How to play Pai Gow Poker?

How to play Pai Gow Poker?


Pai Gow poker is well known for giving a low edge to the house. This, as well as the simplicity of the rules, is causing more and more players to try this game. Want to learn how to play Pai Gow Poker? If so, we’ll explain everything you need to know!

What is Pai Gow?

This is one type of poker where your main aim is to get two winning hands. You will have five cards on the first hand and two cards on the other. Here your opponent will be the house represented by the dealer.

How do I play Pai Gow poker?

  1. The dealer will deal you cards, which you must divide into two hands.
  2. These cards will have the same value as regular poker cards.
  3. Your main goal is to get the best combination in both hands.
  4. The winner is whoever has the best possible combination in both hands.

Rules of pai gow poker

Pai Gow Poker is an excellent option for casino games. It’s particularly suitable for those players who are more of a slow-paced game. Here you play with a deck of 52 cards plus a joker, and the rules of the game incorporate practices from Chinese Pai Gow and classic Poker. Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s why we want to explain how to play Pai Gow Poker.

Pay attention to these steps:

  1. Once you have clicked on the game and it has loaded, you will need to set your bet in the relevant section of the screen.
  2. Once you have finished, you will need to press the “deal” button, which will appear on the screen. You will then be dealt 7 cards from the shoe. The dealer is also dealt 7 cards to form his hand.
  3. Once you have looked at your cards, you will be able to arrange them into two hands, called ‘backs’ and ‘forwards.’ You can do this by clicking on the cards you want to sort. There’s just one golden rule that must not be forgotten: a five-card hand should ALWAYS be better than a two-card hand. For example, you get Ace, Ace, Joker, 2, 2, 8, 6. You then sort them as follows: Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, 8-6 on the backhand; 2-2 on the front hand.
  4. For more information on the ranking, we highly recommend the Pai Gow Rules column, which delves deep into the intricacies of this game. Once both hands are formed, and you’ve pressed the Split button, there’s no going back. Your cards are effectively split into two hands. If you’re not sure how to arrange your cards, you can always use the ‘House Way’ option, which will sort the cards for you with the combinations the system thinks are best.
  5. At the end of the game, both hands are compared with the dealer’s hands.

If both hands are better than the dealer’s, the outcome will be in your favor, and he will walk away with the prize.

However, if both hands are worse than the dealer’s, you’ll lose your bet.

Finally, if only one hand is better than the dealer’s, it will be considered a flop. In this case, you win nothing.

Pai Gow strategy

Applying a strategy within a casino game can increase your chances of winning. Like blackjack, Pai Gow poker allows you to use some skills while playing. If you play it right, you can reduce the house’s profits by 2.84%. In short, this game is all about card sorting. So keep that in mind and follow these simple rules:

  • If you have no pairs, straight or flush, you should play the highest cards in your first hand or five-card hand.
  • If there is a pair among the 7 cards you received, it’s a good idea to put that pair on the backhand.
  • If you have two pairs, you should put the lowest pair in your front hand and the highest pair in your backhand.
  • If you have three pairs, you should always put the highest pair in your front hand and the two lowest pairs in your backhand.
  • If you get a joker, you can always use it to complete a straight or form a pair.

Explaining the difference between classic poker and pai gow poker

Pai Gow poker evolved from the well-known classic PokerPoker. Although the two games have similarities, some differences set them apart in terms of gameplay. They are as follows:

  • Each player receives 7 cards instead of 2 (Texas Hold’em Poker).
  • The deck used in Pai Gow has one joker, not two as in classic PokerPoker.
  • In Pai Gow, you will be asked to shuffle your first hand into two poker hands: a front and backhand.
  • No bluffing is allowed in this game.
  • Players play one-on-one with the dealer.
  • The top-hand rankings are slightly different (although similar in many ways).

How to shape your arms

Probably one of the most confusing questions for players is how to form the best possible hand to win this game at a relaxed pace. Two questions that often arise in a player’s mind are, “Which hand should be better, the front hand or the backhand? The golden rule is that your 5-card hand, i.e., the backhand, should always be higher than the front hand.

The first hand in Pai-Go poker

The best hand you can have consisted of two pairs of aces or two cards that don’t allow a flush. However, if you don’t have a pair to put in your front hand, you can also form a hand with one high card and another card. In the first hand, or your two-card hand, a pair of aces is crazy. The second best hand is K-K, then Q-Q, and so on to 2-2. A-K is the best-unpaired hand, followed by A-Q, A-J, and so on until you reach A-2.

Bottom hand in pai gow poker

If you’ve played Pai Gow poker before, you may have noticed that the backhand, or five-card stud, has the same hand rating as other varieties of PokerPoker (Texas Hold’em or another five-card stud or higher). The only difference is that the wheel – a straight from ace to five – is considered the best Straight (or “Straight” as you’ll find it in many games). Consequently, the best Straights are:

  • A-K-Q-Q-J-T
  • 5-4-3-2-A
  • K-Q-J-J-T-9

Pai Gow is often played with a regular deck of 52 cards plus a joker. The joker is semi-wild and can be used to complete the straight and the flush. If neither is available, it becomes an ace. Hence, having 5 aces is a (rare) possibility and is the best possible hand in Pai Gow. Otherwise, the ranking of the other hands should look familiar.

If you’re still not sure how to rank your cards, use the house method. By hitting the House Way button, you arrange your two hands in the way you think the house would be most advantageous. This is very handy for players who haven’t played Pai Gow Poker many times. However, forming your hands in Pai Gow Poker is part of the excitement of the game, so it might be more beneficial to do it yourself! Still not sure how to form a hand?

House edge in pai gow poker

One of the advantages of learning how to play Pai Gow Poker over other games is that in PGP, you will get a significantly low house-edge, which will drop even further if you learn the game. Typically in casinos, the house edge is around 2.9% (although it can vary from site to site). Although it’s pretty low, you can reduce it even further with a strategy.

Payouts and commissions at Pai Gow Poker

If you play Pai Gow poker and fortune is on your side, you’ll be glad to know that payouts are 1:1. However, 5% of your total winnings are usually deducted as a commission to the establishment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *