Jay Sanin
Jay Sanin
Last Update:
April 15, 2021
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Author Bio:
Jay is a total online gaming crack and knows every slot developer, operator and game theory by heart. Before becoming an editor he was part of a blackjack card counting group and taught young players how to beat the house. Know he's an ambitioned online editor and writes about new games, legalization of online gaming in the US and much more.
Jay is a total online gaming crack and knows every slot developer, operator and game theory by heart. Before becoming an editor he was part of a blackjack card counting group and taught young players how to beat the house. Know he's an ambitioned online editor and writes about new games, legalization of online gaming in the US and much more.

Pai Gow Poker Online 2021: Rules, Winnings & Odds

Pai gow poker is a form of poker which has garnered a lot of interest from players over the years, as it has now become one of the most played table games at casinos. In the year 1985 in the United States of America, Sam Torosian who was the owner of the Bell Card Club invented this wonderful game. It is played using cards instead of Chinese dominoes or “Pai gow” as in the original game, and is sometimes called “double hand poker”

Highlights of Pai Gow Poker
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  • Pai gow poker is a hybrid of the traditional poker game

  • There are certain strategies to employ when playing

  • One can play pai gow poker online at online casinos

Game Process

A joker is added to a standard deck of cards to make the number of cards total 53 in a game of Pai gow poker. Basically, the goal in this game is to beat the banker's hand. And the banker is not always going to be the dealer – the banker may be the dealer, the banker may be another player at the table also, and sometimes it may be a partnership between a player and the dealer.

Each player is dealt seven cards by the dealer, and is expected to make two Pai gow poker hands with the cards:

  1. A high hand consisting of five cards
  2. A low hand consisting of the remaining two cards

After you have made your two hands, the two hands of the dealer is also revealed with the player's hands, and if:

  • Both your hands win the banker’s hands, you have won your wager
  • One of your hand beats the dealer's, and the other hand of the banker beats your other hand, this is a push and there will be no loss or gain to either party
  • Any other situation apart from the two mentioned above is in favour of the banker, and the player will lose his bet.

Pai Gow Poker Rules

In Pai gow poker rules, when setting your two hands, it is compulsory that the low hand does not outrank the high hand. The low hands can either form pairs or a high card, whereas the high hand is counted using standard poker hand rankings.

When playing Pai gow poker the number of cards left in the deck must not be less than 4 cards, and to this effect a maximum of 7 people can be involved in a game which comprises of six players plus the dealer, and starting from the banker the player's seats are numbered one to seven. After numbering, a number is picked at random sometimes with the use of die and whichever player’s number gets picked is where the dealing of the cards starts from, and continues round the table in a counter-clockwise motion.

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Winning Possibilities

If you have been following from the rules and the explanation of how things game is played, you may have noticed that the player needs to be perfect to win even a single hand, and this may sound discouraging. However, as is with almost every casino game, there is always the chance to win and Pai gow poker is no exception. In this game, you can play against the banker and win, or even play as the banker when it’s your turn with higher chances of winning. It is beneficial to have a good betting strategy to know when to bet high and when to go high.


When playing Pai gow poker, there are a bunch of terms you definitely need to learn and understand so that you can enjoy a good rapport with other punters and with the dealer without getting confused. Some of those terms include:

  1. Ante – This is the first bet that the player makes
  2. Bankroll – This is the amount of money that the player has set aside with which he makes his wagers from
  3. Banker – This is the person each player is playing against; he takes the bets for every round of each player's hands. The dealer is the designated banker in an online casino, but in a land-based casino, the players take turns being the banker.
  4. Flush – Five cards of the same suit in one hand
  5. Full house – Three cards of the same value, and a pair of the same value in one hand
  6. Four-of-a-kind – Four cards all of the same value in one hand
  7. Split – This is the act of separating the seven cards that the player has been dealt into a five-card high hand, and a two-card low hand.

Strategy and Tricks

Having a sound betting strategy is something that every player should consider to do irrespective of whatever game you are playing at the casino and Pai gow poker is not an exception. Depending on how good your hands are, you may decide to reduce the Pai gow poker odds and go easy on your bankroll, or to let it loose.

Also, winning in Pai gow poker is actually largely down to how the cards are shuffled and dealt to you as a player. Simply put, you need to get lucky a couple of times just like in other games of chance, however, like those games a certain level of skill is still required to know how to split your cards and separate them into two hands and ensure a win.

Take for instance, you’ve been given this set of cards in a particular round; K, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 9, there’s about three different ways you can’t split these cards into two different hands without breaking the rules of low hand not outranking the high hand, while also trying to beat the banker’s hand and claim winnings from your bet. Each hand, has a corresponding purpose for the way you may split them:

Low hand</td>High handAim
1.K, 9K, Q, J, 10, 9A low hand that is not strong, and a very strong high hand; this split is likely to get the player a push
2.9, 9K, K, Q, J, 10With a strong low hand and a mildly strong high hand, this arrangement is probably the best shot at winning that the player may have
3.Q, JK, K, 9, 9, 10With a not so strong low hand and a strong high hand, this strategy is in between the first two, and may get you either a push or a win

Playing for Free

It is quite impossible to head over to a brick and mortar casino and go over to the Pai gow poker table to play the game without money to place some bets. However, the internet allows you to do just that at an online casino, even from the comfort of your home. This is a very important and useful tool as a kind of pai gow poker tutorial for players especially if you are new to Pai gow poker and need some experience playing the game, and to practice your betting strategy before playing with real money.

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Pai Gow Poker Variations in Live Casino

Although, this game is a hybrid of the traditional poker and the original Pai gow, like a host of other casino games Pai gow poker is so recognisable that it also has its own online casino variations. Some of them include:

  • The No Push Pai Gow Poker Game: which involves the use of the extra four leftover cards to use as tie breakers. In this type, the dealer is always the banker. You may find this variant online or at a live casino.
  • Pai Gow Poker Mania Variant: where the player is allowed two side bets

Legal Situation of Pai Gow Poker with Focus on Online Gambling

As it stands in 2020, online betting and online casino gaming activities across the United States are legal in some states. As of 208, some states starting with New Jersey have legalized some forms of these activities. When it comes to the legality of playing Pai Gow Poker in the USA, its legality is relative to every state's regulations and laws which oversee the industry. All in all, players from many states are allowed to play Pai Gow Poker across online casinos which are licensed and regulated by the USA-based governing bodies and agencies.

Casinos with Pai Gow Poker: Play Now

Several casinos online offer you the chance to play Pai Gow poker, and some have better playing environment than the others. We have compiled a list of some of those awesome casinos, like Sugarhouse Casino, Pokerstars Casino, and others that we have compiled in our information guide.

In this time and age, playing Pai gow poker has never been fun, as you can now play from wherever you are at a fully licensed casino with ease on your smart phone or other devices as casinos such as the ones mentioned above are available on smart phones as apps on either the apple app store or Google play store.

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Pai gow poker may possess some technicalities to understand as a new player, but once you have gotten past that, you would see why it is such a fun game, and why interest in the game is seriously increasing. What’s more, it is even accessible online through smart phones and other devices without the punter having to go to the land-based casino. You can be part of this fun too, and win while at it, if you access the casinos we have provided and follow the guidelines earlier stated, to also win money while you’re at it. Such online casinos have been provided at our online casino comparison page, for your use.
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