Guide to Online Pai Gow Poker


With our Pai Gow Poker guide you can find sanctioned casinos where you can play Pai Gow Poker online and practice your skills. Pai Gow Poker is a form of online poker that uses a regular, 52 card deck, but unlike traditional poker it also uses the Joker card which means that the total number of cards that are played in any given game are a minimum of 53.

How to play online Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker GuidePai Gow Poker is a newer version of the traditional game of poker that was created back in 1985. The game of Pai Gow on its own is an ancient Chinese game that involves Dominoes. That game was merged with poker to form this new strategic card game, where the goal of the game is to beat the dealer rather than beat the other players. The original ancient game of Pai Gow is very similar in form but the difference with Pai Gow Poker being that physical cards are used. With this variant of Poker 6 players can play at once.

Given that there is a joker, that joker card is considered a wildcard in regular poker but that is not the case here, which means you can only play the Joker as an ace unless you are using it to complete a flush or a straight. With a real money casino, you can improve your skills by practicing at tables with low minimums until you get into the swing of things. After you try the free demo versions, you can make your way to a live casino and start playing online.

Best Pai Gow Poker Casinos - June 2024


Online Pai Gow Poker Rules

Unlike regular poker games, for each round you play with pai gow poker online you play two hands, which will be explained in this Pai Gow Poker beginners guide. This makes it sound a bit more challenging and complicated compared to traditional poker which is why it's important to play regularly so that you can familiarize yourself with the speed of the game and then start to integrate better strategies the more advanced you become. The game itself is very easy and fun to play and it relies upon traditional poker hand rankings in order to determine whether you or the dealer have the better hand. There is one key exception with this variant of Poker. If you get a straight using an ace through 5 that is considered the second highest rate you are able to win. This is referred to as a wheel.

Starting Rounds with Online Pai Gow Poker for Fun

When you start a new round, you have to place your bet online after which the dealer provide you with 7 cards. The dealer gets 7 cards as well since you are playing against the dealer. With virtual settings the dealer will typically roll the dice after everyone has placed their initial bet and then give the cards out in a clockwise fashion based on the results but you probably won't notice this happening when you play online and it's really not going to impact the way the game works at all.

When you get your cards, you have to make two hands. The first hand should have five cards and the second hand should have two cards. The hand you make with five cards have to be better than the hand you make with two cards. It's not considered cheating if your two card hand ends up worth more, but it is considered a foul and you will have to forfeit the game.

The house edge on average for pai poker is about 2.73%. Remember that when you play, you are only playing against the dealer not all the other players, so it doesn't matter what the other virtual players have. When you play online pai gow poker you might play a live dealer game, a game with multiple other players online, or a game where you are only playing against the dealer. This means you may or may not see other hands on the table but again, since you are only playing against the dealer don't let this confuse you. Realistically you only need to see what the dealer gets and what you get.

Once everyone puts their hands down you figure out who won by comparing your hands to the hands of the dealer. Your goal when you play is to have your two card hand and or 5 Card hand be better than the dealer. If only one of your hands ends up better than the dealer that's considered a tie. In the event of a tie you just get back the amount that you bet. If you win with both hands, you walk away much richer. 

Pai Gow Poker Terms

Five-card hands are typically referred to as a big hand, High hand, behind hand, or bottom hands. The two cards set has nickname such as front hand, small hand, low hand, Top Hand, or minor hand. So, if you see any of these terms being used you now know which one refers to the five-card hand and which refers to the two card hand.

Your best 2 card hand is a pair of Aces, followed by a pair of Kings, a pair of Queens, a pair of Jacks, and so on, all the way down to a pair of twos which is referred to as a pair of deuces. Once you have arranged your pairs and your big hand you want to put the smaller hand in front of the larger hand on your virtual table.

Now that you know the basics of Pai Gow Poker it's time to start playing with this online guide as your helper.

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