Our #1 Pai Gow Guide will tickle your taste buds with spicy casino delights

Do you know what happens if you combine a deck of cards with Chinese dominoes? Think of those types of casino games that are seasoned with a dash of Oriental flavors. Yes, you got it! It’s Pai Gow Poker, a fun slow-paced game you can enjoy live at a land-based casino or online from the comfort of your home.

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History of Pai Gow Poker – when 53 American cards meet 32 Chinese domino tiles

To begin, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this , Pai Gow guide let’s see how this popular casino game was created and what features make it so enjoyable for millions of players from all corners of the globe.

Behind a great game, there is always a great story, and Pai Gow Poker is no exception. Thus, Pai Gow Poker takes its roots from its ancient Chinese predecessor, Pai Gow, which was played with a set of 32 Chinese domino tiles. The goal of the traditional Pai Go game is to collect two hands with a nine in each. Pai Gow Poker takes this mission to the next level and makes the game simpler and the hands more manageable.

Pai Gow Poker, as we know it today, was created in 1985 by a club owner in Los Angeles, whose name was Sam Torosian. One evening, while Torosian was chatting about Poker to an elderly Filipino customer, he got to know about the game Pusoy, which is known as a beginner-friendly Chinese Poker game.

This conversation sparked a new idea in Torosian’s mind, an idea that helped to create a new blend of Western and Oriental games, namely Poker from the United States and Pai Gow from China, which resulted in Pai Gow Poker. Sam Torosian ingeniously realized that a game with beginner-friendly rules would be faster and easier to learn, therefore, he came up with a new simplified version, which contained two hands with only seven cards, in each.

This idea was an instant hit and Pai Gow Poker started to grow in popularity day by day. It only took a few years for the game to become a casino staple not only in Las Vegas but also in all major casinos around the world.

Sadly, the game was never patented as Torosian was misled by an attorney he sought advice from and a Poker author, who both reassured Sam Torosian of the fact that the game was not patentable.

Our guide introduces you to Online Pai Gow

Would you like to know more about the rules and the strategy of Pai Gow Poker? If your answer is “Yes”, then you have definitely come to the right place. This guide has been carefully compiled by our expert team of dedicated casino players, who have conducted extensive casino research to provide you with the most valuable insights.

Learn everything you must know to better play

In this guide, we will take you through the most essential facts related to the way Pai Gow Poker is played, how to work out the value of the hands, different types of side bets available to you, types of bonuses and how to benefit from free casino deals, and, finally, to conclude, we will share the top 5 key takeaways that our experts shared with us.

Basic rules of how to roll Pai Gow Poker online

In this guide, we will focus on the online version of Pai Gow Poker, in which you will be playing against the house, not other players. If you ever make a trip to a brick and mortar casino to play Pai Gow Poker, you will be part of a game which involves up to 6 players in total and a dealer.

Let’s have a look at the Pai Gow rules and how to get started with this magnificent variation of Poker games online.

Before the cards are dealt, you will be asked to choose the stakes you are going to play. You are free to choose any size of the stakes as long as they are kept within the pre-set limits of the table. Next, you and the dealer are dealt with seven cards.

During the gameplay, your ultimate goal is to create a pair of hands with 5 cards in one hand and only 2 cards in the other hand.


TIP TO NOTE: Keep in mind that, according to the rules of the game, the hand with 5 cards has to outrank the hand with 2 cards.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Question #1: If in your 5 card hand you have a single pair of Queens, will you be able to use a pair of Kings to make your 2 card hand?
  • Answer: No. The 2 card hand will outrank the 5 card hand, which is against the rules.
  • Question #2: Can your 2 card hand contain two Aces if you hold a pair of Kings in your 5 card hand?
  • Answer: No. Just like in the previous example, the 2 card hand will outrank the 2 card hand, which does not go in line with the rules of Pai Gow Poker.
  • Question #3: Does the dealer follow the same rules?
  • Answer: Yes, absolutely. It is a must that both the dealer and the player follow the same set of rules and go through the same process during the game.

