Pai Gow in Online Casinos
Pai Gow is amongst the oldest casino games in the world, pre-dating Roulette, Baccarat and other games that go back several hundred years. Its origins are in China, and it is still played openly in many of that country’s land-based casinos as well as other establishments in Canada and many other parts of the world.
The game has become very popular in online casinos too, and it’s slow pace make it a great foil to the fast-paced action of other casino games such as online slots. You’ll get through about 30 hands an hour, and with roughly 41% of them resulting in a push, the game is great for bankroll preservation as well.
Playing Pai Gow
The different online casinos that you might choose to play at in Canada, based on our recommendations of course, might have a few differences in the specific rules of this game but the format is generally the same.
It’s played with a set of 32 differently patterned dominoes, and players are given 4 of these tiles. Land-based games allow more players, with everyone taking it in turns to be the dealer, the banker or just a regular player, but in online casinos you’ll be going up against the house only.
The tiles then need to be set into low and high hands, which you can choose to do yourself or have them set by the casino you are visiting, in the best possible way. This can be especially helpful when you’re first learning the game. You can think about how you would set the tiles, and then see if the house way is the same.
Once you’ve set your tiles, your high hand is compared with the Dealer’s high hand, and the same happens with your respective low hands. Ties always go to the house, and if both your hands are higher you win even money less 5% commission. Winning one and not the other will cause your hand to push.
Pai Gow Poker
While playing with tiles is most definitely the older version of the game by far, playing the Poker variation has become much more common in Canada’s online casinos and in most online playing destinations the world over.
Rather than 32 tiles, the Poker game is played with a standard deck of cards, plus the Joker. Players also get 7 cards instead of 2 tiles, meaning that in offline games up to 7 contestants can sit in a round. In the online casino games, just as in the domino games, you’ll be playing against the Dealer only.
A high hand and a low hand must also be set in the card game, and the extra cards that are dealt go to the high hand. This means that the low hand has 2 cards, as it has 2 tiles, and the high hand has 5 cards in the Poker game.
In both the Domino tiles and the Poker versions of Pai Gow, you’ll be able to use certain pieces as limited wilds to help you to play and win more. When you’re using tiles the Gee Joon tile can be worth 3 or 6, depending on what will create the better combination.
With playing cards, the joker will serve as an Ace, and it can be used to make up a Straight, a Flush or a Straight Flush.
With the playing card version of this casino game, the standard Poker rankings apply except for the highest and second-highest possible hands. This a set of 4 Aces and the Joker, and is known as the 5 Aces Hand, while the second highest is called the Wheel and is made up of an A, 2, 3, 4, 5 combination.
The rankings in the domino game are a little more complex. There are 16 possible pair combinations to be made with the 32 tiles in any game. The Wong combination is a 2 or 12 tile with any 9 tile, the Gong is the 2 or 12 with any 8 tile.
For all other 2-tile combinations, the hand total is determined by adding all the dots on the tiles together and then dropping the 10-unit value as is done in a game of Baccarat. A hand with tiles containing 5 and 7, for example, is worth 2 and not 12.
Developing Your Pai Gow Strategy
Some of the online games at that are popular at casinos depend on chance only, such as Keno, but Pai Gow is similar to Blackjack in that you need to make strategic decisions based on the cards that you are randomly dealt. This mix of chance and tactics is always thrilling for thinking players, which is one of the reasons Pai Gow is so popular in Canada.
As always, your success with these casino games depends on how much time you spend playing and practicing them, and many of the great online casinos we recommend for you here allow you to do that with their free, no deposit games. Use these to get a feel for the game, and then to try out any new strategy or tool you come across before you risk playing them on a real-money game.
There are plenty of strategies to be found online and many discussion forums about the game, and your own insights and understanding will be developing all the time too. Playing for free is also great when you’ve used all of your budgeted playing money for the day, or when you simply want to relax and enjoy the game with no financial pressures.
Play Pai Gow Today
Quick action for quick-witted players, Pai Gow in both its forms is already a huge hit in the online casinos of Canada so you’ll have plenty of great options to choose from when it comes to deciding where to play. Try it out at some of the casinos we recommend, and you’ll enjoy the best experiences possible.
Make your deposit, claim your casino bonuses and start playing and winning, or try the games out in the free play mode first. Either way, you’re going to enjoy yourself. Have fun!