Pai gow poker is a fun game full of contradictions and paradoxes. The name “pai gow” comes from an ancient Chinese domino game, but the card game is less than thirty years old.
Although players in most poker games play one hand at a time, online pai gow poker players must make two hands from their seven cards. Players must count on luck to beat the dealer, but often rely on skill to make their best hands.
The Gambling Planet Guide to Online Pai Gow Poker will give you many of the tools you’ll need to succeed at this fascinating and complex game of luck, skill and timing.
The Guide offers a brief history lesson, a summary of the rules of the game, and tips on how to win.
A game of online pai gow poker starts, as most casino card games do, with the player placing a bet. Pai gow poker games typically have up to six players, all of whom are competing against the dealer.
Each player receives seven cards from the dealer. Players break up the seven cards into a five-card hand (called the “high” hand) and a two-card hand (called the “low” hand).
The player must make sure that his “high” hand outranks his “low” hand, or he forfeits his bet. For instance, if a player has two pair in his hand, the higher pair must stay in the “high” hand. The player can choose to move the lower pair to the “low” hand or keep both pairs in his “high” hand.
The object of any online pai gow poker game is for both of the player’s hands to beat both of the dealer’s hands.
If the player wins one hand and the dealer wins the other, the result is a tie (also known as a “push”).
If a player has a hand equal to a dealer’s hand, the dealer wins that hand.
The key difference between online pai gow poker and other online poker games is the joker. Players can use the joker as an ace or to complete other strong hands, such as a straight, a flush or a straight flush.
The best possible hand in online pai gow poker is five aces: all four aces in the deck, plus the joker.
The best way to learn how to play online pai gow poker is to practice at “play money” tables. Almost all of the major online casinos allow players to play pai gow poker for free. The free games not only allow players to become familiar with the rules and mechanics of the game, but players can also get acquainted with the graphics, sounds and other features of the game software.
Online pai gow poker games also offer players the option of arranging their “high” and “low” hands manually or allowing the computer to sort out the best possible hands. Some beginners may consider using the software to manage their hands until they get a firm grasp on the strategies involved in making both hands.
Here is a list of the winning hands in online Pai Gow Poker, from best to worst:
5 Aces (4 Aces plus the Joker)
Royal Flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten, all of the same suit)
Straight Flush (five consecutive cards, all of the same suit)
Four of a Kind
Flush (any five cards, all of the same suit)
Straight (five consecutive cards of any suits)
Three of a Kind
The payout structure for each hand may vary between online casino sites. Players should always shop around to find the best possible payout schedule for their game.