Once both hands are collected, it is it time to compare the cards. First, the player and the dealer compare their 5 card hands, then the 2 card hands are compared. There are 3 possible outcomes that conclude each round. Here is what happens:

  • The player will win, if he/ she wins both hands.
  • The player will lose, if he/ she loses both hands.
  • If the player wins one hand, but loses the other hand, this outcome will be classified as a push and the player will receive the amount of their initial bet back.

The hand rankings in Pai Gow Poker are based on the standard rankings used in a game of Poker. Here is how to determine the hand rankings in Pai Gow Poker:

  • 2 card hand: the rule is based on card values and it is very straightforward to work out your 2 card hand ranking.

Thus, if you get a pair of Aces or an Ace coupled with a Jocker, consider yourself lucky as you get your best possible hand. Pair rankings descend from Aces to 2’s. In case you do not have a pair in your 2-card hand, a high card wins.

  • 5 card hand: the value of this hand is calculated in the similar way as in standard Poker. You will notice that within your 2 card hand flushes are not applicable. Therefore, feel free to work out the ranking of your 5-card hand using the following descending order of card values:
  • The best hand in Pai Gow Poker consists of 4 Aces and a Jocker (which is an equivalent to 5 Aces)
  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pairs
  • Single Pair
  • High Card

Pai Gow Poker strategy

If you love Blackjack and Poker for their strategic flow and rational nature combined with the thrill of live dealer games, Pai Gow will surely please your taste buds with its colorful palette of 52 cards, a single jocker and unexpected twists. Get your hands ready and give that deck a good shuffle in preparation for your next grand adventure!

When you play Pay Gow Poker online you play against the house by default, which is always the banker. This is different at land-based casinos since in some scenarios one of the players can take the role of being the banker. This helps the player to gain some advantage over other players and also to reduce the house edge.

When it comes to the odds of winning at Asian Pai Gow Poker, despite the fact that like many other casino games, it is based primarily on luck and your ability to take calculated risks to decide which strategy would work best in each case.

Keep in mind that every casino will use its own “house-way” to set each hand. The best strategy is to use the same way in order to stay even with the house. Playing in the style of the house is an effective way of increasing the odds of winning. This Pai Gow Poker strategy involves a number of typical scenarios, which you should go through before starting your first game. It will help you prepare for real game challenges and make wise decisions when you are dealt with a set of cards.

Thus, for example, if you have 5 Aces, what would your first instinct be – to keep them together or separate them into two hands?

Our Comprehensive Pai Gow Strategy guide will give you all the answers you need to stop hesitating and start winning!

A quick check for the curious ones!


Did you know? A 5 card high hand is also known as the big or the back hand. And, as you have probably guessed it a 2 card low hand is known as the small or the front hand.

Another important strategic decision you should always stick to when play Pai Gow Poker is to never take side bets. You might be tempted to try them out as many casinos offer a range of attractive bonuses on the most common side bets, such as the ones listed below:

1. Fortune Pai Gow: you will be able to place a side bet on trips or better.

2. Progressive Fortune Pai Gow: you will be able to make a side bet with a combined 7 card flush to win the jackpot.

3. Pai Gow Mania: instead of one single side bet, you will be allowed to make two side bets.

4. Emperor’s Challenge: you will be allowed to place a side bet on a Pai Gow.

It may seem like a great move because these side bets do not affect your gameplay at all, and you might get lucky and win an additional reward. However, if you think about it carefully, you have two full hands of cards to juggle with and adding an extra element of risk may just be excessive. In addition, it is likely that it will distract you from the main game.

Bottom line: Do not try to multitask and be a Superman or a Superwoman by playing two games at once given the fact that you are already playing two separate hands. Focus on them and do not waste your energy on insignificant maneuvers that will not improve your chances of winning in the long run.

Where to play Pai Gow Poker for free and real money

If you love Poker and wish to spice up your gameplay but the idea of playing Pai Gow Poker is relatively new to you, we would like to reassure you that it is a fantastic alternative to your most loved game. The rules are very similar to traditional Poker and having gone through some minor variations of the hands and the scenarios, you will be ready to savor your scrumptious Chinese American casino delicacy!

Keep reading our guide to find our experts’ feedback and word of advice. In the meantime, let’s have a look at some great ways of enjoying Pai Gow Poker online for free and with real money.

