Pai Gow Poker online

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is a combination of Poker and an ancient Chinese game Pai Gow. If you are not familiar with Pai Gow Rules, read them here.

Player receives seven cards, which he/she splits into two hands – a five card hand and a two card hand. The object is to beat the dealer.

  • First, place a bet by selecting a chip and clicking on the Bet area in the middle of the table. Place multiple chips if you want. To remove a chip from the bet field, right click on it.
  • Click on Deal.
  • You receive seven cards. Leave five of them in the “Highest” hand and select two that go to the “2 nd Highest” hand. To send a card to the “2 nd Highest” hand, just click on it. To send it back to the “Highest” hand, click on it again. The five-card hand (or the “Highest”) must always outrank the two-card hand (or the “2 nd Highest”). You can also click the House Way button to let the computer select your hands in a certain manner (see the Rules for more info).
  • Click on Done (if you did not press House Way).
  • The dealer’s cards are revealed. If both the dealer’s hands are higher than yours, you lose your bet. If one of you hands is higher and the other is lower, the round results as a push and your bet is returned. If both your hands are higher, you win even money on your bet (1 to 1) minus 5% bank commission. In case of an exact match between hands (called a copy) the tie goes to the banker.
  • Click on New Game if you want to play another round. Place a bet again as described above, or click on the Rebet button to place the same bet as in the previous round.

Buttons:

Deal After you have placed your bet, press this to deal the cards.
Clear Bets Clear the bet you have placed.
Done After choosing the two cards for the 2 nd highest hand, click this button to proceed.
House Way Let the computer put together your highest and 2 nd highest hand in the most efficient manner.
New Game Start a new game round.
Rebet Place the same bet as in the last game round and deal the cards as well.

Return to Player

The theoretical percentage return to player (RTP) is 97.15%.

Casino toolbar

The lower and upper edges of the game window hold the casino toolbars. These toolbars contain a number of menus and buttons that allow you to change client settings or take advantage of the various features available in the casino client.

The bottom toolbar contains the following:

Your game window balance. This is the total money which you can use to play the current casino game, consisting of your Real Money balance as well as all the bonuses available for this game. Read more about the display of game-specific bonuses here.
Clicking this button opens the Cashier window, where you can make deposits and withdrawals, see your transaction history, etc.
This button appears only in Fun and Anonymous modes. Clicking it will take you to the Real Money account creation page. If you already have a Real Money account, it will take you to the Play for Real Money login screen.
This icon is displayed only in games in which you have bonus Free Spins available. Clicking this icon opens the Free Spins Bonus Panel. Read more about the display of game-specific bonuses here.
This icon is displayed only in games in which you have the Golden Chip bonus available. Clicking this icon opens the Golden Chip menu. Read more about the display of game-specific bonuses here.

The top toolbar contains the following:

Next to this icon is the quick launch menu. Mouse over any category to see the available games in that category. Click on any game to launch that game.
Game Master is a feature that enables you to find your next game adventure! It contains various game categories from which you can choose games to play.

To open the Game Master window, click on the . If the Game Master promotion banner is displayed, click on the banner to open the Game Master window.

If a category contains more games than can be displayed at once, arrow buttons will appear when you hover over the category. Click on the arrow buttons to navigate through the games.

When you have found your desired game, click on the appropriate game icon to start the game.

Click the ‘X’ icon to exit the Game Master window.

Mouse over this icon to open the Favorites menu. The menu contains the following:

  • Download – Opens the URL where you can access the downloadable version of the casino client.
  • Gadget – Opens the URL where you can download the casino widget for your Windows Vista or Windows 7. Click here to learn more about the gadget.
  • Mobile App – Opens the URL where you can download the game to your mobile phone. This option is available only if the mobile version of the game exists.
Clicking this button will disable/enable sound effects.

Mouse over the sound icon to slide open the sound volume slider, where you can adjust the volume.

Mouse over this icon to open the Tools menu. The menu contains the following:

  • History – Opens the game history window, where you can see the details of recent game rounds. Note that the history is unavailable in Fun and Anonymous modes.
  • Options – Opens the options dialog, where you can change various gameplay settings. Click here to learn more about the options.
  • Help – Opens the help article that you are reading right now.
Clicking this button changes the game to full screen.
Clicking this button closes the game window and takes you back to the Menu.

 

If multigame view is enabled for this game the top toolbar also contains the following buttons:

Clicking this button opens the 2-game view.
Clicking this button opens the 4-game view.
Clicking this button closes the multigame view and takes you back to the regular view.

Please note that it is not possible to open more than one copy of the same game in multigame view.

