Pai Gow Poker is a different game than you may have ever seen. In fact until recently I didn't even know what the game was or how it was played. Now I can say I have learned a few things, which is why we are going to look at a few tips on how to play the game for the most success. You need to know that Pai Gow Poker, whether played in a casino or online, is always played against the banker or house. The banker can change. In fact some casinos will allow you to be the banker in the game for the other players, all though this is slowly losing its popularity for the casinos. If you are the banker you get the house edge, which means you are more likely to win. There is also a five percent commission for all winnings at the table.
In Pai Gow Poker you have two hands; the small hand and the large hand. The large hand consists of five cards which must be a better hand than the two cards. It is possible to still play the game if and only if you have a large hand. If you have a higher small hand the game will be a 'foul' which means you lose your ante bet. The ante bet is the bet placed before any cards are dealt on the table. The dealer is also going to have two hands. They will try to make the best two hands that they can as well.
One thing to remember in this game is that you cannot switch out any of the seven cards. It is not draw poker. In other words it is more like stud. Here are a few potential hands you could have:
- Ace, Ace, Nine, Seven, and joker for the five card hand; a pair of sixes. In this hand you have the aces which are higher than the pair of sixes, so both hands are appropriately structured. Now if the dealer has a 2, q, 6, 5, and 4 with a 9 and 8 that isn't anything, and you win. However if the dealer had two queens, a 5, 4, and 6 with a pair of 8's that means the large hand goes to you, and you lose the small hand.
- In Pai Gow it is possible to win one hand, but not the other. The hands will payout based on the hand you actually created. The Royal Flush is the best possible hand, where the pairs often pay out even money. So in the case where you lose one hand you break even at the table.
- Study the pay tables before you go to a casino or play online. This will help you decide what hands you should try and structure over others when there is an option.
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