Pai Gow Poker for free

Having started as a small niche casino game, Pai Gow Poker today is played both online and at land-based casinos around the world. It is a particularly popular game in Asian casinos. If you are just making your first steps and acquiring the rules of Pai Gow Poker, it is recommended that you play it for free first. To do so, you would need to find an online casino that you like and claim either your Welcome Deposit Bonus or No Deposit Bonus.

Both types of bonuses give you a great opportunity to start familiarizing yourself with the game without having to worry about losing any real money. If you compare different casino offers, you will notice that the amount of free bonus cash is significantly higher if you go for the Welcome Deposit Bonus, rather than the No Deposit Bonus. Normally, the amount of your first real money deposit is matched 100%, which means that you can instantly double your bankroll before you even start playing!

Here is a practical win-win scenario you can easily take advantage of any time you wish. Consider this:

  • You deposit $100 of real cash.
  • You claim your First Deposit Bonus, which is 100%.
  • You get $100 of bonus cash extra over and above the amount that you deposited.
  • In total, you have $200 in your account, which can get you up to speed much faster and hassle-free.

It is important to note that such offers are only available through online casino establishments. It is more difficult to benefit from a bargain deal if you are playing at a brick and mortar casino, therefore, start by playing online and plan a trip to a land-based casino at a later stage once you gain more expertise in the most important strategies and all basic rules.

Pai Gow Poker for real money

Once you feel you are ready to accept real money game challenges, you will naturally want to try to lure your luck by placing your first deposit. Depending on your gambling budget and whether you prefer to stay on the safe side, or you love the buzz of large high roller deposits, you can satisfy your gambling appetite both at online casinos and any land-based casino establishments of your choice.

You might have noticed that with the rapid spread of technology and fast Internet connection, a large portion of gambling entertainment has migrated online. All major online casinos offer players the same range of casino games they would expect to find at land-based establishments, if not even better! The reason is that without the additional expenses of running a terrestrial business, online casinos can afford to spend a significant chunk of their revenues into making their products more competitive, more cutting edge and more up to date.

In addition, when you play Pai Gow Poker online using real money deposits, you automatically benefit from all additional ongoing offers and special promotions. Keep an eye on what bonuses and special deals are available at your casino of choice and you will be able to grab a range of additional cash bonuses and free spins, such as a Reload Bonus, weekly promotions, loyalty points and high roller bonuses.

Our experts have tried Pai Gow online and here is what they say

To give Pai Gow Poker online an unparalleled test, we have sent our dedicated team of passionate casino players on a challenging quest in the aim to share our thoughts with our loyal readers based on the first-hand experience.

They all came back with gigantic smiles on their faces and shared their independent reviews with us here at Casino Bonuses Index.Com.

Have a look at these key takeaways:

1. Pai Gow Poker online is available on any device 24/7.

2. Pai Gow Poker bonuses significantly pump up the player’s account.

3. Live dealer games are available to provide an additional thrilling edge.

4. Playing for fun helps to get to know the Casino’s platform and polish up the rules and the strategy of the game.

5. Bitcoin online casinos provide an additional level of cyber security and allow players to stay anonymous.

We constantly keep searching the Internet in order to find the most advantageous offers and thrilling casino games. Once we come across the best deals in the iGaming industry, we provide you with an updated report to help you to safe time on research and get to all the most interesting games faster.

Spicy online casino entertainment with Pai Go Poker

Regardless of the type of game you are going for, whether it is online or at a land-based casino, you will surely find it entertaining, packed with unexpected twists and thrilling rewards.

If you ever find yourself in doubt, remember in this guide you will find all the fundamentals related to the rules of the game and its strategy, the history of and Poker and how it evolved into the version of the game we play so much today.

In addition, you will also find some important “How to” guidelines, for example:

  • How to calculate the rankings of your hands
  • How to beat the house edge, how to make a winning bet in various game scenarios
  • How to take advantage of the best online bonus offers and increase your chances of winning.

We hope that having read this comprehensive guide you now feel better equipped with everything you need to know to tame the famous Chinese Dragon and make your winning bets at Pai Gow Poker.

Are you ready to get rolling and experience a modern blend of Western casino games mixed with a spicy touch of Oriental delights? Let’s get cracking!


Written by Tom Lasten
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