Online Pai Gow
Have you ever heard of the traditional Chinese game of Pai Gow, played using conventional dominoes? Well, Pai Gow Poker, sometimes referred to as Double-Hand Poker, is an American Poker game heavily based on the traditional Chinese Pai Gow. It uses playing cards instead of dominoes and poker hand values to determine winning hands. Pai Gow is well known for its slow pace and several pushes (or draws) so it is not the kind of casino game in which money is exchanged at every hand. It is therefore a relatively low-risk casino game, enjoyed by patient casino game lovers who relish a tranquil, leisurely card session. Pai Gow was created by an American casino owner in the mid-1980s, but has spread around the world and increased in popularity since the arrival of online gaming in the last two decades. Each player on a Pai Gow table plays against the banker, which can either be a casino dealer or one of the players on the table. This means that players usually win or lose together, adding to the social aspect of the game. Naturally, when playing Pai Gow online, it’s you against the dealer, unless of course, you’re playing a live version. Pai Gow may seem a little complicated to learn for beginners at first, but it’s actually not that tough a game to understand. If you already know the basics of Poker, you’re already more than half way there.
As stated above, Pai Gow is a slow-paced casino game, suited to the casino enthusiast who prefers a calm, leisurely game. But land-based casinos are rarely, if ever conducive to this sort of atmosphere. They’re busy, loud, somewhat chaotic and purposely keep you on your toes and reaching for your wallet. The atmosphere when playing online, much of which is up to the player him/herself, is certainly favourable for players who are more likely to enjoy a game of Pai Gow. There are no fellow players eager for you to speed up your play and thought process; no distracting waitresses offering beverages that affect your game; no unruly array of sounds emanating from hundreds or slot machines in the background. The less distracted you are, the less errors you will make and the better your chances of winning at Pai Gow.
General friendliness is another big factor. There may be more social interaction in a land-based casino, but which land-based casino will allow you to take a time-out and ask the dealer or fellow players for some advice? Which land-based casino will advise you to practice before you play? Which land-based casino will allow you to play for free (or for next-to-nothing table limits)? Which land-based casino offers 24/7 customer help regarding everything that has to do with your Pai Gow experience? Which land-based casino will allow you to keep a record of hands and strategy with you while you play? In a land-based casino, you’re either ready to play with your money in hand and your strategy memorised, or you’re not playing at all; this is not the case in an online casino.
Where can I play Online Pai Gow?
Finding an online casino that offers Pai Gow is not hard at all; it’s a very popular poker variant after all. But different online casinos offer different variance rates and different house edges when it comes to Pai Gow. Some offer better promotions and player bonuses than others, some offer a wider range of banking options than others, some offer better client support… Online casino vary on many fronts and it is important that each player finds the right one for him/her. That’s why we take all these factors into consideration when we review the best places to play Online Pai Gow for our readers. We do all the hard work in your name. So take a look at our Casino Reviews page for the best places to play Online Pai Gow.
It is always advisable for beginners to practice their skills before registering with an online casino and staking their hard-earned money. We also offer Free Pai Gow Poker for those of you who are smart enough to try it out and learn as you play. Why dive straight into the deep end? Practice makes perfect you know.
Online Pai Gow is based on Poker, but it’s not like any other Poker game you’ve played. There are several differences. You are dealt seven cards from which you are required to form two playable hands (a 5-card back hand and a 2-card front hand); you play against a banker rather than against several different players; a A,2,3,4,5-straight beats any other straight except for a 10,J,Q,K,A-straight; and a single joker card acts as a semi-wild card, only replacing an A or being used to complete a straight or flush. We lay out the Pai Gow Rules for you to get fully acquainted with the game in a separate page. There you will learn all about Pai Gow hands and pay-outs.
Playing perfect Pai Gow is not at all easy. In fact, Pai Gow involves some relatively complex strategy in comparison to other casino games. Nevertheless, one may utilise good strategy to play close to a perfect game without too much difficulty. Our separate Pai Gow Strategy page guides you through the basic Pai Gow strategy and presents the different scenarios Pai Gow players may find themselves in while playing and adds examples to each. It also presents a detailed account of Pai Gow terminology, as well as a history of the game to satisfy your curiosity and interest. If you take some time and read up on the strategy, Pai Gow is one of the most interesting casino games you will play. It’s a hidden gem of the casino world.