Introduction To Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow poker is an up and coming poker game that is now played in many casinos. Not often spoken of, it is still one of the more prominent and upcoming alternate poker games today. The game uses a standard 52-card deck, as well as one joker card. This joker card comes into play during hands because it can be used as either an Ace or used to complete any straight or flush you have. Pai Gow poker originated as an Asian game consisting of the use of tiles, but was adapted for the US with poker cards. While Pai Gow poker has been slower to catch on here in the US, this is mostly due to people not looking into it enough because of its inherit differences from other popular poker games.
With a playing style that is more deliberate and pushing-heavy, it definitely is an adapted taste, but is fun and interesting nonetheless. The game is played with on Banker, who plays a pivotal role in the Pai Gow. The unique twist on the Banker in Pai Gow thought is that any player can request to be the Banker. If multiple people request to be the banker, they must compare their current hands in order to see who earns the position. They perform duties similar to that of a Banker in Blackjack. The Banker plays their hand against other players, and is also responsible for paying out or collecting any money transferred while they are the Banker. All winnings in Pai Gow are yours, but most casinos take 5% of every win you take. This 5% sometimes defers players, but if you are knowledgeable in Pai Gow, it is easy to still win with this limitation.
With all of these interesting elements said, you should be wondering how to play. The basics of Pai Gow go as follows. Each player begins with the initial bet and then is dealt 7 cards. They must separate these 7 cards into a hand of 2 and a hand of 5. One special rule that comes into effect here is that your 5 card hand must be better than your 2 card hand, adding in another twist to the already deviant game play. In order to win against the Banker, they must beat both of the Banker’s hands with theirs. If only one hand wins, it is a draw and the player does not lose their money, but if they have an equal hand they automatically lose. To learn more about the ins and outs of Pai Gow’s rules, read our comprehensive article here.
Before playing Pai Gow poker, keep in mind that it is a very slow game. Oftentimes players can sit at a table for a few hours and not gain or lose many chips, though with some proper strategy, any player can improve their Pai Gow play. This is the result of the many ties that come up in the game. For players who are looking for some relaxing and intuitive game play, as well as a possibly rewarding game, check our Pai Gow poker.