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Asian Poker - Are you ready for the challange?

Pai Gow Poker (Asian Poker) is a modern casino adaptation of the classic Chinese gambling game Pai Gow, played with Chinese dominoes. The hierarchy of the original winning combinations is replaced by the common hierarchy of poker hands. The aim is to create two better hands (one High Hand and one Low Hand) out of seven cards, than the bank. Pai Gow Poker is played with 53 cards – a standard deck of 52 cards plus joker – and up to 7 participants.

The joker (“The Bug”) can substitute an ace or complete a Straight, a Flush, a Straight Flush or a Royal Flush. If it is used to complete a Flush, it takes the place of the highest unused card of the same suit. Pai Gow is offered by various online casinos such as William Hill Casino. Register now to receive a fantastic welcome bonus to double your deposit.

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How the game is played

At the beginning everyone places their wagers and a random generator determines the player to go first. After the cards have been dealt every participant has to divide his hand into:

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    High Hand / Back Hand (5 cards). The high hand more or less follows the hierarchy of hands in poker. Because of the included joker, it occasionally happens that someone receives 5 aces. This is the most precious combination of all and it beats every other hand in the game. In most poker casinos such as Pokerstars, the combination A, 2, 3, 4, 5, commonly known as the wheel, is handled as the second best Straight. The hierarchy of Straights / Straight Flushes therefore is:
  1. T, J, Q, K, A
  2. A, 2, 3, 4, 5
  3. 9, T, J, Q, K
  4. the remaining straights follow the usual poker hand hierarchy
  • Low Hand / Front Hand. The low hand consists of 2 cards and has to be of lower value than the High Hand, which means that you cannot hold 2 aces as your low hand and 2 nines as your high hand. Obviously the hierarchy of low hands doesn’t contain any Straights or Flushes. Therefore, the best low hand you can get is a pair of aces, followed by the other pairs in decreasing order and the High Card.  Dealers have to stick to their specific house rules when dealing the cards. Usually these rules represent the casino’s optimal winning strategy. 
  • If both your high hand and your low hand are better than the dealer’s hands, you receive winnings worth your initial bet minus 5% house percentage.
  • If you beat the dealer with only one of your hands while the other one loses, the game is a tie (“Push”) and you get back your initial bet without any winnings.
  • If you beat one of the dealer’s hands while the other one is a tie, the whole game is seen as a tie and you get your initial bet back.
  • If one of your hands lose against the dealer’s while the other one is a tie, the whole game is seen as a tie, but in this case your initial wager is not returned.
  • If the player’s hands are of the same value (“Copy”), the player also loses his initial wager.

As already mentioned, it is not allowed to hold higher valued cards in the Low Hand than in the High Hand, otherwise this is counted as a “Foul” and the player’s wager is not returned.

History of Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is based on the old Chinese gambling game Pai Gow (P’ai Kao), which is played with dominoes. The stones were divided into different groups symbolizing civil and military troops and a dice determined which stone would move to which player. It wasn’t until the 1980s before a man called Fred Wolf invented Pai Gow Poker (Double-Handed Poker) as we know it today and introduced it to Californian casinos. It didn’t take very long before it also got offered in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. From there, it spread across the entire world within no time. Today you will hardly find an online casino that doesn’t offer Pai Gow Poker.


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