Pai Gow is a popular version of poker invented by Sam Torisian in 1985. A classic of the table games that means “Make Nine” in Chinese, represents the maximum score in the game under normal circumstances. In the usual poker games, you play against other players alone or/and a dealer. Pai Gow Poker takes a slight turn, allowing you to play against the dealer or be the dealer yourself. If you are about to play Pai Gow for the first time, then you must understand the game’s basics, by doing some Pai Gow online practice.
Pai Gow Online Practice Makes Perfect Gameplay
Just like in 3 Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Holdem, and other casino poker games, the ultimate aim of Pai Gow’s online practice is to beat the dealer. Winning the game requires two separate hands, each more potent than the dealer’s two hands. The game is played with 53 cards: a standard deck of 52 and a Joker. In Pai Gow, the semi-wild Joker card can either be used to complete any flushes or valued as an Ace.
Various rules govern the game of Pai Gow Poker, and counting the wheel is among the most important. Some online casinos count the wheel (A 2 3 4 5) as it is, while others count it as the second-highest straight. Hence, we always advise gamblers to do some Pai Gow online practice to understand the game and know the rules before playing for real money.
The game begins with all players placing their ante bets, and then everyone (including the dealer) receives seven cards faced down. You get a chance to take a glance at your cards and shuffle them into two separate hands:
- One five-card hand combo, and
- One two-card hand
As mentioned earlier, the game aims for both hands to beat both of the dealers. The two hands are compared, and the standard poker hand rankings determine the winner of the game: one pair beats a high-card hand, two pairs beat any single pair, etc. The person who wins both hands wins the game, and the game is a push if the banker wins one hand and the player wins the other.
One proven Pai Gow poker strategy in Pai Gow online practice to increase your chances of winning is to ensure that the two-card hand (top) is never stronger than the five-card hand (bottom).
Face up poker vs Fortune Pai Gow Poker
Face-up poker’s meaning is precisely what you might have in mind. The banker’s hand is dealt face up and sets the cards before the players. Face-up Pai Gow Poker is more accessible than the classic Pai Gow, requiring very little skill. This is because you only need to figure out a way to beat a hand that is already set.
In Face Up Pai Gow Poker, there is no commission. Instead, when dealt an ace high, the house pushes all hands. Side bets are still considered even in the case of a push. As a result, face-up Pai Gow Poker has the lowest house edge of all poker versions, and it is dealt faster because you don’t need more time to set hands as the banker’s hand is already known.
The traditional Fortune Pai Gow Poker offers gamblers the chance to bank. The players first set their hands before the banker does. However, if a player is banking a hand of Fortune Pai Gow Poker, others should not disclose the content of their hands, or else your opponent might use it as an advantage, just like at a standard poker table. Then, the banker looks at the card and sets their hand also.
There is a 5% commission for the player who wins; however if the winner banks a hand of Fortune Pai Gow Poker, a 5% commission is deducted from the net win.
Pai Gow Poker isn’t so common in live casinos, but various casinos support Pai Gow online practice and allow you to play both for free and real money. The game doesn’t involve many betting decisions since arranging the cards is the only in-game action. Remember, you’re much better off having two relatively strong hands than having one super-strong hand coupled with air.
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