Pai Gow Poker

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The runaway success of Pai Gow Poker can be attributed in part to the multiculturalism of the game – it is in essence a game that sees East meet West and West meet East. It is a play on two different games: the traditional Chinese domino game of Pai Gow and the traditional variant of Poker are merged to create Pai Gow Poker. This is one of the most complex games available – and novices should take care to learn the basics before attempting to play this hardcore online digital casino table-based game.

Pai Gow Poker has become one of the most popular online poker games in history. The success is based on the ease of use of the visual layout along with a crisp accessibility and the brilliance of the ‘House Way’ deal which makes understanding complex hand strategies almost obsolete. This makes the game ridiculously complex whilst at the same time still making it accessible to beginners, even though it will take a good few hands to attain mastery of it.

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Based on the Original Pai Gow

Playtech’s Pai Gow Poker is, essentially, a westernised game based on the original Pai Gow, a Chinese game that used dominoes to decide the outcome. There are no dominoes here and it’s all about the cards, enabling Playtech to expand on their already top notch selection of casino games with something brand new. Unlike many casino poker games, this isn’t one that you’ll find versions of from every developer – Net Entertainment, for example, doesn’t offer a version of Pai Gow Poker.

We’re pretty confident that we know why that is, as the game is certainly not as easy to pick up and play as titles like Casino Hold’em and Caribbean Stud. Indeed, in table gaming terms, it’s actually rather complex. Pai Gow Poker, which is also known as Double-Hand Poker, is a Westernised conflation of Poker and Pai Gow. The game is functionally played out with a standard 52-card deck with the inclusion of the Joker.

The game has a dealer and a maximum number of six players. The goal is to defeat the dealer, not each other. The goal of winning is for a player to produce two poker hands out of the seven-card hand one is dealt by the dealer. The seven-card hand must beat the dealer’s hand.The turn-of-play can be complex. However, a House Way Deal exists which can split your hand. Once the hand is split it becomes on-par like regular Poker. However, there are many issues around accepting the house deal. Many prefer to split their own hands. The House Way deal acts in an autoplay fashion. This means, in a game like Playtech’s Pai Gow Poker, that you can bet between 0.1 and 300 whilst selecting cards and plays helping to take away the complexities of traditional Pai Gow poker strategies. The unique selling point of Playtech’s Pai Gow Poker is that it makes complexities easy by offering alternative deal options that make the game accessible for players of various ability levels. Learning the strategic hands is a time-consuming affair, therefore the House Way deal is a unique experience.

Differences Between Pai Gow Poker and Traditional Poker

The singular differences between traditional Poker and Pai Gow Poker is that whilst Pai Gow follows standard Poker rules/standards, the fact seven-cards are dealt to the player makes it a singularly unique endeavour. The game has also been developed with minimal differences from the traditional casino-based Pai Gow Poker experience. As technology changes our experience of digital online casino gaming has changed.

Now let’s take a closer look at exactly how Pai Gow Poker plays out. After placing your bet in the normal manner, you will be dealt seven cards to make up the basic hand, with a 52 card deck and a single joker making up the action. However, there is more than one hand in play here, and if you’re a complete beginner, you can use the ‘house way’ to distribute your cards into the two different hands. This is carried out at random, and many more experienced players prefer to split their hands themselves. When the hands are split, things actually return to being much like regular poker. The five card hand is the same as what you’ll be used to in terms of rankings, while in the two card hand a pair is the highest, followed by high cards.

The winner out of the player and the dealer is the one who wins both hands. If both win a single hand, then the result is a push and the player’s stake is returned. In fairness, a little practice will be all you need to get up to speed on Pai Gow Poker, and you can get that practice in right now here on this page. As soon as you’re confident in your Pai Gow Poker abilities, you can head on over to one of our recommended Playtech partner casinos to try your luck with real money at stake.