Most of the casino games we know and love have been around so long, it’s virtually impossible to trace their exact origins. This, isn’t the case with Pai Gow poker, however, which has a very clear history.
In fact, we can go so far as to tell you who was the inventor (Sam Torosian, owner of the Bell Card Club), when it was invented (1985), and where (Los Angeles, California, USA).
A low risk, slow play card game based on the traditional Chinese domino game Pai Gow, it’s also known as double-hand poker. It has a strong element of skill mixed in with luck, and a nice and obvious format, so it’s easy to get the hang of how to play your hands.
Available in all our preferred Canadian online casinos, like those listed below, we strongly recommend having a read, then putting your quick learned strategy into play, for loads of fun at this very good odds game
When first encountering the game, Pai Gow poker often sounds more complicated than it actually is. It does take a bit of getting used to, but trust us when we say, it’s actually quite simple once you (quickly) get the hang of it.
Pai Gow starts with a 52 card deck plus a single joker card. The joker serves as a wild card and can be used as an Ace, to complete a straight, to complete a flush, or to complete a straight flush.
The game works best with six players plus the dealer in each hand, though it is possible to play with fewer players.
Once seated at the table, the dealer/banker starts divvying up the cards.
Each player must now form a five-card hand and a two-card hand. Unlike traditional online poker, the goal of this game is to beat the banker (dealer), rather than the other players, with these two separate hands. That means there can be more than one winning player in each round.
Ties on each hand, however, go to the banker, giving the banker a slight advantage. So for example, if a player’s two-hand card loses to the banker, while his five-card hand ties with the banker, the player loses.
Pai Gow has many things in common with regular poker, first and foremost of which is that it’s played with cards and poker hand values. There are, however, some small differences including:
Like all online casino games, there’s a distinct advantage to playing Pai Gow poker online. First of all, if you’re a Canadian player and looking for a Pai Gow table, then you need look no further than our recommended Pai Gow Casinos table above.
At each of these fine establishments you’ll find Pai Gow in our free games to get you started, as well as real money play once you’re ready for a gamble. Plus, if you’re new to the casino, you’ll also get a welcome bonus, which will give you more money to play.
Looking for a few easy tips to get you started? Here’s what we suggest:
There is of course more detailed Pai Gow strategy available, if you’re in the mood for a read, or to master the game. But the aforementioned is plenty to get you started on your way to winning hands.
If you’re looking for a fun, slightly slower spin on the traditional poker game, we strongly suggest you give Pai Gow poker a try. It’s got a good element of challenge and skills with decent probabilities, and relatively easy to master strategy. And with all our favourite Canadian online casinos offering it – like those listed above – you know you’re in good hands when you play.