Pai Gow Poker Online

In this guide, you will learn everything about Pai Gow Poker and how to play the game for real money. The article also recommends the best sites to play Pai Gow Poker online in Australia.

  • Updated: 27.01.2021
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  • Comments: 7
pai gow poker

This article is a perfect read for both beginners and experienced Aussie gamblers who prefer slow table games with little volatility. It contains our expert analysis about Pai Gow Poker; where and how to play the poker for real profit. The goal of this article is to equip Australian players with everything they need to know before they start playing Pai Gow Online with real money. Read through the guide to learn all the tricks and tips to start your internet gambling with Pai Gow at the best Australian online casinos.

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โ™ฃ๏ธ What is Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker, also known as ‘Double Hand Poker’, is a version of the famous Chinese Pai Gow but played with playing cards rather than dominoes. The game is believed to have been invented in 1985 by Sam Torosian, the owner of BCC. Today, Pai Gow is a top name in the gambling industry and is available in most Aussie online casinos. Mr Torosian failed to patent following ill advice from his lawyer, and he lost all potential fortune despite the game gaining global popularity.

Today, Pai Gow is a top name in the gambling industry and is available in most Aussie online casinos.


chief editor James McKenzy

Unlike other classic poker games, Pai Gow Poker is played with 53 cards consisting of the standard 52 card deck plus one Joker. The primary goal of Pai Gow is to beat the banker by forming two poker hands with seven cards; one hand with five cards (high hand) and the other hand with two cards (low hand). The pace of the game is relatively slow with a lot of pushes, making it a low-risk game and ideal for conservative punters.

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๐ŸŽฎ How to play Pai Gow Poker

play pai gow poker online

When playing Pai Gow online, you receive a set of seven cards after placing a bet. The objective is to split your cards into a five-card hand (high or backhand) and a two-card hand (low or front hand). The only rule is that your backhand should beat your front hand. If you are familiar with the traditional casino poker, understanding the fundamentals of playing Pai Gow Poker is easier as it applies traditional poker hand rankings. Once you set your two poker hands, there are four possible outcomes:

  1. Your two hands beat the banker – you win.
  2. The banker wins both hands – you lose.
  3. You and the banker win either hand – it is a push (you neither win nor lose).
  4. You tie with the banker – the banker wins.

How to find the best site for playing Pai Gow Poker online

Experts agree that while Pai Gow Poker is available in most casinos, Aussie players should consider other features when choosing the best site for online gambling.


Posted on
Ellyse Perry

The best-rated site for playing Pai Gow online should have a user-friendly layout as well as various banking methods for your convenience.

Hugh Jackman

A gambling site that gives you the flexibility to play Pai Gow on your mobile device is recommended as it gives you the freedom to play from anywhere.

John Torode

When choosing a site for playing Pai Gow Poker online, you should opt for a casino that has a variety of other casino games.

Like in other casino games, your Pai Gow Poker bet should be within the casino’s betting limits. With the frequent pushes, your stake can last you for several game rounds. Some online casinos allow players to make bonus bets independent of the main bet, which pays out when the player makes a premium hand. To win a bet, you need to arrange your two poker hands while observing the house way which may vary among casinos.

House way
Predetermined sets of rules and procedures that the players must adhere to when playing at the casino.

Different casinos have a different house way for Pai Gow Poker. Therefore, it is recommended that you first understand the house way for your casino before you start playing. For instance, the use of Joker as a wild card may vary from one gambling site to the other. Moreover, some online casinos consider it a foul when, by mistake, your lower hand outranks your high hand, in which case you automatically lose your bet. The house way also determines the style of play which could be no pair, one pair, two pairs, flush, straight or any other specified rule.

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๐ŸŽฒ The strategy of playing Pai Gow

pai gow online

If you want to play Pai Gow Poker online, mastering the rules of the game is only half the battle. Playing with a strategy is what increases your chances of winning. In Pai Gow Poker, your luck mainly depends on how the cards are dealt, but you need some skills in splitting your seven cards to better your chance of beating the banker. Once you learn how to form the best hand combination, Pai Gow will be more enjoyable and profitable. One of the best techniques is to avoid losing; forming the strongest possible two hand but ensuring the five hand ranks higher.

Pai Gow Poker has a relatively low house edge ranging between 2.4 and 2.9%. Learning the art of Pai Gow Poker hand ranking and effectively building the best hand combination or using the ‘optimal button’ is an important part of the game. The safest strategy is to avoid losing by ensuring that at least one of your hands betters either hand of the banker.

โญ No Pair

When you are dealt with no pair, the best strategy is to play the second and third highest-ranking cards in the two-card hand and retain the highest-ranking card with the rest in the five-card hand. This ensures that you have the strongest possible low hand without outranking your high hand.

๐Ÿ” One Pair

In the event you are dealt a pair in your hand, place the pair in your high hand and then the highest two of the unpaired cards in your low hand.

๐ŸŽ Two pairs

Two pairs can be grouped into low pairs (2 to 6), medium pairs (7 to 10), high Pairs (J to K) and a pair of Aces. If you have low-low or low-medium pairs, split the pairs; but if you are holding a King or better, place the two pairs in your high hand. In case you have high-low or two medium pairs, split the pairs unless you have an Ace in which case you should play both pairs in your high hand. Always split any other pairs.

