Pai Gow Online Guide
Ready to try your hands at the ever popular Pai Gow? We’ve found a fantastic list of online casinos for Pai Gow which will undoubtedly tick all the right boxes for you, and allow you to enjoy the game to your heart’s content. Regardless of which of these top-notch casinos you choose, you’ll be rewarded with generous bonuses and flawless gameplay. If it’s your first time playing Pai Gow, make sure you read the rest of this guide to get a firm grasp on the game as well as some inside tips to increase your chance at winning!
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Online Pai Gow Rules
Pai gow uses a full deck of 52 playing cards in addition to one joker, which is wild, but only as an ace or to complete a straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush.
For many players who are new to poker, online pai gow can be quite daunting in terms of rank of hands. It is the same as in stud or Texas hold’em and hands are ranked in the following order:
- High card
- One pair
- Two pairs
- Three of a kind
- Full house
- Four of a kind
- Straight flush
- Royal flush
- Five of a kind (with a joker as an ace)
In pai gow poker online you are dealt seven cards and must make two hands, one with five cards and one with two. The five-card hand has to be ranked better than the two-card hand.
So, you will place a bet, be dealt your seven cards and then decide how to arrange them in a five and a two-card hand to give you the best chance of winning. The dealer will then play their hand. They are bound by rules to split and play their hand in a certain way which is known as the House Way.
Whether you’re at a real casino or playing pai gow online you will always see the House Way being used. All winning bets are then paid by the dealer. The difference with online pai gow and land-based casino pai gow is that online it’s just you and the dealer whereas in an actual casino it is a multi player game.
How to Play Pai Gow Online
In order to win at online pai gow you must beat the dealer. This is standard in most forms of online poker, but the difference here is that you have two hands and you must win with both. Having one hand that beats the dealer is a push and your stake is returned. Losing both hands is a loss and your stake is retained by the house.
The trick to playing a great game of pai gow is the effective way in which you arrange your cards. The five-card hand has to be better than the two-card hand, so it can take a lot of thinking and strategic decision before you can come up with the best possible solution.
Luckily for novice players there is generally a ‘House Way’ button in online pai gow and you can have the game software arrange your cards for you. This is the same way in which the dealer’s cards will be arranged so neither you nor the dealer is at an advantage or disadvantage and it comes down purely to who has been dealt the best seven cards. The casino takes a 5% cut of winnings so all winning hands are paid at 95:100 or 19:20.
Online Pai Gow Tips
More experienced players will not use the House Way to determine how they arrange both of their hands in pai gow poker online, but will instead employ a strategy that would give them the highest chance of winning. It is possible without even a single pair among your seven cards to win both hands as it’s possible to lose if you’re dealt four of a kind, but using strategy can turn things in your favor.
For instance, if you have four aces the temptation will be to play them all in your five-card hand, but chances of winning can be increased by playing a three of a kind and using the ace as a high card in your other hand. The dealer will then need two pairs at least to force a push and that only happens 23% of the time in pai gow poker online.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The low hand (or front hand) is the two card hand and the high hand (or back hand) is the five card hand.
Yes, many casinos have a free practice mode to help you learn the ropes.
Winning hands are paid at 19:20 so it depends how much you stake.