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. Very much like dominos, Pai Gow tiles differ in colour and their coloured groups will represent the military aspect of the game, as such you will have an infantry section of dominos, one for the Navy and another for the air force. The game is hosted by a dealer that will supervise the proceedings, a dice is rolled to determine who will start the game. The Pai Gow game does carry an element of knowledge and strategy, like any game, luck plays a part but unless you know what you are doing your opponent will have an advantage. Pai Gow Poker has no relevance to the game concept, it’s by chance they have a similarity in the name and that’s all.
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. The birth of Pai Gow came about during an influx of Chinese migrant’s crossing over the American north border, the decision was taken by Wolf and Toroisian, to bring their take of Pai Gow to the people and strike up the interests of the new colonized Asians, which were now working and running businesses. The game was born and the rest is history.
Pai Gow is a duelling game and with the variation of poker, it becomes a 1 on 1 challenge, so the game fuses the traditional Asian game with the traditional American poker game. It’s played using a deck of standard cards with an added joker as a wild card. The game begins with a bet, the players are provided with seven cards and of these, two hands must be playable. The stronger hand will produce a 5 card set, the weakest would, therefore, be two.
Both challengers will reveal their hand to see who has the better of the card hands. Winning involves beating the dealer with both hands and vice versa. A draw in this game would consist of having equal winnings sets, be it one each, whether your five beats his five or the dealers two beats yours.
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. Just like playing blackjack, you will have to hand a reference table to assist you in making the right choices during the game of Pai Gow, no matter what had you receive during the game. 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. In addition there is the opportunity to play the role of dealer, however, this can have a negative effect on your balance, but as in most casinos if you decide to play as the dealer you will have to honour every single bet from your own depleting pocket! The flip side is that you get to reap the rewards the house enjoys too. Stats show that you will win around 46% of hands so concentrate on your cards and don’t make silly mistakes.