We find this poker variant, originating from China, to be a unique and exciting game of chance. Therefore, we are willing to share some professional advice that will solve any doubts you may have. We’ll also answer what’s probably been on your mind since you read the title of this guide: what does Pai Gow mean?
Play Pai Gow When You Learn All the Rules and Tricks
Do you know what’s the single worst thing players do when they enter a casino gaming floor?
Entering a casino hoping to land a big prize while being utterly unaware of the rules and tricks. Only an amateur believes that luck increases their chances of winning — hence why they come to casinos poorly prepared.
As a matter of fact, this happens fairly often. So, we have decided to put an end to this and help people in need of some professional assistance. Before we begin, let’s just warn you that, even though there are some strategies you can apply, nothing can change your odds so drastically; other than pure luck.
What is Pai Gow Poker?
When we talk about the Pai Gow poker variant, many consider it to be a combination of Seven Card Stud and a game of Domino, originating from the Chinese Domino game. Since the premiere of Pai Gow, during the 1990s, its popularity has skyrocketed.
But, what does “Pai Gow” mean? The name itself loosely translates to “make nine.” This probably comes from the fact that the highest value hand, save for a few high-scoring exceptions, in Pai Gow is nine.
This poker variant uses a standard 52-card deck, with the addition of a Joker card, which can be used as a substitute if you need to make a flush or a straight. In order to beat the dealer, you need to split seven cards you receive into the best possible two and five-hand combination.
Another great piece of advice, while playing Pai Gow poker, is to stretch your bankroll due to the fact that more than 41% of hands end in a push. This way you can sit at a cards table for an extended amount of time without losing too much money. Naturally, you cannot hope to build a large stack of chips while sitting for hours this way either.
Nowadays, there are two options for playing Pai Gow, both in online casinos and land-based ones.
Use the Bonus
Pay attention to table offers which are accepting the odds for premium hands, giving you the opportunity to win even more real money. Usually, these cashouts start with a 2:1 for a straight and tend to go up from there, sometimes as much 8,000:1 for a seven straight card flush.
Nevertheless, these cashouts are not genuine odds. Even when you can use the Joker as a substitute wildcard, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be spending your time at the table hitting bonus after bonus; sometimes you won’t gain anything, or you’ll have to wait for 20, 30 minutes without a hit.
In most cases, the house edge is 7%. The comforting thing is — when that bonus hits, it will pay off quite well for you.
Plan Your Own Pai Gow Poker Strategy
Every casino has its own rules on how you set your hand. The vast majority of them include the regulations of splitting pairs, with the exception of a strong Ace being combined in the two-card hand.
Have this in mind — the casino way doesn’t necessarily have to be your way. More often than not, if the dealer seems to be running cold, this might encourage you to keep the pairs you have together and play a strong queen or a king up top.
The best option is to build your chip stack while winning both hands and beating the dealer. On the other hand, the worst case scenario — you are losing the top but gaining the bottom, which forces a push.
Manage Your Money Wisely
Be careful with your math; calculate every move and bet inside your own mind before you decide to place a bonus bet.
Be a smart player and use 100% of your brain cells. An intelligent player is the one who wins when top poker hands are equal. Remember, the five percent commission will be charged only after your losses are set against the winnings.
Also, have this fact in mind — if you participate in Pai Gow game with a big bettor, you are in a potential trap to pay out if you lose. When you act like a banker, the dealer will play along and keep betting an equal amount as the last bet.
Always Know When To Walk Away
Casino games, especially the table card ones can be extremely frustrating sometimes. So, it is imperative to know when is the right time to walk away. Many players stay at a table even though they are on a losing streak as they believe that they can still bring their money back. But, sometimes, that scenario doesn’t happen, and they end up losing even more money.
On the other hand, players can ‘grow wings’ after just one big win, get greedy, and invest more money into the game, often losing everything they have.
So, it’s safe to say that the timing, in this case, is everything. Luckily, there is a rule you can use; leave the table if you lose three hands in a row. How come? Because the push rate is more than 41 percent.
If the gameplay becomes too overwhelming, take a restroom break an cool off a bit. Once you’re away from the table, everything will seem clearer.