Pai Gow Poker Gameplay
Playing Pai Gow Poker
If you playing the game online, you will most likely be playing by yourself. When your playing at a live casino, you will usually have six people to the table. You can't have any more because there aren't enough cards in the deck (6 players + 1 dealer times 7 cards each is 49 cards).
There are a couple of different ways you will see this game played online. The game you see above is Bodog Casino's version of pai gow poker.
To play, all you have to do is click on one of the five chips in the corner to bet. Click on the chipstack you've created to remove chips. Press the deal button when you are ready to receive your cards. Select two cards from the seven and click the split button.
The universal thing that all casinos do is on how they deal the cards. Specifically, you get all seven of your cards dealt in a row. With Bodog's version, they don't bother to show spots for any other mock players.
However, if you take a look at this screenshot of Liberty Slots' pai gow poker software, you'll see that not only are other players dealt. The first person to be dealt is selected by a random number generator. The number that appears corresponds to the number in front of the player with the dealer being 7. This will directly impact what cards you and the dealer will get.
Liberty Slots makes it very easy to play if you are a beginner. They have a button of a house that appears after you receive your cards. Pressing this button will show you the "House Way." What this does is pull the same two cards to make the low hand as the dealer would.
Betting in Pai Gow Poker
One important thing to remember when it comes to betting is the commission that the dealer makes when you win. Any time you win, you are winning double when you bet, bet you have to pay 5% commission on what you've won. This is one of the only reasons the house has any advantage playing this game. The one exception is that the banker always wins a copy hand.
How the Dealer will Play
This is an important thing to know. If you don't know the details of what the dealer will do with his cards, you are most likely going to push a lot and have the dealer beat you more often.
Look at the screenshot above. This is a perfect example. Both the dealer and I had two pairs. The dealer had one high pair and a medium pair, so did I. If I didn't know what I was doing, I might have kept my two pairs in the high hand and played the Q6 in my low hand. This somewhat assures I will win the high hand, but I am almost guaranteed to lose the low hand.
What's more interesting is what the dealer did with his cards. He could have played A6 and kept the two pairs, and this would be a lot more of a judgment call on your part because of the Ace. But it's clear what the dealer has to do. The dealer has to protect the low hand with the pair because I might get a straight, flush or three of a kind to stomp on his two pairs.
Keep this in mind, what the dealer is doing with his hands are what you should be doing with your hands. In this example, it turns out that both of my hands were slightly better.
Here's another example:
This time I pressed the house way button. Look what the dealer would play if he were me. But the K9 looks pretty good to make the low hand. Let me just keep the two pairs.
Look at what would have happened had I done that. I would have opened my low hand up to get beaten by the A10. But since I listened, I won both hands.