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Online Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is an American version of the Chinese domino game known as Pai Gow. The game has gained significant popularity at online casinos. Many individuals like to play online Pai Gow poker because its pace is relatively slow compared to other games. Like blackjack, players in Pai Gow poker do not compete against each other, but rather aim to beat the dealer independently.

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Pai Gow Poker Rules at Online Casinos

Online Pai Gow poker is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus one Joker. The game begins by randomly assigning each player a betting position. While this has been accomplished in the past by using dice, online Pai Gow poker usually makes use of a random number generator. After betting positions have been established, each player makes a wager and is dealt seven cards. Players must then arrange these cards to make the best possible five-card and two-card hands, although the five-card hand must be better than the two-card hand. Two-card hands consist of pairs or high cards, while five-card hands typically follow standard poker hand rankings. The single Joker can act as any card needed to obtain a straight or flush, or it can act as an Ace. However, in some online Pai Gow poker games, the Joker is wild.

Next, the dealer flips seven cards for him or herself and arranges them based on a predetermined set of rules called the house way. If the dealer has a higher five-card hand and higher two-card hand than a player, that player loses his or her wager. If the dealer wins one hand and the player wins another, the bet is a push. If the player wins both hands, he or she is paid out at 1:1, minus a 5% house commission.

Online Casino Pai Gow Poker Strategy

Basic strategy for online Pai Gow poker can be quite complex, with various rules designed to help players most effectively arrange their cards. Learning basic strategy usually consists of memorizing statistical information about various hands, which means that the game can only be mastered after significant practice. In lieu of basic strategy, there are a few rules of thumb that online Pai Gow poker players can use to great effect.

For instance, it is typically best to create the highest possible two-card hand. In the event that a player has only one pair, he or she should always set this pair in the five-card hand, using the highest other card for the two-card hand. This strategy can be applied to roughly 65% of hands, making it quite effective considering its simplicity.

Choosing Pai Gow Poker Online Casinos

One important thing to consider when choosing a gambling site at which to play online Pai Gow poker is the rules used at a given site. Pai Gow poker has several variations, and different online casinos may adopt varying rules. For instance, sometimes an A-2-3-4-5 straight is considered the lowest possible straight, while other casinos place it just under an Ace-high straight and just above a King-high straight in value. Similarly, some casinos allow players to play additional hands or make side bets for a progressive jackpot. Players should choose sites that offer the type of online Pai Gow poker with which they are most comfortable.

Real Money Pai Gow Poker

Online Pai Gow poker is nearly always available for real money play. It can provide long-lasting entertaining play, as its slow pace and numerous pushes often allows individuals to continue playing for a lengthy period of time while using relatively little money. It is partly this balance of casual entertainment and potential for serious strategy that makes online real money Pai Gow poker so popular.

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