Pai Gow Poker – East Meets West

Posted by: on Jan 6, 2014 | One Comment

Pai Gow Poker is an Americanized fusion version of the ancient Chinese tiles game of Pai Gow married with the modern Poker game to be played with a deck of 53 cards (joker for faces, straights and flushes). This is a combination of the Pai Gow’s “high hand, low hand” playing structure with poker hands.


A player is dealt with seven cards initially that must be separated into a five-card hand and a two card hand. The basic game rule says that the five-card must have higher poker value than the two-card hand.   It’s a fairly recent addition to the world of casino games but has caught the eye of players in both land-based and online casinos across the world.

Pai Gow Poker Is Born

Pai Gow Poker was first played in 1985, in the Bell card club of Sam Torosian. Torosian, a onetime bread delivery man turned real estate investor brought the California Bell Casino for $750,000 in 1984 while touring with his wife. The poor casino business and the empty spaces inside it led Torosian and other casino bosses noticed the need to invent a new game.

One night while Torosian was walking around his empty casino an elderly Filipino poker player pulled him aside and told him about a 13-cards Chinese game. Torosian believed a 13-card game would be too slow and thus imagined if gamblers could play two hands. He adopted the idea of splitting the hands came from the ancient Pai Gow tiles game and the aces-high ranking system was borrowed from straight-ahead poker. Thus a new casino game, Pai Gow Poker was born.

The game is a perfect blend of old and new, east and west, strategy and luck equally. It was an instant hit in the California casino circles. In just one year after its release, Pai Gow Poker was being played in all of the Californian casinos. The following year it was found being played in the casinos of Las Vegas and subsequently the Atlantic City. Today, casinos all over the world have a special table for the visitors to play Pai Gow Poker.

Tips for a winning game

Here are some of the winning tips to know before taking the plunge.

Learn the Rules

Knowing is winning. Most of the players that wager in a Pai Gow Poker session and come out as losers never tried understanding the rules and strategies of the game. An expert advice would be to play few free mode games first, get familiar with the rules and then graduate to original game play.

Be the banker

The banker is the person whose hands must be beaten to win the round. The benefits of being a banker lie in the fact that, the banker wins on copies, i.e., same top hands and a 5 % commission is charged when losses are set against winnings. In case you are the banker and playing with a huge bettor, better be warned, as you are entitled to pay big if you lose the game.

Know when to leave

Every casino game session can get streaky and this one is not an exception. It’s a wise rule to leave the table in case one loses three consecutive hands.

The Bonus Feature

Now, the best part of this game is the bonus payment. Winning a bonus bet is considered a fortune in the Pai Gow Poker game. This game pays money on both the winning hands. The dealer pays the winning player based on the strength of the original seven cards dealt to them.

One Key Thing to Remember

One of the key things to remember above all, in order to win is that the player needs to focus equally on forming a strong five-card and two-card-hand. It is a sheer mistake to only focus on the five-card hand while playing. The player must pay equal importance to both the Pai Gow Poker hands as they play a major role in winning the game. One should focus to create a combination of two excellent hands with the goal of winning them both.

1 Comment

  1. ria 1911
    September 22, 2014

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