One of the more interesting casino poker games is Pai Gow poker. It is played in major casinos all over the world, but it has also become popular online, especially in a Playtech casino.
Pai Gow is not traditional poker in the sense that you are not sitting at a table playing against other players. It is casino poker, which means you are playing against the house.
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Pai Gow means "double hand" poker. In it, a standard 52-card deck with one joker is used.
How it works: The player must create two poker hands out of the seven cards in his hand: a five-card hand and a two-card hand. The five-card hand must outrank the two-card. The two-card hand is the hand "in front" and the five-card hand is the hand "behind."
Seven cards are dealt to each player. The only two card hands are pairs or high card. The player then makes his five card hand with the remaining cards.
The five card hands use the standard poker rankings.
How you win: If both of your separated hands beat the banker’s hands, you win. If only one wins, it is a push. If both lose, the player loses. Ties will go to the banker, which gives the house a small advantage. Make sure you understand the rules and do not foul your hand when you split it into two.
Strategy: The first goal is to set the best two-card hand possible within your limits of the game. In other words, the best possible two card hand that still leaves the player with a better five-card hand; your five-card hand must outrank your two-card hand. In general, an average hand will have a pair in the five-card and an ace or king high in the two card hand.
In a Playtech casino, the rules are fixed, but some variations on which hand is best exist in live casinos, so make sure you ask the house rules in these situations. The value of the joker also varies from place to place.
Pai Gow poker was founded in the early 1980s at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles by the gaming innovator Fred Wolf. The game become popular very quickly, and was soon in Las Vegas and then all over the world. It is an important staple of online gaming now.
The house edge on Pai Gow is not as high because of the length it takes to play, so in general the takeout is higher. But there are many pushes, and it is a game where you can get action for quite some time.
In a playtech casino, the house edge is under 3 percent, roughly 2.85. The house is always the banker in a Playtech casino.
Pai Gow is an interesting twist and combines elements of stud, but it also requires the player to make strategic decisions on how to split the hand. Take some time to play online and get the rules down, and you will find this version of casino poker might be the most interesting to play.