Pai Gai Poker

Charles Marsh

Table Of Contents

Marina Club Casino is located in Marina, California United States and is open 2pm until the game breaks (2pm-texas hold'em, 7pm-blackjack, 8pm-pai gow). The Casino has 4 tables. Marksville, United States. Paragon Casino Resort Paragon Casino Resort is located in Marksville, Louisiana United States and is open Daily 24 Hours. Many in the poker community believe that it is essential that the player have some mathematical skills and be able to calculate the house edge and win at Pai Gow Poker. Here are some tips to win at Pai Gow Poker. Understand The Rules And Betting Patterns –This is a standard tip for any poker game, and even more so with Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow Poker is a simplified version of “Pusoy”. This card game is designed for fast-play. Evidently, by the reduction of the number of cards from 13 to 7 for each player. In addition, the number of hands has also been reduced from 3 to 2. Pai Gow is actually an ancient Chinese game of dominos – 32 to be exact – which later got appropriated for poker. It’s no cake walk either, but that doesn’t mean the poker version is difficult. Actually, it’s pretty easy. You just have to learn the fundamentals.

  • Pai Gow Poker is a variant of Poker based on Chinese Pai Gow domino game
  • It’s one of the easiest Poker games to learn and play
  • Learn how to play Pai Gow Poker online and play for free here

Pai Gow Poker might sound Chinese in origin, and it is. But it’s a version of Poker that was developed in the United States.

Pai Gow, the ancient Chinese game of skill and craft, is played with dominoes and is still immensely popular to this day.

Pai Gow Poker, on the other hand, takes place at a Poker table, with a deck of cards.

Developed as a twist in Poker for those who want a bit of variation to their playing style, Pai Gow Poker is a great
card game to play - and you can play it online for free.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why you will love Pai Gow Poker free online Casino game. And a few basic strategy tips that will help you to hit the table and instantly do well.

Pai Gow Poker: the Basics

The game of Pai Gow Poker actually isn’t that old - it was developed by Sam Torosian for the Bell Card Club in 1985.

One of the reasons it became so popular is the social factor.

Pai Gow Poker requires both of a player’s two hands to beat those held by the banker in order for the player to win.

The game can last quite long, with many pushes, and you’re likely to spend a lot of time with your fellow players.

This is good for anyone who plays Poker to enjoy themselves, and to have a nice time with like-minded people.

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Surely, this is why we all play Casino games.

Yes, you might like to play for the money, but ultimately you need anything you play to be enjoyable, otherwise you’re wasting your time playing it.

The house edge of Pai Gow Poker, on average, is rated as between 2.5 and 2.7 percent.

So, whether you are an experienced Poker player or someone looking for a game for a bit of recreational fun, your chances of winning are very reasonable.

Another reason why people like Pai Gow Poker is because, in most versions of the game, all six players are playing against the banker.

This leads to a situation where you and your fellow players are all united by a common goal, and against a common enemy.

When the banker wins, everybody else loses. As a group, you’ll win and lose together on the balance of occasions.

Thanks to this, it’s a lot more social than a conventional game of Poker.

Pai Gow Poker Online Rules

You can end up playing Pai Gow Poker with up to six players and a dealer. Online, it’s just you and the dealer.

In a real-life version of Pai Gow Poker, any player and the dealer can be the banker, but in the online version, it is the dealer who takes this role.

It’s often called a two-hand Poker because that’s exactly what you have when you play.

The banker uses a 53-card deck for a Pai Gow Poker. It consists of the classic 52-card deck, plus a Joker.

The Joker acts as a wild card like in other card games.

Unlike other Poker variants, in Pai Gow Poker, you’re dealt seven cards.

The aim is to use these cards to form two high hands out of it, both beating the dealer's hands.

The usual Poker hand ranking applies - you can win with a high-card hand, Royal Flush-hand, Straight-hand, etc. - you know the drill.

One of these hands should be a five-card hand and the other one a two-card hand.

The five-card hand has to be higher than the two-card hand. Yet, both still have to be the winning hands when they confront the dealer’s hands.

If you get it right, you win.

