What’s Pai Gow Poker And How Do You Play It?

Pai Gow poker is one of the most popular poker variants and is available to many players who play USA online poker as well as land-based casinos around the globe. It was created by Sam Torosian, who was himself a casino owner back in the day. The game caught on like wildfire when it was made back in the 1980s and is now available almost everywhere.

The goal of Pai Gow poker is to create not one but two poker hands that are going to be better than the poker hands of your opponents. It’s pretty easy to understand and play this poker variant if you already have some experience playing other poker types such as Texas Hold ’em or Omaha.

Only Bet

Betting in Pai Gow starts before any cards are dealt. However, unlike other poker games, this is the only time you will actually place a bet during a single hand, which makes the element of luck impact the game a bit more compared to other types of poker.

Once all players place bets, each (up to six players per table) receives a total of seven cards. Now, the main goal of Pai Gow is to use those seven cards and create two hands.

The big hand consists of five cards, while the small hand has two cards. The small hand (also known as the front hand) can only be a pair or two high cards, which makes things a bit more interesting when playing Pai Gow.

One More Card

What makes Pai Gow stand out from other poker types is the inclusion of a joker, which can replace any card if you can make a straight or a flush with it. In every other type of scenario, the joker is considered an ace. It’s also considered an ace if it is a part of the small hand.

Finally, you must keep in mind that the big hand must always have a higher rank than your small hand. If you manage to make that mistake, you will lose the bet and “foul your hand.”

This is basically it — the better your hands are, the higher the opportunity to win the hand and receive more chips. However, to do that, you need to know some of the important strategies that are used in Pai Gow poker. This is a perfect topic for another article!

If you want to play Pai Gow right now, make sure to check out some poker site reviews and find out more about casinos offering this type of online poker.