Playing Pai Gow Poker is similar to Texas Holdem with a twist. Players will be play two separate hands, a high and a second highest hand trying to beat the dealer on both hands. Not only does the house edge drop considerably in this game compared to other casino games, but it allows you to break even should you lose on your first hand but win the second. Players should note that while most US casino players will find Pai Gow Poker online it isn’t played the same as you would at the brick and mortar casinos. The biggest difference between the two is the banker which will rotate from player to player at the casino. Obviously online Pai Gow Poker uses the dealer as the banker so you will be playing against the house.
The game uses a standard 52 deck of playing cards along with a Joker card, which is used as a wild card. The Joker will only act as a wild card to complete certain hands such as a straight, flush, straight flush, royal flush or can act as an Ace. Each player will receive seven cards as well as the dealer. The cards will be used to make the best five card hand and the best high card hand using the remaining two cards. Players should note that you will have to use the absolute best cards in your hand to make your five card hand first before you can complete your high hand. This means that a player holding a pair and nothing else will need to use that pair as their 5 card hand and not the high hand. The highest hand able to be made using 5 cards is five Aces, using the four aces in the deck and the wild card. The bets high card hand is made with two aces making a pair. The basic poker rankings are used in Pai Gow Poker, so if you’re familiar with Texas Holdem you should have no problems playing Pai Gow Poker online. Once the hands have been made you will only win if your hand beats the dealer (banker). If one of your hands is a win while the other loses it will be considered a tie and your bet will be returned. If the dealer wins on both hands you will lose your bets and if your hand and the dealer’s hands are exact copies of each other, it’s also considered a tie but you lose all bets. The bonus bet is an optional bet made for qualifying hands. The option to place the bonus bet will be given prior to receiving your cards and all winning hands will be paid according to the chart below regardless of whether your hand was beat by the dealer or not. The bonus bet in Pai Gow uses all seven cards and a player will need at least three of a kind to qualify.