There are three outcomes of the game:

  • you win when both of your hands beat the banker’s
  • it’s a push when only one of your hands is higher hand than banker’s
  • you lose when neither of your hands is higher than banker’s

The payout for the win is 1 to 1. If the game results in a push, you get your wager back but don’t win anything extra.

Pai Gow Strategy: How to Win at Pai Gow Poker Online

Pai Gow Poker is a great game. Especially, if you follow a strategy that works.

While you can ultimately develop one yourself, there are a few principles you can follow to make your playing experience as profitable as possible.

Here are some Pai Gow Poker strategy tips.

Make a Sensible Bet

At the start of a Pai Gow Poker online game, you’ll have to make a bet.

This is the only bet you need to make, so make sure it’s a good one yet friendly to your bankroll.

On all Casino and Poker games, I always advise you to only bet a small proportion of what you can afford, and this is sensible advice here too.

Remember -

When you’re starting out with Pai Gow Poker, even if the house edge is smaller comparing to some other games, you’ll still find yourself at a competitive disadvantage because of your inexperience.

Balance risk with reward and go for a bet that you can back up in future games too.

Play for Free at First

At some online Casinos, you can practice Pai Gow Poker by playing for free.

This is an ideal thing to do if you haven’t played the game before.

It gives you a chance to get to know how it works and what kinds of hands win. Thus, playing Pai Gow Poker online, free is a really good idea.

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Make the Strongest Possible Hand Across Both Hands

Pai Gow Poker is different in that it gives you two hands to play with. That adds to the variables for you as a player.

Your two-card hand must never outrank your five-card hand.

If it does, that’s a foul and a silly way to lose your money.

However, you can’t win money if only one of your hands is better than the dealer’s.

It’s necessary to balance your hands so that both are reasonably strong. Yet, keeping your five-card hand slightly stronger, as I’ve mentioned before.

Also, make sure to read this article on CasinoSmash to develop an optimal Pai Gow Poker strategy.

Do this and it won’t be long before you start winning.

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So, you’ve seen Pai Gow Poker at the casino and thought it looked neat. You’re not alone! Since the late 1980s, Pai Gow has been featured in a number of American casinos and gambling establishments abroad.

It’s a fairly simple game derived from a dominos game (also called Pai Gow) that involves forming two of the best hands possible from a pool of seven cards. There are no additional draws and no ways to improve your hand. It’s just you versus the dealer in a showdown of hands where anything is possible.

Some might think that the fact there is no ability to draw and no community pool would mean there is little skill in Pai Gow Poker. Actually, the opposite is true, as you have to form two hands that can beat the dealer or come away with nothing.

Sound fun? It is. Let’s look at the game itself and how to make money off of it.

What Is Pai Gow?

A lot casino-goers and gamblers have heard of this poker variant, but probably have never played it and may not know the rules. If so, that’s fine. It’s an easy game to learn, though it can be difficult to master.

Also, it should be noted that “Pai Gow” is really shorthand for “Pai Gow Poker” in this article, because Pai Gow is a dominoes game played in China while Pai Gow Poker is the card equivalent of that game.

Confused so far? Good! This game is played with a standard 52-card deck with an additional joker. The joker is wild and can complete a straight or a flush, or it counts as an ace. It’s not completely wild like in some games.

Pai Gow Poker Odds

In a hand, each player and the dealer are dealt seven cards.

The objective is to make the best hand of five and the best hand of two (note that the hand of five is called the “high hand” as we discuss the game).

“Best” in this case is defined by the typical poker hand ratings. Also, the high hand has to be of a higher rank than the low hand.

Once the players make their high hand and their two-card hand, the dealer assembles her hands and the hands are compared. If the player has a better high hand and two-card hand, they win their bet.

If the dealer has one better hand and one worse hand, the game is a push. Any other result, including ties, go to the dealer. At the end of the day, the casino may ask for a commission from your winnings. The standard commission is 5%.

Other Bets in Pai Gow Poker

There are also some other factors that go into Pai Gow Poker. First, there are a lot of other bets that can be placed to make the game more interesting.

For example, you can make a side bet that you will make a certain type of hand (for instance, a three of a kind or better). You can also make envy bets in which the house pays out based on the seven cards and doesn’t matter if the player wins or loses.

