Pai Gow Poker is an interesting variation of Poker, mainly played with playing cards rather than traditional Chinese dominoes. The first version of this card game was developed in 1985 by Sam Torosian, the first owner of the Bell Card Club.
How Pai Gow Poker is Played
Pai Gow Poker is played on an even number of cards, with the exception of a seven-card dealt from the beginning to the end. This means that each player has seven cards to deal with, rather than the usual five. Four of these cards are kept in the middle, while the remaining two face up. The game’s object is to build up the pot by taking the most combinations out of the available seven cards and making the best possible hand.
How to Build Your Hand
In order to build your hand, you need to either have a low hand or a high hand. The low hand refers to any pair of cards where their individual values are higher than those of the combined value of all the other cards in your pair. The high cards are called the seven cards without regard to their individual values. In this case, the joker is used as the high card.
Pai Gow Poker refers to any hand where all the cards are of the same rank, i.e., a straight, flush, four of a kind, or full house. A straight has no pairs or jokers involved, while a flush has either one or both pairs. A four of a kind or a full house has jokers and is considered to be dealt from the high card down to the low card.
Straight and Flush
Straight and flush are considered the most commonly dealt cards in any game of Pai Gow Poker. However, if you look closely, you will notice a few variations that you can use to deal with the various hands that are dealt out during a typical game.
Number of Bets You are Willing to Place
Another important factor in playing Pai Gow Poker involves the number of bets you are willing to place on any particular hand. Some hands have a significant amount of value to them, so you will want to bet on these types of hands. On the other hand, you will want to avoid placing any bets on low-value hands because the amount of money you will win from these hands will be less than the value of your bet.
This is why it is so important to learn when to raise and when to fold. If you know the value of a hand before you start to bet, then you will be less likely to have an emotional reaction that will cause you to lose control of your poker chips.
Pai Gow Poker at Station Casinos
Some types of Pai Gow Poker are played at the Station Casinos, which differs slightly from regular games. Most of the hands are dealt the same way, but the station casinos make slight differences in how the hands are dealt.
For instance, the high cards are placed towards the front of the deck instead of being placed in the center. This allows the player to make an early bluff because the person holding the high card would not want to expose their hand unless they have the opportunity to do so.
Royal Flush Games
Royal flush games are usually played on a straight or flush table, so you will want to be careful when dealing with your cards. Sometimes, the dealer will place the royal card in the middle of the table so that you are less likely to bluff.