Pai Gow poker is well known for giving a low edge to the house. It is this, as well as the simplicity of the rules, that 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!
This is one type of poker, where your main aim is to get two winning hands. You will have five cards in the first hand and two cards in the other. Here your opponent will be the house represented by the dealer.
Pai Gow Poker is a great 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 rules 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:
If both hands are better than the dealer’s, the outcome will be in your favour 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.
Applying a strategy within a casino game can definitely 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:
Pai Gow poker evolved from the well-known classic poker. Although the two games have similarities, there are some differences that set them apart in terms of gameplay. They are as follows:
Probably one of the most confusing questions for players is how to form the best possible hand to have a chance of winning 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 back hand? The golden rule is that your 5-card hand, i.e. the back hand, should always be higher than the front hand.
The best hand you can have is one that consists 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.
If you’ve played Pai Gow poker before, you may have noticed that the backhand, or five-card stud, has basically the same hand rating as other varieties of poker (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:
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 useful to do it yourself! Still not sure how to form a hand?
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 quite low, you can reduce it even further with a strategy.
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.