Finally, Pai Gow offers an almost unique betting experience. You can bank in Pai Gow Poker, which means you make a bet that you will beat another player’s hand, not just the dealer’s hand.

Now that you have at least a taste of the game of Pai Gow, let’s talk about how you can win at it. Like games such as online baccarat, it can be somewhat difficult to really win at Pai Gow because it lacks hand improvement via drawing and more skill-based actions like waiting for position, bluffing, or even doubling down.

Still, there are ways you can come out on top in the game. Just follow these tips.

1 – Make a Side Bet

Pai Gai Poker Online

Depending on the game, there are different types and amounts of side bets you can make. Sometimes, you’re betting on a certain hand strength. Other times, you’ll be entering into a progressive jackpot.

You may be able to make a single side bet, other times, you can make two. Check with the rules or your dealer to find your options.

No matter how you make the side bet, it will be paid out in multiples based on the strength of the hand. For instance, a straight pays out 3 to 1, while five aces pays out 250 to 1.

With that said, making side bets in any game is usually fairly risky. The odds always favor the house a lot more than the game you’re playing.

In this case, though, Pai Gow offers you very little else that you can do that will allow you to flex your skills. Therefore, if you’re feeling it, place a side bet.

But don’t go too crazy with your side betting because you will be asked to bet on things that are improbable. The house doesn’t want to pay out a lot of the hard-earned money it has collected, so please remember this tip.

In this case, “not going crazy” means don’t bet too much above the minimum side bet. Also, bet on hands you’re more likely to achieve. You can track if you win or lose your side bets. If you lose more than you win, find another bet to make.

2 – Make an Envy Bet

Envy bets work a lot like side bets except you’re betting that another player at the table will hit a hand of a certain strength. For instance, you might bet that a player will make a straight or a flush. If any other player at the table has a hand of that score, you get an envy bonus, which is a set dollar amount.

Unsurprisingly, the envy payouts are smaller than the side bet payouts. For instance, a four of a kind might pay $5, while five aces might only pay $50 for the first hand.

There are a number of reasons for this, the most obvious being that with more players at the table, there’s a greater chance you will hit the envy bonus. This brings us to the topic of winning with envy bonuses.

First, when you sit to play Pai Gow, you’ll want to find a crowded table. This is an important Pai Fow tip because it increases the odds you’ll hit an envy bonus. Second, the payouts for them aren’t huge, so don’t bet more than the minimum.

Finally, when you’re betting an envy bonus, try to bet hands that someone is more likely to get (a four of a kind or a straight flush). They will pay more than the minimum bet and someone is at least a little likely to get one of those hands.

3 – Deploy Your Joker Wisely

The strange thing about Pai Gow Poker is that you’re making two hands. Therefore, you have two potential places to use your joker. The natural tendency will always be to complete a straight or a flush with your joker, but don’t neglect your two-card hand.

Sometimes, it might be worth having a pair of aces or an ace high just so your small hand isn’t terrible.

A lot of that depends on what else you can put into your high hand. Just don’t make a high hand without thinking about the low.

4 – Be Aggressive

Aggressive is the name of the game in Pai Gow and, in this case, aggressive means presenting the highest value in both your high and your two-card hand.

The house makes money in Pai Gow Poker because you only get paid if you win both the high and the two-card hand outright.

Therefore, you need to win outright. How you do that will vary from hand to hand.

However, don’t get carried away with this tip… meaning don’t fall into the trap when you make a great high hand and a bad two-card hand. Try to find a way to maximize your strength so you can win the game.

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5 – Bank Like Crazy

Banking is the part of Pai Gow when you play against other players. Do it. Especially if you’re playing on real money online casinos.

Unless you’re at a table in which banking makes you out to be the villain (in which case, find a new table), bet against other players as much as you can.

This way, you can earn money from them on top of money from the house.


Pai Gow is a fun casino game with just enough skill to make it exciting, but not so much that beginners feel totally lost.

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As long as you can play aggressively and make enough side bets to keep some extra money rolling in, it can be a lucrative game as well. Sadly, not every casino offers it, but when you find one that does, play it. You will not regret the experience.