๐Ÿ’ธ Three of a kind

If you have three of a kind, always play the 3 equally ranked cards in your high hand. However, if the three cards are Aces, place one Ace with the next highest-ranking card in the low hand and the pair of Aces in your high hand.

๐Ÿฅ‡ Straight or Flushes

When dealt a flush, a straight, straight flush or a royal flush, always play straight or flush in the high hand unless you hold two pairs. In the event you have two pairs use the two-pair above.

โœ”๏ธFull House

Unless you have a second pair, always play the pair in your low hand and three of a kind in your high hand. If you have a second pair, place the stronger pair in your low hand.

๐ŸŒŸFour of a kind

When you deal with four of a kind use the following instructions:

๐Ÿ’ก Five Aces

If you are lucky enough to hold five aces (four Aces and a Joker), always split between the separate hands unless you also hold a pair of Kings to play in your low hand.

Optimal Button
A button on a dashboard of the Pai Gow Poker in most online casinos which you can click to automatically split your hands following the casino's house way method.

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๐Ÿ“ Conclusion

Inspired by the famous Chinese domino game, Pai Gow Poker is one of the poker variants which has gained considerable popularity among Australian gamblers. With its slow pace, low house edge and a lot of pushes, Pai Gow is a relatively conservative game compared to other poker variants. Owing to its simplicity, the game is fun and exciting for both novice and veteran gamblers. However, to play Pai Gow Poker online for profit, you need to master the basic rules and apply the best strategy when splitting your poker hands.

๐Ÿ’  How to start playing Pai Gow Poker

It will take: 10 minutes

You can play Pai Gow Poker at many casinos in Australia. Whichever casino you choose the way to play Pai Gow online is nearly the same.

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โ“ FAQ

Australian players can play Pai Gow in most of the gambling sites available in the market. However, finding a site that offers Pai Gow poker is not enough. It is advisable to consider other factors such as the casino bet limits, withdrawal time and customer support, among others before you sign up and deposit funds. Another important thing is to check the commission charged at your casino of choice on Pai Gow online winnings. Most online casinos charge a 5% commission of the winnings, but you can find casinos that do not charge any commission.
Yes. Though the Australian government has very restrictive gambling regulations, internet gambling is not illegal. Aussie players have the freedom to play a host of online casino games for real money. There are no laws that prohibit Australians from playing Pai Gow online poker at any casino authorised to operate. Additionally, there are a host of foreign gambling sites which allow Australian punters to sign up and play a variety of games including Pai Gow among other poker games.
Most online casinos give bonuses to players for funding their account or achieving a given gameplay milestone. However, different sites have varying terms and conditions for their bonuses. Some casinos only allow players to bet bonuses on specific games with other wagering requirements before cashing out the bonus. Some sites may allow you to use your bonus to bet in a Pai Gow game while others may not. It is therefore important to confirm how you can use your bonus from the casino T&C page.
The house way refers to a predetermined method or rule that the banker must follow to set their poker hands in Pai Gow Poker. Unlike other classic poker games, Pai Gow variant has no single standard house way; thus each casino sets its house way. Though there are minimal differences among the casinos, it is important to learn the house way adopted at your casino. This will help you come up with the best strategy to maximise your chance of winning or at least avoid losing the game.
The commission is the casino charges on player's winnings in Pai Gow Poker. Most online casinos adopt a 5% commission which is deducted from any winnings. For instance, if you win $100, you will get $95 after the commission. Since Pai Gow has a low house edge, the commission is one way of ensuring that the casino makes some money. Some casinos charge a commission only when a player wins while others may charge even for pushes. Nonetheless, many Australian online casinos do not charge any commission.
Yes. With the evolution of mobile technology and devices in recent years, gambling operators have upgraded their sites to accommodate mobile users. You can access most of the online casinos from the mobile browser or mobile app and enjoy the same experience as when you play Pai Gow Poker online from your PC. Popular online casinos have apps available on Google Play Market as well as AppStore where you can download for free and start playing. This gives you the flexibility to play on your Android device or iPhone from anywhere even without a computer.
The chances of winning a Pai Gow Poker game depend on the cards you are dealt with. However, if you play the same house way used by the casino, the house edge will be approximately 2.7% which is lower than most of the online casino games. Players can develop complex strategies to split their hands which could lower the house advantage to around 2.4%. With the low volatility, you also don't expect to earn much, but a streak of wins could guarantee big money.
Some Aussie casinos allow players to place other bets independent of the main bet. These bets are called bonus fortune, which could be on a certain outcome. Some aggressive players do make money with fortune bets as it keeps extra money rolling in. Most experts are against side bets since the casino always has a higher edge, and the idea could distract you from the main game. However, if you have sufficient skills, you can play the side bet but should always maintain the minimum betting amount.
A draw in Pai Gow Poker means that the value of both your 2-card hand and 5-card hand equals the banker's hands, commonly referred to as 'copy'. Though a rare outcome, when you get a copy in Pai Gow, the casino wins, and you are considered to have lost the bet. Bearing in mind that you can avoid losing by making sure that one of your hands is better than either hand of the banker, you can minimise the chances of drawing in each play. The best approach is to follow the casino house way method to build the strongest possible high and low hands without breaking the rule of low hand outranking the high hand.

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๐Ÿ”ˆ Players reviews

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    I can't think of any other game to play first. It is both simple and exciting to play, and when you learn a few tricks, you can get on a winning streak.

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