Pai Gow Poker – how to play and win

Home » News » Pai Gow Poker – how to play and win

Pai gow poker is a popular casino game with a standard deck of 52 cards plus a joker. The game originated in China and has gained popularity in casinos worldwide. It differs from other forms of poker in that it is played with a combination of cards and dominoes. Let’sl explore the origin of Pai gow poker, how it differs from other forms of poker, the rules of the game, and some tips on maximising your winning chances.


Pai gow poker is believed to have been created in China sometime during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). The game was initially played with tiles similar to dominos but was later adapted to use playing cards. It eventually made its way to the United States in the 1980s, where it was first introduced in California card rooms.

Differences from Other Forms of Poker

Pai gow poker differs from other forms of poker in a few key ways:

  1. The game is played with cards and dominoes, which are not found in any other poker game.
  2. It is played against the dealer rather than other players, eliminating the competitive element of other poker games.
  3. Players can be the banker, which gives them a slight advantage over other participants.


Pai gow poker aims to create two poker hands from the seven cards dealt to each player. One hand must contain five cards, and the other hand must contain two cards. The five-card hand is the “high” hand, and the two-card hand is the “low” hand. The goal is to create two hands that are both stronger than the dealer’s hands.

The ranking of hands in Pai gow poker is the same as in traditional poker, with the exception of the Ace-2-3-4-5 straight, which is considered the second-highest straight. The Joker can be used as an Ace or to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush.

Tips for Winning at Pai Gow Poker

  1. Understand the House Edge: The house edge in Pai gow poker is around 2.7%, which is relatively low compared to other casino games. However, this advantage can be reduced even further by playing as the banker, which has a lower house edge of around 0.2%.
  2. Set Your Hands Correctly: One of the essential strategies in Pai gow poker is setting your hands correctly. You should aim to create a strong high hand without sacrificing your low hand. A good guiding rule is to put your second-highest card in your low hand, and your highest card in your high hand.
  3. Use the Joker Wisely: The Joker can be a powerful card , but it should be used wisely. You should use the Joker to complete a straight or straight flush. However, you should use the Joker to complete a set in your high hand if you have a pair.
  4. Understand the Rules of the Game: Understanding the rules before playing is crucial. This includes knowing the ranking of hands, understanding how to set your hands, and understanding the role of the Joker.
  5. Manage Your Bankroll: Like any other casino game, it is vital to manage your bankroll. Set a budget for how much you will spend and stick to it. Don’t chase your losses or bet more than you can afford to lose.

Where to play Pai gow poker

You can find Pai gow poker at most of the online casinos featured on Ultragambler. So, regular forms of Poker have you a little bored, and you want to try this exciting variation, click on one of our ads – grab your enormous bonus and start playing!


Pai gow poker is a thrilling and exciting casino game that allows players to win significant amounts while playing against the dealer. It is advisable to learn about the game before playing. This is common sense advice and bears true for any gambling game where there is an element of skill. Information is power and building your skills are a way to decrease the house edge and to better your chances of winning. And always remember the cardinal rule – only gamble with what you can comfortably afford to lose.