Practice Pai Gow Poker and Play for Real Money

The game of poker is a staple in gambling circles all around the world. And, given the game’s popularity, it comes as no surprise that there are several different popular versions of poker that players enjoy playing for fun. That being said, even though it’s not the most popular poker variant – it’s definitely one of the most popular variants – we introduce to you Pai Gow Poker by RealTime Gaming.

RealTime Gaming is a company that’s been around in the industry for a long time now, having been founded over 20 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, but nowadays operating out of Heredia, Costa Rica. Its specialty is casino games of all different kinds, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and, of course, poker. Pai Gow Poker by RTG, as the name suggests, takes the rules from the Pai Gow poker variant, which you will get to learn more about once you read the rest of our review below.

The History of Pai Gow Poker

The Pai Gow Poker game is a relatively young game, having been created back in 1985. The game’s author and the original creator is Sam Torosian. He owned the Bell Card Club in LA, and he initially got the idea after having heard about Pusoi. The person that told Torosian about the game of Pusoi was a senior Philipino customer that came into the Bell Card Club.

The rules of Pusoi state that the players need to hold 13 cards and separate them into 3 different hands. Sam Torosian made the (rightful) assessment that this version of the game may be too slow, so he decided to cut down the excess and introduce a lot faster version of 7 cards into 2 different hands. At this moment, Pai Gow Poker was born, and it quickly blew up in popularity all across the world.

Another important thing to note was that, apart from all the ingenuity that Sam Torosian had when he created Pai Gow Poker, he wasn’t clever enough to patent the game in time. Reportedly, his attorney and a close friend of his have told him that it had been impossible to patent Pai Gow Poker – when the opposite was quite possible.

Pai Gow Poker Rules – Learn How to Play

One of the biggest allures about Pai Gow Poker is not just that it’s fast-paced and thrilling, but it’s also that the game is very simple to learn and play. If you’ve never learned how to play Pai Gow Poker online for real money, then you’ve come to the right place.

Basically, every round starts by placing an ante bet, and all the players and the dealer getting 7 cards, all face down. Every player then gets to maneuver their cards to form two separate hands:

  • The five-card hand, and
  • The two-card hand.

To win the round, both of the player’s hands need to be stronger than the two dealer’s hands. If the player wins with one hand and the dealer wins with the other, it’s a push bet, and the player gets their wager back. And if the round is a complete tie, i.e., both the dealer and the player have the exact same hands, then the dealer always wins. This just about sums up the basic rules in Pai Gow Poker. In any case, you could go for a round of practice if you play Pai Gow Poker for free as a demo.

Pai Gow Poker Hands Strength

The thing that makes Pai Gow Poker very simple to understand is that the hand strength is measured in the same way that it’s measured in other popular poker variants, including Texas Hold’Em. So, the hand strength on the screen, from weakest to strongest, goes as follows:

  • High card,
  • One pair,
  • Two pairs,
  • Three of a kind,
  • Straight,
  • Flush,
  • Full house,
  • Four of a kind,
  • Straight flush,
  • Royal flush.

If you have ever played almost any variant of poker games, then chances are that you’re already well-versed in terms of determining the value of a poker hand. Use the list above if you have any questions about a particular hand’s strength as you play Pai Gow Poker at Slots Empire Casino.

Odds and Payouts

Pai Gow Poker odds tend to vary but, either way, the odds, even when they are at their lowest, are still high enough to attract players eager to win profits with their bet. The way the odds vary is in the commission that some operators charge out of every payout that the player gets. There are also some operators that don’t charge any commissions – and it’s in these casinos that you’ll prefer playing Pai Gow Poker as they will have the best odds for the player.

The house edge in Pai Gow Poker is, on average, 2.8%, though, again, the odds do tend to vary. The 2.8% mark is solid enough, and it will fit right in most people’s preferences. Every time you win, you will get a 2:1 payout on your bet. Every time you lose or tie, you will forfeit your ante bet. And every time you push back, you will get your wager back. It’s as simple as that.

What this means is that Pai Gow Poker is a game with low volatility. You will get frequent payouts and losses, too, but they won’t be significant. This is perfect for players that wish to enjoy themselves without risking losing a lot of money.

Pai Gow Poker Strategy

The first thing that we’d like to mention is that the player has the chance to place side bets. These are much more improbable to be on the winning side, but this is compensated because the player can get a lot bigger payout by winning the side bets. In fact, this is the only way you can get a big payout in Pai Gow Poker, as the main game has low volatility and low payouts.

In Pai Gow Poker, your two-card hand cannot be stronger than your five-card hand. If this is the case, then you will forfeit your bet. Also, it’s a lot better two have two solid hands than make one of your hands extra strong and the other extra weak.

It’s advisable to have your JJ+ quads split into two pairs. Also, you should always split 5 aces if you have a joker, except if you have two kings that you can place in the front.


Do I need to practice a lot to learn the ins and outs of Pai Gow Poker?

It’s always a smart thing to do to practice any gambling game in a free-to-play setting. You can do this by playing Pai Gow Poker at Slots Empire Casino. But given the game’s simplicity, we wouldn’t say that it would take you a long time to learn a basic strategy that you can begin to implement successfully.

Where can I play Pai Gow Poker by RTG?

You can play Pai Gow Poker by RTG in many operators that feature RealTime Gaming software, but our personal recommendation is that you do so at Slots Empire Casino.

I want to win as much money as possible playing Pai Gow Poker. How can I do this?

If you want to win big sums of money, then you will need to place side wagers. Note though that it’s a lot more difficult to win the side bets – it could be said that it’s a losing bet.

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