Understanding Pai Gow Poker

There are some online casino games that have Chinese origin. These include Keno and Sic Bo. However, the most popular one is Pai Gow Poker. In ancient China this game was played using tiles. It was later adapted for card play and based on poker hand rankings. Pai Gow Poker is played using a deck with 53 cards. The extra card is a joker.

As is usual in casino poker games, you start by placing the ante bet. Then you click the “Deal” button and seven cards will be dealt face up to you. The dealer’s seven cards will be dealt face down. You have to create two separate hands from your seven cards. The larger hand will have five cards and the smaller hand will have two cards. The larger hand exactly follows the normal poker hand rankings. The rankings for the smaller hand are pair and then the ranks of the cards in descending order. There are no straights or flushes in the smaller hand.

The dealer’s cards will ultimately be separated into two similar hands. The larger hands will be compared and the smaller hands will be compared and you have to aim to beta the dealer in both. There are constraints that need to be followed by the player. The smaller hand has to be lower ranked than the larger hand. The joker can be used as a wild card only to make a straight or a flush in the larger hand. Otherwise it is to be used as an ace.

You have the option to create the two hands on your own. All you need to do is click on the cards you want in the smaller hand. That is the way to play once you acquire the Pai Gow Poker skill. Till then you can use the “house way” option, which automatically splits the cards in the optimum manner.

Once your move is made, the dealer’s cards are exposed and split using the house way. The hands are then compared – the larger with the larger and the smaller with the smaller. Tied hands go to the dealer. If you win both hands then you are paid even money less a 5% commission. If you win one hand and lose the other then the bet pushes. If you lose both the hands then you lose the bet. Using optimum Pai Gow Poker strategy, the game has an average return of 97.3%.

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