Learn to play Pai Gow Poker

Learn to play Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a variant of poker in which the players have to go up against the banker. Even though it’s played with a standard 53 card deck plus one joker, Pai Gow Poker is based on the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow, which used dominoes as playing pieces.

Each player is dealt seven cards and has to create two poker hands from those cards. They will consist of a five card and a two card hand, called the “big” and “small” hands, respectively. The player can win through several conditions. His big hand must be worth more than his small hand, based on poker values. Each of these hands has to be bigger than the hands belonging to the banker.

The original game of Pai Gow was first developed in China about a century ago. In this original version, upwards of eight players would arrange four tiles into two hands, a small and a big hand. The object was the same as in Pai Gow Poker, beating the banker’s respective hands. Wins would be paid out at 1:1 odds. The process of determining a winner in normal Pai Gow is pretty complex, this being the main reason that this game never caught on among Westerners.

Pai Gow Poker was invented in the 1980’s in the United States in an effort of attracting more Asian players to gambling halls all across America. The game combined Eastern and Western elements in a way that US players enjoyed a lot. It spread from casinos in California to Las Vegas and from there all across America and even overseas. Lately this game is being offered by more and more online casinos as well.

Players have to place a wager before any of the cards are dealt. They then must arrange their cards into a small two card poker hand a big five card poker hand. If both hands are worth more than the banker’s hands, the player then wins. If only one hand is bigger than the banker’s it is a tie and no one wins. The players will lose when both hands are worth less than the banker’s.

Pai Gow Poker fascinates a lot of players because it has both elements of luck and strategy. Players who are experienced with this game have worked out an optimal strategy which is pretty complex. They normally use a table which shows the best hands a player can assemble out of any combination of seven cards. In addition to this players have to keep one thing in mind at all times, their big hand has to be worth more than their small hand, or they will be disqualified.

Of course Pai Gow Poker has its special variants of play which you have to learn if you ever want to try them in a casino. All in all this is a very interesting game which attracts a lot of people who prefer a bit of strategy in their gambling game.


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