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Pai gow poker is considered to be a variant of traditional poker. Often being called the blackjack of poker, as it is a fast-paced game that is played against the dealer. Pai gow poker is played with a 53-card deck, the 53rd being the joker, as well as a set of dice. This casino game makes room for two to seven players at a time. Which makes for seven excited Canadian gamblers playing all at once.

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How Does Pai Gow Poker Work?

The 53 cards are the split so that each member playing, including the dealer, gets seven cards each. You are then expected to further split these cards into two hands, with one consisting of five cards and the other two cards. The five-card hand must be better than the two-card hand. Just like traditional poker, pai gow poker has the same values. With the King, Queen, Jack and Ace ranking the highest and numbers two through 10 holding their face value. Both of your hands are then compared to that of the dealers, which will ultimately determine the outcome of your bet. The game will begin with a player placing an ante bet, much like other poker variants.

So, what is the dice for? You may ask. The dice are used to determine as to which player will receive which hand. This is done so that the playing field is somewhat levelled with regards to random cards.

Strategizing in Pai Gow Poker

This variant of poker makes it very difficult for players to strategize as the cards are largely unseen, making it difficult to choose the best ones. It is without a doubt that this casino game’s edge is largely in favour of the house. That is why we, at Maple Casino, suggest that you choose to be the banker. By electing to be the banker you are provided with some advantages, such as always being able to collect the winnings in the case where there is a tie.

The Joker is considered to be a semi-wild card, ultimately what this means is that the joker can be used in place of an Ace to complete a straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush. Overall, making the Joker a very important element as it increases your chances of winning.

Rules of Pai Gow Poker

  • To win, you need to beat the dealer’s hand with the highest poker value.
  • The seven cards need to be split into two hands, a low hand of two cards and a high hand of five cards.
  • Once this is done, the dealer will use the “house-way” rule whereby he will divide and turn over his own hand of cards.
  • Thereafter, the two high hands and the two low hands will be compared.
  • The one with the higher value will win.
  • If there is a tie, the banker takes home the winnings.
  • In this poker variant, players are able to make bets against each other as well as the dealer; this rule is unique to this particular poker variant.
  • Throughout the game, the role of the banker can change.
  • A player, at any point, is able to decline the role of the banker, to which the position will be given to the next available player.

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Pai Gow Poker in a Nutshell

If you love online poker, pai gow poker is a great way to enjoy traditional poker with a twist. Providing players with endless entertainment and winning opportunities, this table game captures the heart of many Canadian gamblers. That is why we, at Maple Casino, would recommend trying this game out; you won’t regret it!