Typically, Pai Gow Poker is a fusion of poker and the Chinese game Pai Gow, a typical game that was played in China during the 1980’s. It is closely related to dominos and the tiles are differentiated by colour. Each group of ‘dominos’ represents one military unit, for example, infantry, navy and air force and Pai Gow is a military themed game. Played under the supervision of a dealer, you roll a dice to see who starts and who deals the dominos. Although Pai Gow is a game that requires deep strategy and logic, Pai Gow Poker actually has nothing to do with that concept, with the only similarity being the name.
Pai Gow Poker is actually an American version of the game Pai Gow. During the late 80s, two casino owners, Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian, Invented this game after years of travelling all around Asia and noting its potential. In a moment when lots of Chinese immigrants were moving to North America, Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian decided to bring in the new game to attract the attention of Asian workers and businessmen. This is how Pai Gow Poker was born.
The game Pai Gow Poker is a 1 on 1 variant of poker. It’s a fusion of the Chinese game Pai Gow and traditional poker. It’s played using a deck of standard cards with an added joker as a wild card. You begin by betting and then are given seven cards. From these 7 cards you must make 2 playable hands, a Strong hand consisting of 5 cards and a weak hand consisting of 2 cards. Once both parties have made their sets they compare hands to see who wins. To win you must beat the dealer with both hands and you lose if they manage to do the same to you. A draw is obtained when you have one set stronger than each other for example your 5 cards are better than those of the dealer but his 2 cards are better than your 2 cards.
It’s always good when a casino game allows for the use of certain strategies, and Pai Gow is no different in this respect. While there will never be a 100% guaranteed method of victory, there are many proven strategies that can significantly increase your chance to win at Pai Gow Poker, especially in an online casino. Similar to the way a blackjack reference table works, there is a table for Pai Gow to assist you to make the right decision regarding what you have in your hand at any given time. It’s necessary to study this table to help you increase your chances of winning.
The major difference between Pai Gow and traditional poker is that you cannot change your starting hand in Pai Gow. There are other differences, most notably because of the inclusion of a joker as a wild card. In Pai Gow Poker you must be vigilant at all times as to what possible combinations you can create from what you are dealt. Remember that if you fail to play your strongest hand as the 5 cards then you may be disqualified. Another feature is the ability to play as the dealer. This can have a detrimental effect on your bank balance however as in most casinos when you play as the dealer you have to honour all bets from your own pocket! But this way of playing also gives you the same advantage enjoyed by the house. Stats show that you will win around 46% of hands so concentrate on your cards and don’t make silly mistakes.