Gadget bar

The Gadget opening bar is displayed on the right side of the game window when at least one gadget is enabled. Clicking on the opening bar opens the Gadget bar menu. The Gadget bar can contain mini games and various special offers. Only one gadget can be opened at a time. Clicking on another Gadget closes the previous one.

Note on malfunctions: A malfunction voids all pays and plays.

Note on disconnections: If you are disconnected from the Internet in the middle of a game while playing for Real Money, please re-establish your Internet connection and log back into the casino. You will be automatically directed to the game that was interrupted so you can continue playing.

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Pai Gow Poker Rules

In Pai Gow Poker, the object is to divide your seven card hand into a five-card (“Highest”) and a two-card hand (“2 nd Highest”). The five-card hand must always outrank the two-card hand (hence the names “Highest” and “2 nd Highest”). The five-card hand is ranked as in Poker, except that an A-2-3-4-5 straight is the second highest straight. The two-card hand can be either a pair or individual cards. The highest two-card hand is a pair of aces and the lowest is a 2-3. You can divide your hand yourself, or let the computer split it, using a method called the House Way (see below).

Pai Gow Poker is played using a standard 53 card deck, including a Joker. The joker can only be used to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush, otherwise it is treated as an ace.

House Way

The House Way is a set of rules that describes how the dealer arranges his hand. You can use the House Way on your own hand as well, by clicking the House Way button.

The “front” refers to the two card hand and the “back” refers to the five card hand.

  • No pair: Place the highest card in the back and the next two highest cards in the front.
  • One pair: Place the pair in back and the next two highest cards in the front.
  • Two pair: Play two pair in back, except split in the following situations:
    • One pair is 7’s or greater and no ace singleton.
    • Pair of jacks or better and 6’s or better and an ace singleton.
    • Pair of aces and any other pair.
  • Three pair: Always play highest pair in front.
  • Three of a kind: Always play three of a kind in back except break up three aces.
  • Full house: Split except with pair of 2’s and an ace/king can be played in front.
  • Full house with three of a kind and two pairs: Play the highest pair in front.
  • Three of a kind twice: Always play highest pair in front.
  • Straights, flushes, straight flushes, and royal flushes:

Always play straight or flush in the high hand except play as a two pair if one of the following:

  • Any two pair and an ace singleton.
  • Pair of jacks and pair of 6’s.
  • Pair of aces and any other pair.

With a six or seven card straight or flush put the highest hand possible in front while maintaining the straight or flush in back.

Play staight or flush over straight flush to improve front hand to jack or better.

Play staight or flush over royal flush to improve front hand to king or better.

  • Four of a kind: Play according to the rank of the four of a kind:
    • 2 through 6: Always keep together.
    • 7 through 10: Split unless an ace or better can be played in front.
    • Jack through king: Split unless hand also contains a pair of 10’s or higher.
    • Aces: Split unless a pair of 7’s or higher can be played in front.
  • Five aces: Split unless pair of kings can be played in front.

After the hands have been arranged, your hands are compared to these of the dealer’s and the winner is determined:

  • If both the dealer’s hands are higher, you lose your bet.
  • If one of the dealer’s hands is higher, one lower, it is a push and your bet is returned.
  • If both your hands are higher, you win even money on your bet (1 to 1) minus 5% bank commission.

In case of an exact match between hands (called a copy) the tie goes to the banker.

About Payouts

The payouts of games can be given in a number of different formats. To help you understand how to read the different payouts, each format used in our games is explained here.

1 to 1

If you bet on a position that pays 1 to 1, then this means that when you win, you get your bet back and the casino will also pay you exactly the same amount that you bet. For example, if you place 5 chips as a bet and win on a position that pays 1 to 1, then you first get back the 5 chips that you bet and you also receive 5 chips from the casino, for a total of 10 chips in that round.

2 for 1

If you bet on a position that pays 2 for 1, then this means that when you win, the casino will pay you an amount that is twice your bet, but your initial bet is not returned. For example, if you place 5 chips as a bet and win on a position that pays 2 for 1, then you receive 10 chips from the casino.

1 : 1

This format is equivalent to 1 to 1.

Your No-Nonsense Guide to Playing Real Money Pai Gow Poker Games Online

Don’t be confused by Pai Gow’s relative obscurity. This unique variant of poker is gaining popularity at a rapid rate at online casinos, with players proving the game’s appeal.
To get you started, our expert team has created this playing guide that’s packed with tips, advice and strategies that’ll have you playing like a pro in no time. 

Pai Gow Poker Basics

PaiGow is in fact a Chinese domino game, but Pai Gow poker is an Americanized version using poker cards instead. Therefore, the game has many similarities with poker, especially the use of ranked hands.

Pai Gow is played with a standard 52 card deck, with the addition of a joker. Each player is attempting to defeat the banker, who may be another player but is typically the dealer, especially in the case of one-on-one games played online.

