Online Pai Gow Poker - A Comprehensive Guide

The name “pai gow” comes from an ancient Chinese domino game, but the card game which merged with modern-day poker is less than thirty years old. Online pai gow poker is a slow, methodological game which can be found in most online casinos today.

Facts About Online Pai Gow Poker

  • It is a mix between a Chinese domino game and traditional poker;
  • It’s a game where you need to make two hands – a 5 card hand and 2 card hand;
  • It’s a slow-paced game with some strategy to learn.

About Online Pai Gow Poker

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. As this game requires more skill than other online casino games, it’s best to practice first on the free game provided by the online casino you’re playing at, if there is one, so you can get a real feel for this game and understand the rules, strategy, and gameplay. This will give you a better chance of getting the most out of the game and achieving some big winnings.

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.

How to Play Online Pai Gow Poker

online pai gow poker rulesPai-gow poker is played using a 53-card deck (a normal deck plus the additional joker card). 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.

In online Pai-Gow Poker the player always plays against the dealer, and not the other players at the table. As such, this game is very fun one to play if you want some friendly chats with the other players as there is no competiveness between players. 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.

Pai-Gow Poker Gameplay

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. Once you have placed the bet then you need to click deal, and you will receive seven cards from the show, as do the other players playing alongside you. The dealer will also be handed seven cards.

Players break up the seven cards into a five-card hand (called the “high” hand) and a two-card hand (called the “low” hand) according to the poker hand system. 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 players’ two hands are then compared to the dealers two hands. You can only win the bet if both your hands and better than the dealer’s hands. You lose if both your hands are worse than the dealer’s, and you will get a push if you only have one hand that is better than the dealer’s, so you still don’t win a bet.

Online Pai Gow Poker Strategy

online pai gow pokerThe 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.
What you need to learn more than anything in Pai-Gow Poker is to decipher whether you have good poker hands or not. Using correct strategy can lower the house edge significantly in this game. But first step is to understand the poker hand rankings, which we have listed for you below.

Winning Online Pai Gow Poker 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
  • Two Pair
  • Ace
  • King
  • Queen
  • Jack

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.

Pai-Gow Poker History

Pai-gow is the marriage of traditional American Poker, and a very old Chinese domino game which goes by the name of Pai-Gow. This game is very new to the casino scene, having only made its way there around the 1980s. It’s a much slower game that others in terms of pace and slightly more somplicated than a simple game of slots or baccarat where there is not much to learn. But if you want to sit back and relax over a game which goes on for a bit longer, then give this new game a try.

Online Pai-Gow Poker – FAQs

What is the aim of Pai-Gow Poker?

The aim of pai-gow poker is to form two strong poker hands of five and two cards that will be higher than the dealers two hands.

How can I learn to play Pai-Gow Poker online?

First thing is first and you need to learn to pai-gow poker rules in order to play. Reading through the pai gow poker articles on Gambling Planet is the best way to start.

Can I play Pai Gow Poker online free?

Most online casino will offer a pai gow poker free online game in order to practice both the rules and strategy. Once you have perfected your gameplay you can start playing for free.

Do I need to know strategy in order to play Pai Gow Poker?

It’s best to understand how to form poker hands before playing pai gow poker, as you will have to arrange your cards yourself when you play this game. Read through our pai poker poker strategy page if you want some tips on how you should arrange certain card combinations.

Do I need a big bankroll in order to play this game?

Having a big bankroll isn’t necessary in this game as it is in say, baccarat online. You can start will smaller bets and work your way up if you feel like it.

Play Pai-Gow Poker Online at a Gambling Planet Casino

Out of all the online casino games, pai gow poker is one where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the slow pace of the game whilst chatting to other players online and having a drink. Learn the poker hand ranking system in order to play with optimal strategy, and you will find yourself coming back to this game time and time again.