10 common Pai Gow poker questions answered to make things easier for the Pai Gow game play

Pai Gow Poker Casino

Many questions pop up your mind when you wish to enjoy any casino game at the casinos specially if you are an Australian. So if you are looking forward to play the game of Pai Gow here are the 10 common questions that are answered below to make things easier for you to play the game of Pai Gow.

1. How to play Pai Gow Poker?

To play Pai Gow Poker, each player starts the hand by placing a bet. Players are then dealt seven cards from a 53-card deck – a standard deck with the inclusion of a single joker. The dealer also receives seven cards. Each player must then divide their cards into two hands. One hand, the back hand is made up of five cards, and is ranked using normal poker rankings. The second hand known as the front hand uses the remaining two cards. The best possible front hand is two aces, with pairs being better than unpaired high-card hands.

After all players and the dealer have set their hands, the dealer and player hands are compared. In order to win, the player must beat the dealer in both the front and back hands. If this happens, the player wins even money (minus a 5% commission). If the dealer beats the player on both hands, the player loses his bet. If the player and dealer each win one of the two hands, the bet is considered a push.

2. Is it legal to play Pai Gow in Australia?

Obviously yes it is legal to play Pai Gow in Australia. You can play this game with real money at online casinos. There are no laws making it illegal for Australians to play at  online casinos or any of the games offered by these sites. There are countless gambling sites hosted overseas that are happy to accept players from Australia.

Also it is legal to play Pai Gow at land based casinos in Australia. You can find this game at Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth and many other land based casinos to enjoy and win real money.

3. How can I distinguish between the front hand and the back hand in Pai Gow Poker game play?

The front hand is the smaller, two-card hand, while the back hand is the larger, five-card hand. A player is required to make their back hand stronger than their front hand when setting their hands. Both of these hands are treated as equally important when determining the winner of each hand.

4. What is house way in Pai Gow Poker?

The house way is the prescribed method by which the dealer and/or banker must set their hand. Unlike most casino games, there is no one single house way that is the standard for all or most casinos; instead, many casinos set their own house way. However, the differences between these house ways are minimal, and all house ways strategies are solid approaches to the game that come very close to the optimal strategy.

At many casinos, you may be able to use the house way strategy by asking the dealer for assistance during a hand, and the banker must use this strategy. In online casino, there will normally be an optional button that can be pressed to automatically set your hands using the house way method.

5. What do you mean by Commission in Pai Gow Poker?

The commission is a charge taken by the casino on all winning bets by players in Pai Gow Poker. In almost all cases, the commission in this game is set at $5. This means that a $20 bet actually wins $19 after accounting for the commission. If Pai Gow Poker is offered without a commission, the house edge drops to 1.30% for most players, while the banker will have a 1.30% advantage.

6. What do you mean by Banking in Pai Gow Poker?

Banking gives you an opportunity to play the role of the casino for a hand. In most casinos, the option to bank is rotated around the table, either with each player taking a turn in order or with the casino’s dealer taking turns in between each player opportunity. When a player has the option of banking, they are not required to do so; however, if they want to take the role of the banker, they must have the cash available to cover all bets from other players, including a bet from the dealer.

When playing as the banker, you will be required to use the house way to set your hands. The casino will also take a 5% commission on your net winnings if you show a profit as the banker on a hand. In online Pai Gow Poker, you normally won’t have the opportunity to bank; the computer dealer will take on that role for each hand.

7. What is the house edge in Pai Gow Poker?

Suppose you are playing a one-on-one game with the banker you’ll use the same house way strategy that is being used by the casino, the house edge will be around 2.73% . This is an accurate figure for online Pai Gow Poker, or a casino game where you are not going to bank at any time.

If you are going to bank, that changes the odds significantly. With one other player against you, the house edge is just 0.2% — and that assumes that the other player is utilizing the near-perfect house way strategy. If there are two or more players against you, you’ll actually have an advantage on every hand you bank.

8. How does Jokers work in Pai Gow Poker?

The single joker in the deck is considered a wild card, but its usage is limited. Jokers can be used to complete straights, flushes, or straight flushes. If you have a joker but can’t use it to complete one of those hands, it can be used as an ace instead. This means that the only way to make a “five-of-a-kind” hand is to have four aces along with the joker.

9. What do you mean by copy in Pai Gow Poker?

A copy occurs when the player and banker have an exact tie on either the front or back hands. A copy is considered a win for the dealer. Copies usually occur on the smaller front hands – these will tie about once every 40 hands or so – but also take place between back hands about 0.1% of the time.

10. What are the Pai Gow variants and side bets that can be found online for this game?

The following are the most common pai gow poker variants and side bets you’ll come across.

  • Pai Gow Mania – This offers two side bets based on your first 3 cards, and then on all 7 of your cards.
  • Fortune Pai Gow – You make a side bet on a poker hand ranking of trips or better. This is one of the more popular variations.
  • Emperors Challenge – This is a side bet on a 7-card pai gow (no hand).
  • Pai Gow Progressive – A progressive jackpot you can play for $1.
  • Commission Free – In some games, the casino will not charge their 5% commission on banker wins. They only make a profit on the banker’s advantage and side bets. This gives the banker a 1.30% advantage (or anyone playing against the banker a 1.30% disadvantage).
  • EZ Pai Gow Poker – A commission free game. If the dealer has exactly a queen high 5-card hand, the hand will automatically end in a push. There are usually 4 side bets to bet on – dynasty bonus, bonus bet, protection bet and red/black.
  • Queen’s Dragon – A side bet. It pays if the dealer has exactly a queen high pai gow hand. Payouts range from 45-50 (to 1).
  • No Push Pai Gow Poker –The dealer’s always the banker here. There’s no 5% commission. If you win both hands you truly get paid even money. After 7 players are dealt, there are 4 cards left over. Two cards are placed face down, one for the dealer and the other for the player. In the event of a push, these cards are used as a tie breaker. If the dealer’s card is equal or better the banker wins. Otherwise the player wins.
  • Jokolor – This is a side bet. It pays if you have a joker and/or all cards of the same color. This has a 3.9% house edge.

These are the most popular variants.

10. How do you cheat at Pai Gow poker?

Some people consider hold carding or edge sorting to be cheating. Hole carding is finding out what the dealer or your opponents have when you’re not supposed to know. This can happen by dealer error or when players talk about their hands.

Edge sorting is finding a flaw in the cards the casino’s using. This can be a mark or smudge of some kind. Once you find out what the value of this card is, you can use that information to better set your hand. This strategy becomes more effective the more widespread the mark/smudge is throughout the deck. Other than that, common forms of cheating including marking the cards (like edge sorting) and player/dealer collusion.

So if you are satisfied with these 10 common questions and their answers then you find a good online casino to first practice the game before you indulge in real money play. If you have any more questions to ask then leave a comment here and it will be answered shortly.