Pai Gow Poker combines the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and standard casino poker. The game is easy to learn and once you have mastered the basics you will start having loads of fun.
As with most forms of casino poker, the aim of the game is to beat the dealer. However, unlike in regular poker, you are not forming one poker hand, you have to form two and beat the dealer twice.
After placing your bet, you will be dealt seven face up cards and the dealer is dealt seven facedown cards. You then need to divide the cards into two hands, a five-card hand called “Highest”, and a two-card hand called “Second Highest”.
The five-card hand makes use of the standard poker hand rankings, except that an A-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. The two-card hand can be either a pair or individual cards. The strongest two-card hand is a pair of aces and the lowest is 2-3.
The great thing about playing Pai Gow Poker online is that you do not have to worry about the division of the cards yourself. You can simply click on the button labelled ‘House Way’ and it will automatically divide your cards into the best possible combination.
If you prefer you can divide the cards yourself. In the game, you will find a series of rules for how you should divide the hands, and by adopting these, you can develop your own strategies. However, if you are a beginner then you may prefer to let the computer decide for you at first until you get a feel for the game.
When you have finished, the dealer’s cards will be revealed. The dealer cannot rearrange their cards, so you have a great advantage over them. If both of the dealer’s hands are stronger than yours, then you lose your bet. If one of the dealer’s hands is stronger, and one weaker, then it is a push and your bet is returned. If both of your hands are stronger then you win even money on your bet minus a 5% bank commission.
Pai Gow Poker can provide hours of fun so try start playing straightaway.