Pai Gow poker is an online casino game originating in the Far East, and it's growing in popularity in USA too. Many online gambling sites offer the game now, and our reviews team has put a shortlist together of the best options for United States gamers. Between offering sharp, fast gameplay and tight banking and security, you are sure to make the most of your Pai Gow game.
Any of our online casino choices will offer:
As with many other internet betting games, it doesn't take too long to learn how to play Pai Gow poker, and to help you get started, we've put together a list of the free games available. With our reviews and tips, you'll start playing for real cash in no time at all.
While the original Pai Gow games in Asia used dominoes, the modern game uses cards instead and is popular around the world.
Pai Gow poker online casino games use a 52-card deck as well as a joker, with up to six players plus the dealer being dealt a seven-card hand. When playing Pai Gow poker for real cash the aim is to create two poker hands from your seven cards that are better than those of the 'banker'.
The banker is sometimes the casino dealer, and sometimes one of the other real cash Pai Gow poker players. The two hands in a game are a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Hand rankings in real money Pai Gow poker are almost the same as in regular poker, except that the joker means five aces is the best possible hand.
The five-card hand in real money Pai Gow poker must be higher than the two-card hand, and to win, both your hands must beat the dealer's corresponding hands (i.e. your five-card hand must be better than his five-card hand and your two-card hand must be better than his two-card hand).
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If you are dealt the joker in a Pai Gow poker game it can be used to complete a five-card hand such as a straight or a full-house, but in a two-card hand it usually becomes an ace. However in certain cases a Pai Gow poker casino online will deem jokers 'wild' even in a two-card hand.
Some online gambling sites will also offer variants such as Pai Gow poker Mania, which offers two side bets, or other variants. However, playing Pai Gow poker for real money our reviewed sites will put you on track to learn this casino game in its purest form.
Similar to standard poker games, a Pai Gow poker online casino makes a profit by taking a small commission or 'rake' on wins. This allows a casino online to structure the game so that if a player has both hands better than those of the dealer then they are paid 1:1.
This should give you a guide on how to win at Pai Gow poker, but what happens when your hand is the same as the dealer's or one hand is better and one worse Real cash Pai Gow poker rules usually state that when you have the same hand as the dealer then he wins, but when you have a better five-card hand and a worse two-card hand (or vice versa) then a casino will deem it a 'push', meaning your betting amount is returned to you.
The aforementioned 'copy' rule in Pai Gow poker means it is always the best strategy to play as the banker when it is your turn, rather than declining the opportunity. The only time you can't take up this opportunity when playing is if you don't have enough money to cover all bets (i.e. to pay out everyone if they all beat you).
After all that Pai Gow poker advice, if you think you know how to win why not head to one of our recommended internet betting sites and start gambling online right away?
Pretty much every online casino offers Pai Gow Poker. With lots of pushes and a low house edge, it's not exactly the favourite game of online casinos, but huge demand for the game from players on the web means that almost all of them offer it anyway.
The game is easy to learn, but difficult to master, and has gained a reputation as one of the top table games as a result. The creator of the game never patented the game, which means that competing casinos don't have to pay anything to offer the game to players.
The odds of Pai Gow Poker are as close to 50/50 as you'll find in an online casino. Here's how the likelihood of each outcome breaks down, with the figures below showing the probably of the result:
Because a tie - the player and dealer winning one hand each - results in bets being pushed, we can safely ignore it when considering the odds of the game. The game has a house edge of just 1.5%, which is a little more than blackjack and less than that of European roulette.
The game is extremely popular online, not only with players from USA but also all over the world. With roots in the Asian tile game, Pai Gow, it's not surprising that the game is extremely popular with online gamblers in China even though gambling in China is officially illegal.
For Canucks looking to get the hang of understanding winning poker hands, Pai Gow Poker is a great choice. It allows players to do just that, while experiencing the thrill of playing for real money without the immediate risk of huge losses, or requiring that they face off against other players.
Beyond the basics (place a single pair in the five card hand, the highest ranking pair in the five card hand when you have two pair and so on), Pai Gow Poker strategy is about understanding what makes a winning poker hand and making sure you've built the two best hands possible from your cards.
Betting systems–such as doubling your bet with every loss until you win again–aren't quite as dangerous in Pai Gow Poker as in other games, but a run of bad luck can still see you being forced to wager uncomfortably large sums of money on a single hand.
Although the bonus bets might sound appealing, thanks to their high real cash returns, they're actually where the casino makes most of its money in Pai Gow Poker. Bonus bets certainly add to the excitement of the game, but their high house edge means that they just aren't a good bet in the long run.
Provided you're playing at an honest, reputable casino? Absolutely not. Outcomes are determined by random number generators that, aside from the house edge inherent in any game of Pai Gow Poker, are completely fair to both the player and the casino.
Unscrupulous online casinos do pop up from time to time, though you'll never find them being promoted on our site, but regulatory bodies and gaming commissions make sure they're shut down very quickly. Because of the large fines associated with running a fraudulent casino and the high cost of setting up an online casino, this happens far less often than many United Statess think.