This game is sometimes called ‘double-hand poker’ because players are trying to make two winning hands from their cards. They are dealt seven cards and must try to make a five-card and a two-card hand. The larger hand must have a higher rank.

The five-card hand is often called ‘behind’, ‘bottom’, ‘big’ or ‘high’, while the two-card hand is ‘in front’, ‘on top’, ‘small’ or ‘low’ among other terms. The smaller hand can only contain a pair or a high card.

How to Play Pai Gow Poker Like an Expert

Stick to these 4 simple principles and you will be playing blackjack like a pro in no time:

Knowing the Rules

There are a few tweaks to the standard poker rules with Pai Gow, that players should know if they are to play well. For example, there is an exception to the usual poker ranking rules. A straight made of an Ace, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (called ‘the wheel’) is the second highest straight. This is a very strange rule and some casinos have even dropped it.

Manage your Hands

The key to Pai Gow is managing your two hands. Both of your hands need to beat the banker, so it’s a case of constructing them carefully and even sacrificing a stronger five-card hand to ensure that you have a good pair in the two-card hand.

Don’t Waste Your Joker

The joker is also vital if it comes along, as it can be used to complete a straight or flush in the big hand (or even make five of a kind), or counts as an ace in the small hand. Technically speaking, the joker is a ‘bug’ which means rather than substitute for any card, it acts as an Ace or is used to complete a straight or flush.

Beware of the Banker

The banker has a small advantage to look out for, because if one hand beats the banker, it’s a tie. If one hand is a loser and the other is a tie, the banker wins.

Win at Pai Gow Poker – Our Top Tips

“Remember that the joker is a ‘bug’ wild.”

“Your big hand must be higher ranking than your small hand.”

“An Ace-5 straight ranks above a king-high straight in this game.”

How to Improve your Chances of Winning

Start out simply by knowing the hands well. The trick to pai gow is how you split your seven cards, so that your big hand is strong but your small hand does not suffer.

This is a tricky decision and does take some study of the hand ranks, so that you can spot them as soon as they appear. Pairs can often throw Pai Gow players, as four of a kind is tempting in the big hand, but the small hand can only have a pair so one should go there.

Make sure it’s the smaller pair if you don’t have anything else, as the small hand must be less valuable than the big.

Players must also be aware of an edge in the banker’s favour. Two hands will copy sometimes, around 2.6% of cases, so the banker will win 29.9% of showdowns and the player only 28.6%. There’s also the commission to factor in after a win.

Pai Gow Poker Rules

In casino play, the cards are dealt out in seven piles of seven. The joker is included as a 53rd card and is partly wild, able to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush, or royal flush.

The joker acts as an Ace at all other times and can make a five-of-a-kind this way. The play order begins with one of these positions, randomised with dice or a machine.

Betting continues in the usual fashion until a showdown occurs, where the player compares their hand to the banker’s. The player must set their seven cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand, with the former of higher value than the latter.

The dealer also sets their cards this way, but will typically follow a prescribed ‘house way’ of setting the hands up. This is certainly the case in online pai gow games.

The player wins if both of their hands beat the banker’s corresponding hands. The player wins even money, minus a 5% commission in most cases.

If the player wins one and loses one, the bet will push. If they player loses or ties both, they lose. The player may also bet against the dealer and other players, known as ‘banking’.

History of Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is based on a Chinese domino game of the same name, which translates to ‘make nine’.

The game is based on legends around the creation of the universe. However, the invention of Pai Gow as a poker game is credited to Sam Torosian, the owner of the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles.
Torosian invented the game in 1985, after hearing around a similar game called Pusoy, which uses 13 cards and three hands. To speed this up, a two-hand version with seven cards made more sense and would be easier to learn.

The game became very popular, soon reaching the Las Vegas strip by the late 80s. Unfortunately, the famous tale of caution around Pai Gow poker is that Torosian never patented the game.

He was supposedly given bad advice that the fame could not be patented, and so lost out on making any money from replication of the game by other sources.

Types of Pai Gow Poker

There are several popular variants of Pai Gow poker. Players will also find progressive jackpot versions online.

Pai Gow Mania allows for two side bets instead of the usual one per hand.

Fortune Pai Gow allows players to make a site bet on a poker hand with three of a kind or better.

>Emperor’s Challenge allows a side bet on a 7 card ‘Pai Gow’ (having no hand to make).

Advanced tips

Split, when you have  two pairs with Aces in the top pair.
Play the highest pair in the small hand, when you find yourself with three pairs.
With three of a kind, play in the big hand, unless it’s three aces. Then give one to the small hand.
Split a full house , with the pair in the small hand.

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