to capitalize on the slight edge the banker has, potentially reducing the house edge. However, it does come with added responsibilities and risks.
  • Playing the House Way: If you’re unsure about how to set your hands in the best way possible, many online poker instant withdrawal casinos provide a “House Way” option. This is the dealer’s predetermined strategy for setting their hands. While it doesn’t guarantee a win, it offers a consistent approach that can be useful, especially for beginners.

Pai Gow Poker: Questions And Answers

Is playing Pai Gow Poker online legal?

Is Pai Gow Poker easy to learn?

How do you win big at Pai Gow?

What are the odds of winning Pai Gow Poker?

How is Pai Gow Poker different from Fortune Pai Gow Poker?

Ben Horlock

Ben is an experienced news and features writer who specializes in providing expert guides on all aspects of online and in-person gambling. Ben has over ten years experience writing for web-based audiences and has strong expertise in casinos, online cryptocurrency gambling platforms as well as slots and table games. Ben has been published across a number of english international news outlets, including InstantCasinos and BitcoinCasino. As well, Ben has worked in social media for four years in the sports gambling industry.