Pai Gow Poker by Software ProvidersBy: Joe Valentino, Wednesday April 14th 2010
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Pai Gow Poker is a poker based casino game that was originally more popular among the Asian online community. However it is drawing more widespread traffic now. The game is interesting because it involves some element of skill along with luck. Players are dealt seven cards and have to make two hands, one of five cards and the other of two cards. The dealer does likewise. The corresponding hands of the player and the dealer are compared and payouts are awarded. Most online gaming software providers include Pai Gow Poker in their portfolio. The rules are identical but there are operational differences. This article discusses Pai Gow Poker offered by three software providers.
Rival Gaming Pai Gow Poker has table limits of minimum of $10 and maximum of $500. If players wager less than the minimum amount the casino displays a prompt message stating that the wager is lower than required. The table displays only one position for the player. When the player clicks the Deal button after placing the wager, seven cards are dealt face up to the player and seven cards are dealt face down to the dealer. The player can set the speed of the game to either Slow or Medium. The player can split his cards on his own by clicking the cards he wants in the two card hand. Rival Gaming Pai Gow Poker also allows the player to use the House Way to split his hand. This way results in the optimal decision and maximizes the player’s chance of winning. The player can also first split the cards on his own and then click on the House Way button. This will rectify any mistake made by the player.
Cryptologic Pai Gow Poker has table limits of minimum of $2 and maximum of $50. This information is not displayed on the screen. But if players wager less than the minimum amount or more than the maximum amount the wagers are automatically adjusted to the minimum and maximum limits respectively and a text message is displayed on the screen. Though five seating places are shown on the table the bets are automatically placed on the central position. Only one standard game speed is available. The cards are dealt in the standard manner. The player has to split his cards manually. The House Way feature is not offered. This is a major disadvantage and will keep new players away.
Vegas Technology Pai Gow Poker has table limits of minimum of $1 and maximum of $200. This information is not displayed on the screen but is available in the Help files. The lowest chip size is $1 and if players wager more than the maximum limit the software prompts them not to. There are six positions on the table and the player can place the wager on any one of them. Cards are dealt to all positions but the extra cards are removed from the play. The game speed can be set to Slow, Medium or Fast. Alternatively the animation of card dealing can be disabled altogether. The House Way is available and players can first split their cards manually and then check for optimality using the House Way.
Of the Pai Gow Poker games from the three online gaming software providers, the Vegas Technology game is the best. The Cryptologic game can be avoided because the House Way is not offered.
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