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Play Pai Gow Poker

23 May 2023

By Frank Scoblete

Pai Gow Poker could be one of the great casino games, if more people knew about it and if more people played it. I happen to love the game and I wish to impress upon you that you might come to love it too – if you give it a try.

Of course, small casinos probably don’t have the game on their floors. The cry for the game is not so loud. The larger casinos will feature the game and certainly casinos with Asian rooms will have a few tables.

[Please note: Don’t confuse Pai Gow Poker with Pai Gow tiles. These are two separate and different games. There won’t be many Pai Gow tiles games; in fact, even fewer, far fewer than Pai Gow Poker games.]

The Pai Gow Poker game is similar to blackjack as you play against the dealer.

A pack of 52 cards with an added joker is shuffled in an automatic shuffle machine and anywhere up to six players and the dealer can play the game. Each player gets seven cards, face down, and each must make two hands with those seven cards; a two-card hand and a five-card hand.

The five-card hand must be the higher hand.

The hands are based on poker strengths so a three-of-a-kind would beat a pair (and so on). So the order of power is Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 with the wild card able to complete flushes and straights.

Each player sets his or her cards and then puts them face down. Now, the dealer turns over his or her cards and will make the house hands as the players watch the process.

When the dealer is done setting the house hand, each player’s hands are turned over and we see who beat the dealer on one or both of the hands, who lost to the dealer on one or both of the hands and who tied with the dealer winning one hand and losing one hand.

Pai Gow has plenty of ties and that is a great thing as no money can be lost by the players.

The game is leisurely and with the cards dealt face down and the rather large number of ties, players can relax and not worry about getting hammered as you can by those other casino card games that can go very, very fast. For example, in mini-baccarat a player can play 150 hands in an hour (sometimes more!).

Because the game is leisurely you will rarely find players who are stoked or wound up like kites as you can at other casino games. If you like a little peace and quiet Pai Gow Poker is a great game to play.

The house edge at Pai Gow Poker is usually around 2.6 percent, depending on how the player sets his or her hands. When in doubt the dealer will set a player’s hands according to the house way. That’s a good thing because all you have to do is take a look at the house and figure part of that structure was built by Pai Gow Poker!

There is a 5 percent commission on winning both hands.

[Please note: A new Pai Gow Poker game has recently been offered at some casinos and this version is even better than the original version. The dealer sets his hands first and all the players now know what they have to beat. The house edge goes down over a half percent, sometimes more if the players are astute enough to take advantage of the dealer’s hands.]

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com. Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in AmericaFrank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books include Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! and Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players.

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