Pai Gow poker, also known as double-hand poker, is a variant of the original Pai-Gow that uses playing cards instead of Chinese dominoes. Sam Torosian, who owned the Bell Card Club, is credited for introducing the new version in the United States back in 1985. The game fast gained popularity in the US and quickly realized global recognition by the early 90s.
Live Pai Gow rules
Pai-Gow employs a standard deck of cards, 53 cards, and a single joker. It is played on a table set for one dealer and six players. The main goal for players is to beat the banker, who can be the dealer or another player.
Punters strive to create a five-card poker hand and another two-hand from the seven cards they are dealt. The five-card hand typically must be of a higher rank than the two-card hand.
During normal gameplay, the joker is usually used as a bug. That means it can complete a flush or a straight in the five-card hand or otherwise as an ace.
The goal of Pai Gow:
- To beat the bank, you make two poker hands with the seven of the dealt cards.
- A five-card “high” hand (also known as the back hand/big hand)
- A two-card “low” hand (also known as the front hand/small hand)
Your high hand must beat your low hand. If, for example, your low hand is a pair of queens then your high hand must be better than a pair of queens.
It is essential to note that Pai-Gow poker rules vary depending on the online live casino you are playing at. Thus, players should check with the casino to get acquainted with the rules first.
Fundamental live Pai-Gow tips for beginners
Live Pai-Gow is slow-paced but usually quite thrilling to most players. The game also has a fairly low house edge, which is what most punters prefer generally. Playing smart and splitting cards is key to winning in the game. A few tips, such as the ones highlighted below, could go a long way to enhancing a player's winning chances.
- Know the Game Rules and Objectives
The most obvious tip, especially for beginners, is to know their way around the game. That includes all the significant game rules and the objectives to which they should be playing. For example, players must know and understand hand rankings used in the game to make reasonable and informed gaming decisions. The learning curve for the game is usually relatively short for most punters.
Another essential tip for players is learning all the common mistakes they can potentially make in the game. For example, players should avoid side bets irrespective of how attractive they may appear. That is because they usually have far fewer winning odds and feature high house edge.
Another common mistake is arranging the two hands such that the two-card hand ranks higher than the five-card hand, which results in an automatic loss. Learning more about possible mistakes helps players to avoid making the mistakes.
Bankroll management is key for a player to walk away from a live Pai-Gow game as a winner. A player should know how much, when, and on what to bet. The decisions regarding bankroll management should not be based on emotions or particular turnouts of the game.