Pai Gow Frequently Asked Questions

Like many Poker varieties, Pai Gow involves a particular sense of strategy and skill to be put forth by the player. However, this can be difficult if you're not particularly up to par with the ins and outs of the game.

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding Pai Gow. Our FAQ will help to answer and understand how Pai Gow works.

  1. What is Pai Gow?
  2. Where can I find Pai Gow online?
  3. How old do I need to be to play Pai Gow?
  4. What is a low hand?
  5. What is a front hand?
  6. Can I play Pai Gow for Free?
  7. What do I need to play Pai Gow online?
  8. How did Pai Gow originate?
  9. What skills do I need to play Pai Gow?
  10. Can I get a deposit bonus playing Pai Gow online?
  11. Is the Joker Wild?
  12. What is the difference between online and live Pai Gow?
  13. Is Pai Gow profitable?
  14. Is there any difference with mobile Pai Gow?
  15. What type of bankroll do you need for Pai Gow?
  16. What is a ‘copy'?
  17. Are the rules for Pai Gow always the same?
  18. What is the payout for winning both hands?
  19. What is a ‘push'?
  20. What happens if the dealer wins both hands?

1. What is Pai Gow?

Pai Gow is a Poker variant played with a 52-card deck, plus the Joker. You will be dealt seven cards which you must split into two different hands: a two-card hand and a five-card hand. The two-card hand cannot be a higher valued hand than the five-card hand. Both hands must then be bet individually in an attempt to beat the dealer's hands. You will have the chance to win one, both or neither of the hands. If a tie occurs, the banker wins.

2. Where can I find Pai Gow online?

Pai Gow is offered at many online casinos. Simply do your research to find the more esteemed and trustworthy casino sites. Be sure to check for a clearly displayed license before registering an account.

3. How old do I need to be to play Pai Gow?

Each country/jurisdiction has a set legal age for play. This is typically between 18 and 21 years old. However, it may be different for your country and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the legal terms prior to online play.

4. What is a low hand?

This refers to one of the two hands bet during the game. The low hand is the one made up of two cards.

5. What is a front hand?

A front hand refers to the higher, five-card hand which makes up one of the two split hands during the game.

6. Can I play Pai Gow for Free?

Many online casinos offer Free versions of their games, in order to give you the opportunity to try out the game and become comfortable with it, prior to spending any of your own cash on it. Browse casino sites and look for the ‘play for fun' option.

7. What do I need to play Pai Gow online?

Little is needed to begin playing this game online. It may be accessed from any computer and often via a mobile device or tablet. While some casinos require you to download the software, others may not. Keep this in mind as you are looking for casinos to play at. Additionally, if you are required to download one casino's software and plan on playing at other casinos, simultaneously, you may have to download additional software, as they are not interchangeable.

8. How did Pai Gow originate?

Pai Gow is loosely based on a Chinese gambling game which uses a set of 32 dominoes, and also serves as the basis for Baccarat. The Americanized version uses a 52-card deck (plus the Joker), instead of dominoes, as one of its major differences.

9. What skills do I need to play Pai Gow?

Before playing Pai Gow, it would benefit you to have experience playing other variants of Poker. Additionally, you will want to know and understand hand rankings as well. It also doesn't hurt to have a good memory for this game.

10. Can I get a deposit bonus playing Pai Gow online?

The answer to this is, yes. However, online casinos offering this tend to handicap deposit bonuses for Pai Gow, which means you will often be asked to play 5-10x as much to earn the same amount of money as say, Slot players.

11. Is the Joker Wild?

In Pai Gow, the Joker card serves as a semi-Wild AND a full Wild. This is dependent upon which online casino you choose to play at. The Joker can also be used as an Ace or to complete a Flush or Straight.

12. What is the difference between online and live Pai Gow?

Both online and live Pai Gow are basically the same. You will play against the dealer using a 53-card deck, which includes the Joker. The game begins when 7 cards are dealt, and you will make the best two hands out of your cards (a 5-card hand, and a 2-card hand). The object of Pai Gow is to have a higher hand for both the 5 and 2 card-hands, and in doing so, you can win both hands.

13. Is Pai Gow profitable?

It most certainly can be. In comparison to all other casino games, Poker tends to be at the top of the list for most profitable. While Pai Gow, specifically, is not at the top of the list, it is typically regarded as being in the top ten. Your edge, however, will depend on your skill level.

14. Is there any difference with mobile Pai Gow?

Mobile Pai Gow is no different than traditional, online Pai Gow. It is simply designed for more convenient play on the go.

15. What type of bankroll do you need for Pai Gow?

While there is no definite answer to this question, you can look forward to online minimums as low as $1, which could probably allow you to last for a while on a $100 bankroll. But again, there are no guarantees and you should play with a bankroll that suits your budget.

16. What is a ‘copy'?

copy' occurs when you and the banker have an exact tie on either the front or low hand and is considered a win for the dealer.

17. Are the rules for Pai Gow always the same?

The quick answer to this question is, no. As with the rules for any game of Poker, modifications in play can be made and the rules may also be modified according to the particular casino.

18. What is the payout for winning both hands?

There is no set payout for this as it is dependent on your bet. Just keep in mind that for winning both hands against the dealer, you will be paid out your amount staked.

19. What is a ‘push'?

A ‘push' occurs when the dealer wins one hand and the player wins the other, and no money changes hands.

20. What happens if the dealer wins both hands?

If the dealer wins both hands, the dealer will win the player's stake.

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