How To Play Pai Gow Poker

30 Jun 2015       By

Pai Gow poker isn't one of the most well known games, but it is very unique. There are lots of different types of online poker but you won't find anything else like Pai Gow poker on the casino sites. If you'd like to learn play Pai Gow poker, we go over the rules and strategy of this casino style game below.

How To Play Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is an interesting game, which is based on a classic Chinese game called Pai Gow, usually played with tiles. Pai Gow poker bears a resemblance to normal poker online, so knowing how to play normal casino poker is a big advantage.

Hand Rankings

When playing Pai Gow poker on a casino site or bingo site, there is a hand ranking system comparable to normal poker. In ascending order, hand strength ranks as high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, Royal Flush. But, in Pai Gow poker, five of a kind is also allowed. This is because Pai Gow uses a joker and this can be used in a straight or flush, or as an ace.

Front Hands and Back Hand in Pai Gow

When playing Pai Gow at an online casino, you'll be dealt seven cards which will all be used to complete your hand. You'll be creating a two card front hand and a five-card backhand. You can't make straights and flushes on the front hand, so a pair of aces would be best. But one of the main rules in online Pai Gow is that your backhand must be stronger than your front hand as you'll lose the game if your front hand is stronger than the back. For this game, straights that contain an ace are high straights, so A, 2, 3, 4, 5, would be better than 9, T, J, Q, K.

Online and Live Pai Gow Differences

Live Pai Gow Poker

Live Pow Gai is interesting because you're playing against the House and not against other players. At the beginning of the game a cup is slammed onto the table, which contains dice. The dice don't have anything to do with the play, but they decide where the first card is dealt and this can sometimes confuse players new to the game. When the players have set their hands, they are compared to the dealer's hand. If only one of your hands beats the dealer's, it is a push. If the hands are the same, the dealer has the tie. In a live game the casino gets its edge by making the winning player give a five percent commission to the house.

Online Pai Gow Poker

In online Pai Gow Poker on a casino site or the casino games section of a bingo site, you are the only player so you play against the online casino. If you're new to the game or aren't sure of the most optimal way to set your hand you can click on the button marked 'house way'- this will allow the site to set your hand for you and it will always be set in the best way.