What precisely is Pai Gow a game of?
Some people refer it Pai Gow Poker as “Blackjack for poker players.” The game fits this description exactly.
It’s fast-paced and matches you against the dealer, similar to Blackjack, but the strategy in this game depends on your familiarity with various poker hands.
A joker card is also present in the standard 52-card deck that is used to play the game. The goal of the game of Pai Gow Poker is to create two hands—one with five cards and the other with two cards—that are better than those that the banker has.
Gain / Fortune Poker Pai Gow
Bonus The rules for playing Fortune Pai Gow, another name for Pai Gow, are the same as those for regular Pai Gow Poker. The only distinction is that you are given a bonus payout of up to 8,000 times your initial wager if you place a bonus bet and your hand of seven cards has a winning combination. No matter how you arrange the front and back of the cards in your hand, this is the case. The table we’ve created for the odds of playing Pai Gow Poker includes information on the winning combinations and bonus rewards.
Players that feel comfortable taking bigger risks should think about playing Bonus / Fortune Pai Gow for the reasons listed below:
- You are betting twice as much on each game (the initial wager plus the bonus wager), and
- If there is a tie, even though you won, you will not receive your extra bet back.
However, you would earn a bonus payment equal to 25 times your bonus stake if your hand of seven cards included four of a kind, for instance. Even if you had already received money from the “normal” play, this would still be the case.
The odds of not receiving these hands are higher than the benefits, which gives the house a better advantage. The potential payouts, though, will be acceptable for those who like to take bigger chances.
Term definitions for the game of Pai Gow Poker
Retaining position for the back five cards.
The best hand in traditional poker, according to the rules, consists of five cards. If you have any questions regarding these traditional rankings or simply need a reference, see our page on poker hand rankings by clicking here.
The first two-card hand displayed
The two-card hand must rank lower than the five-card hand in order to be considered valid. Once more, the standard rules of poker apply: the best possible pair consists of aces, while the lowest possible pair consists of twos. If a pair is missing from the hand, it is categorized as a high and given the name of the card with the most points; for instance, J9 designates a jack high. The hand with the next highest card wins if two “high” hands both have the same top card. One player wins the hand if, for instance, both players have an ace as their high card and one player has AQ while the other has A9.
The joker can be used in any combination of those three ways, as well as to complete a flush, straight, or straight flush in place of an ace.
The House Way
In a typical casino, dealers are required to set their hands according to a predetermined set of rules known as “The House Way.” Having this kind of knowledge would be the cornerstone of a successful approach in casinos that are actually located somewhere (see our Pai Gow Strategy page). There are numerous online casinos with “house way” buttons. If you click this button, the dealer or the casino will choose your cards for you automatically based on the same criteria. It should be clear that this nullifies any benefit you might have obtained by manually setting the hands.
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