Online Pai Gow Poker / HowTo Play Pai Gow

There are a lot of poker variations out there, but there is only one Pai Gow Poker. Even though this is not among the more popular poker games, many online casinos feature this fine variation of the classic game. If this is your game of choice, or if you want to learn how to play it, we cover the rules and basic strategy of Pai Gow Poker here.

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How To Play Pai Gow Poker | Hand rankings | Front hands and back hands |
Differences between Live And Online Pai Gow | Live Pai Gow | Online Pai Gow ##

How To Play Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow poker is a game based on the Chinese game of Pai Gow, which is normally played with tiles. Pai Gow poker bears many similarities to regular poker, so if you know how to play regular poker, you are already well on your way to playing Pai Gow poker.

Hand Rankings

Pai Gow Poker uses a hand ranking system similar to regular poker. The strength of the hands in ascending order are high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, a straight, a flush, a full house, four of a kind, a straight flush, a Royal Flush. But it doesn't end there cause Paigow poker also allow five of a kind. Five of a kind is possible in Pai Gow poker since it employs a joker, which can be used as an ace or to complete a straight or a flush.

Front Hands And Back Hand

In Pai Gow poker, you are dealt seven cards, but unlike seven-card stud, you will actually be using all seven to make your hand. You will make a two card front hand and a five card back hand. Straights and flushes cannot be made on the front hand, so your best front hand would be a pair of aces. However, it is a rule in Pai Gow that your back hand must be stronger than your front hand. If you set your front hand stronger, your hand is fouled and you will lose. In Pai Gow poker, any straight with an ace in it is considered an ace high straight, so A, 2, 3, 4, 5 would beat 9, T, J, Q, K, for example.

Differences Between Live And Online Pai Gow

Live Pai Gow Poker

In live Pai Gow Poker you are playing against the House, not other players. A cup with dice in it is slammed on the felt before play starts. While this action may confuse and intimidate the uninitiated, the dice rolling has nothing to do with the actual play; it only determines where the first card is dealt. Once all players have set their hands, they compare their hands to the dealer's hand. If both of your hands beat both of the dealer's hands, you win, if both of your hands lose, you lose, otherwise it is a push. If a dealer hand and player hand are exactly the same, the tie goes to the dealer. When a player wins, he must give a five percent commission to the house, which is where the casino gets its edge.

Online Pai Gow Poker

In a live game, you or another player may take on the role of the banker, essentially playing against everyone else at the table and booking their bets. Online, there are no other players, so you will be playing directly against the online casino. If you are not sure how best to set your hand, you can click the "house way" button and the site will set your hand for you. The house will always attempt to set your hand in the optimal fashion.