Pai Gow Poker’s Success Story

By Debra SaundersGoogle

Pai Gow poker has broken onto the casino floors and it has also amazingly been a regular visitor at some of the WSOP tournaments making it a world renowned game for its double play and exciting odds. We are going to take a look just how Pai Gow has been stirring up the casino world.

Pai Gow poker has earned itself the nickname ‘Double-hand’ poker because of its two handed play against the opponent. With 7 cards and damaging prospects the game is compared to favourites such as Omaha and the house odds are low making this one of the fairest casino games out there in terms of house/player advantage.

5% House Commission

The house makes its money out of this game in the same way as many casinos make their money out of the many cash poker tables found in casino poker rooms, it charges a commission. The most common commission is to charge the punter 5% on any hand that they win. This means when the odds are all said and done the probability is neck-a-neck between punter and house, but with the commission the money swings slightly in the house’s favour in the long run.

On a good run of cards a player can beat the house convincingly and this is why Pai Gow has been making the headlines in casino paradises such as the tropical landscapes of Asia’s money nirvana, Macau. The high and low swing the game produces are something we all know the Asian casino clientele love.

More Time and More Value for Money

Some of the reasons Pai Gow has hit it off in the West are because unlike other table games such as Caribbean Stud, or even away from poker on the Blackjack tables, the time span of the game can be played over a longer period of time. The rules are that the winner must win on both hands, so there are a lot of push bets. This draws out the game in terms of time giving players more sitting time and more hands for their money.

7 Cards and 2 Hands with a Small Advantage

Pai Gow rules are that players make one single bet before the cards are dealt. Once the cards are out the player has 7 cards. The player must select two of the seven cards in order to make a two card hand, which then leaves a five card hand remaining. The advantage the player has is that he/she can decide on any two of the seven cards to make up the two handed hand to go up against the dealer, on the other hand the dealer doesn’t have this luxury and must turn over the cards in the order they were dealt.

This gives players are more tactical advantage over the dealer, especially when the player is dealt a two pair from the original seven cards. The player can divide this into a five card poker hand with a pair and take the second pair and add this as a pair for the two card hand, making two strong pair hands. The house is rarely dealt a pair on the last two cards thus the lowest pair of the two pair hand is always selected for the two card hand.  This almost guarantees the player will win at least the two card hand and by using the strongest pair in the five card hand gives the player high odds to win on this hand too.

In Paid Gow the five card hand is nearly always referred to as the high hand and the two card hand as the low hand. If you as the player win both the high and the low hand, you will be paid out at even odds minus the houses 5% commission. If you lose both hands, you lose all your bets, but if you lose either the high hand or the low hand then your bet is pushed, so it is returned to your bank roll.

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