Pai Gow Poker Game

The Game of Pai Gow

The Game of Pai Gow

The Pai Gow Poker game that is played in U.S. casinos (both land-based and online) is a variation of the popular Pai Gow game played in China. It uses playing cards in the place of dominoes since the card values are more intuitive to western gamblers. Beginners often have the impression that the game is difficult to understand and even more difficult to play.

The truth is, the game of Pai Gow Poker is simple (not to mention fun).

We’ll take you on a tour through the game below and offer a free Pai Gow Poker game you can play right now and test your luck. This entire site is dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know about Pai Gow Poker so you can start playing the game like a professional. Consider this page a primer. The game is easy to learn the basics but not quite as simple as a game like the let it ride poker game which is a really easy to learn.

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You can play for free at both of our recommended online paigow sites, Bovada and Ignition casino. Just visit the site above and go to the table games section to try the games out 100% no risk and free of charge. Real money is available if and when you are ready to try (if ever!).

Playing Pai Gow – New Players Best Guide

  • We’ll cover the rules.
  • Offer a few basic strategy pai gow tips that you can use immediately.
  • Describe the house edge and hand probabilities.
  • Lastly, we’ll point you to one of our favorite online casinos at which to play Pai Gow Poker online.

Play Pai Gow Game Here

Play for real money at the Bovada Casino. Free play available as well.

An Overview Of Pai Gow Poker Game Rules

  • Pai Gow Poker uses a single standard deck (52 cards) along with a joker.
  • After you choose the amount you want to wager, you’ll receive seven cards facing upward.
  • The dealer receives seven cards facing downward.
  • Your job is to split your 7-card hand into two separate hands – one consisting of five cards and the other, two cards.
  • The dealer will do the same.
  • Your 5-card hand must outrank your 2-card hand.
  • The values of your two hands are compared to the values of the dealer’s two hands.
  • If you win one hand, but lose the other, it’s considered a push.
  • Losing both hands results in losing your bet, of course.
  • Winning both hands results in being paid 1:1 on your bet. However, the house takes a 5% commission whenever you win both hands.

Your goal is to split your original 7-card hand in a way that maximizes your chances of beating both of the dealer’s hands and making you a winner in Pai Gow Poker.

The joker can be used to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush. If it cannot complete any of those hands, it counts as an Ace.

Basic Strategy For The Pai Gow Poker Game

When you’re playing Pai Gow Poker online, everything depends upon how you split your 7-card hand. If you were to run hundreds of thousands of iterations through a statistical model, you could come up with an optimal strategy that reduces the house edge as low as possible. Nobody plays that way. It takes too long.

Having said that, if you follow a few relatively simple Pai Gow Poker Game guidelines, you’ll shave the house edge as close to 2.66% (the lowest edge for Pai Gow Poker) as possible.

If your hand only has a single pair, you must keep it in your 5-card hand. If you have two pairs, split them and keep the higher pair in your 5-card hand. If you have three pairs, put the highest pair into your 2-card hand. A three of a kind should be kept intact, and a full house should be split with the pair going to your 2-card hand.

If you’re lucky enough to have a straight, flush, or straight flush, keep them intact unless you’re holding two pairs. If you have two pairs, place the lower-ranking pair in your 2-card hand.

We’ll dig more deeply into Pai Gow Poker strategy elsewhere on this site. The above tips will help you get started playing like a pro. If you are looking for something a bit different then consider checking out the up and coming online game called penny auctions where you compete with other in a pay per bid auction trying to convince the others to stop bidding.

Pai Gow Poker Hand Odds

The strategy described above is based on the probabilities of making specific 7-card hands. The following probabilities dictate seemingly odd strategic moves, such as breaking a straight flush to split two pairs:

  • 5 Aces (including the joker): 0.0000073
  • Straight flush,
  • Royal flush: 0.0013686
  • 4 of a kind: 0.0019947
  • Full house: 0.0271730
  • Flush: 0.0400413
  • Straight: 0.0728935
  • 3 of a kind: 0.0484659
  • 2 pair: 0.2306546
  • Pair: 0.4166386

The Best Online Casino To Enjoy a Game of Pai Gow Poker

We have been playing Pai Gow Poker at Bodog Casino for years and have always been impressed with the experience. You can enjoy the game directly through your browser, or you can download Bodog’s software. Plus, Bodog’s customer support is always responsive and their bonus structure is appealing. When you register your account, you’ll receive an instant 10% sign-up bonus on your first deposit; the bonus has a 15x playthrough requirement.

If you are not already a customer, visit Bodog Casino today. You’ll find that their online playing environment is a fantastic way to learn how to play Pai Gow Poker.