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Pai Gow

Pai Gow

Pai gow is a Chinese gambling game that uses 32 Chinese dominoes and is commonly played in casinos in China, USA and Australia. It is also used to refer to the card game pai gow poker, a game created much later in America that uses a standard deck of cards with the addition of one joker. Using seven cards the player attempts to create a five-card and a two-card hand and there are many variants of this game that have been created in recent times that use that basic formula with modifications of rules, bonuses, side bets and progressive jackpots.

The house edge in standard pai gow is 1.5% assuming the player goes one on one with the dealer, playing to house rules, whilst in pai gow poker the house edge is very slightly lower, assuming the same conditions. The latter is quite simplistic to learn and memorise the optimum plays and was invented in 1985 and is quite a slow-paced game with lots of pushes (where neither side wins). pai gow (and the poker variant) are nowhere near as popular as games such as blackjack and roulette but have grown steadily as casino games as poker has become so mainstream.

Pai Gow Poker is the Americanised version of Chinese dominoes and uses a standard 52 card deck with the addition of a joker. The object of the game is to create two poker hands out of the seven cards dealt – a five-card hand, as well as a two-card hand. Here we expand on the rules of Pai Gow Poker and the variants of the game.

In order to play Pai Gow and succeed, a good grasp of the different poker hands is essential. Even then, a perfect strategy for playing the game is pretty complicated. Here we take a look at the different hands and the various strategies you can use when dealt a specific hand.

The story of Pai Gow goes all the way back to 960 AD to the ancient game of Chinese dominoes. The modern day game of Pai Gow Poker, however, was not invented until the 1980s by a man named Fred Wolf. Wolf created the game in order to ease the competition of large card casinos in Los Angeles. Californians loved it and the game quickly spread across the gaming market worldwide.