One of the most popular casino games both live and online is Pai Gow Poker, a game that is based on a traditional Chinese game that is played with dominoes, but has been adapted for play using a deck of 53 cards.
That last sentence was not a mistake, the Pai Gow Poker is played with 53 cards because it also uses as joker. The joker can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush or can be used as an ace. This may sound complicated, but all of the online casinos that CasinoSmash recommends have superb software that will make your Pai Gow Poker experience a simple yet exciting one.
Pai Gow Poker is played between the player and the banker, with the aim of the game to make the best poker hand. Seven cards are dealt to both players and these cards are used to create two poker hands – one of 5 cards (the high hand) and one of 2 cards (the low hand).
The object of the game is to try and beat the banker with both hands thus scooping the entire pot. It is important to ensure that your high hand is better than your low hand because otherwise your hand will be deemed a foul and you will lose your bet. Thankfully, most online Pai Gow Poker games warn you about that particular potential mishap!
The hand rankings in Pai Gow Poker are ranked the same as a regular poker hand with one exception; the best hand possible is five aces (made by having four aces and a joker) as this beats even the might of a Royal Flush.
If both of your hands are better than the banker’s then you win the hand and are paid out at even money, less a 5% commission. If both of the banker’s hands are better than yours, then the banker wins the bet.
The third possible outcome is that both you and the banker win one hand each. In this scenario the bet is a push and your bet is returned. The final possible outcome is that both your hands match those of the banker. In this case, the hand is called a “copy” and the banker wins.
Some of the online Pai Gow Poker providers that CasinoSmash has as a partner allow you to play as the banker. If you play as the banker, you must arrange your cards in the “house way,” which is how the dealer would ordinarily arrange them in order to maximise their chances of winner.
One of the reasons Pai Gow Poker is so popular is its easy rules and the fact a relatively small buy-in can often last a long time thanks to the game producing plenty of ties, which make it perfect for you if you prefer low variance online casino games.