Play Pai Gow Online
Online Pai Gow is based on the old Chinese game which was played with dominoes, but in this version you play with a deck of cards instead while using poker combinations instead.
Think of Pai Gow Poker as the powerful yet quiet high achiever, like the Mark Zuckerberg of the casino games. It’s more slow-paced, perfect for those who prefer the more tranquil and quiet environment to think of game play strategy. It is played with up to seven players, with each player playing against the banker, who can be either a casino dealer or a player.
For those familiar with the rules of poker, the game will be a bit easier to grasp than for poker and Pai Gow novices, as it’s one of the trickier games to master. However with a bit of practise and background reading of the more in-depth rules and strategies, then anyone can play this up-and-coming casino game online, far away from the boisterous noise of the land-casino.
Online Pai Gow: The Benefits
It is not always easy to get into the slower, tranquil pace and appropriate head space to play Pai Gow game within the noisy walls of land-based casinos. When you play Pai Gow online you can afford to take your sweet time analysing the cards and thinking of your next move.
It’s really one of those games that transfers perfectly to the online environment as the nature of the game is slower and quieter.
Best Pai Gow Online Casinos
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Most online casinos will offer at least one variation of the game. But you don’t have to waste any of your precious time searching around for which casino may or may not be offering it as we have all the best ones listed for you - doesn’t come easier than that.
Even better, if you choose to play Pai Gow at one of the online casinos that take PayPal, you will benefit from enhanced security and faster payouts when you win!
How to Play Pai Gow Online
This is a game which is based on poker play but there are some essential differences which set this game apart. Like in many other casino games, you play against the banker and not the other players.
First of all, each player is dealt seven cards instead of five. Once dealt you have to take a look at them to separate them into two hands: a 5-card back hand and a 2-card front hand, and the 5-card hand has to be higher than the 2-card hand. If you don’t want to arrange this yourself, you can click “house way” and your cards will be arranged for you.
The 5-card hand is compared to the dealer’s 5-card hand, and the same goes for the 2-card hand. The objective of this game is to win both hands against the dealer’s two hands.
Pai Gow Hands
Pai Gow follows the same card values as poker. For a quick refresher these are as follows:
- Five aces (A-A-A-A-J)
- Royal flush (A-K-Q-J-10) – highest ranked cards with the same symbol, for example all hearts
- Straight flush - numbers in a sequence with the same suit, for example 8-9-10-J-Q, all diamond
- Four of a kind - four cards with the same number (eg. 9-9-9-9-2)
- Full house - three cards with the same number, and 2 cards of the same number (eg. 6-6-6-8-8)
- Flush - any number cards all of the same suit, for example all club (4-7-9-2-Q)
- Straight - numbers in a sequence regardless of suit, for example 3,4,5,6,7
- Three of a kind (eg. 8-8-8-2-6)
- Two pair – (eg. 7-7-3-3-2)
- One pair (eg. 4-4-9-5-10)
- High card ( eg. 2-4-7-9-A)
There are some variations that Pai Gow players need to be aware of. The second highest type of straight flush is an A-2-3-4-5. This ranks between A-K-Q-J-10 and K-Q-J-10-9.
Also, when you are playing the two-card hand, you are aiming for a pair as they beat any unmatched cards. The highest ranking pair is an A-A, and the lowest is a 2-2. The no-paired cards rank from A-K as the highest, and 3-2 as the lowest.
The joker acts as a wild card only if you are to use it as an ace, to complete a straight, or a flush or a straight flush. This applies to the two-card hand as well.
Basic Rules of Online Pai Gow
In order to determine who wins each hand, just remember the following four short and sweet outcomes:
- If you win both the 5-card and 2-card hand against the dealer you get your bets paid out.
- If you win one hand, but the dealer wins the other hand this is known as a “push”, and neither you nor the dealer wins.
- If the dealer wins both hands then I am afraid you have lucked out and the dealer takes the stakes.
- If you tie on either the 2-card or 5-card hand, then the dealer will automatically win the hand.
So, if you lose one hand, and tie on the next, the dealer wins. If both hands are tied the dealer also wins. However, if you win one hand, and the next hand is tied, it’s a push and nobody wins. This rule essentially gives the dealer a better advantage as they have more opportunities to win.
For those who are keen to really get into the complexities of the game by understanding the more intricate rules and to learn the strategy of the game, read our articles and you could soon be a Pai Gow master bringing home the big bucks.
If you are a complete poker and Pai Gow newbie you may also want to try your hand at our free Video Poker game first, to get used to the basic rules before playing with an added hand in Pai Gow.
Play Online Pai Gow & Win Big!
Now you understand the main differences between regular poker and Pai Gow poker you’re ready to test your skill and enjoy winning whilst playing this captivating and intriguing game.
You can take a closer look at the inner workings of the game in our dedicated Pai Gow strategy page, or if you feel ready take your pick from one of our top Pai Gow casinos listed above!