Pai Gow poker (also called Double-hand poker) is an Americanized version of Pai Gow (in that it is played with playing cards bearing poker hand values, instead of Pai Gow’s Chinese dominoes). The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus a single joker. It is played on a table set for six players, plus the dealer. Each player attempts to defeat the banker (who may be the casino dealer, or one of the other players at the table). The object of Pai Gow poker is for a player to create two poker hands out of the seven-card hand he/she is dealt by the dealer: a five-card hand, and a two-card poker hand. According to the rules, the five-card hand’s rank must exceed the two-card hand’s.
Sounds complicated? Kinda – until you start playing. (By the way, many dealers will help you with your hand if you have questions.) That’s where this post comes in. I have found it to be a fun game, and I have played at low limits. But I’m only a novice. The following resources will help:
WIZARD of ODDS – Michael Shackleford.
If you haven’t visited this website for anything and all concerning gambling, strategies, rules, odds, and the best mathematical edge, then YOU HAVE GOT TO CHECK IT OUT!
Not only will it give the the how to play, why to play, and the nuances of rules and play, but Michael Shackleford provides a free play simulator to practice. The Wizard of Odds is the one-stop store for all recreational and advantage gamblers alike.
BEST APP (iPad or iPhone)
PAI GOW POKER FEVER by Arthur Min ($1.99)- while many of the apps for this game tend to be skewed toward the dealer, this seems to be the highest rated, after its latest revision to fix a few bugs.
PAI GOW POKER: UNDERSTANDING PROCEDURES AND STRATEGIES by Bill Zender ($22.95 ) – Written for people who are interested in knowing the correct procedures, existing strategies, rules for proper play. 83 Pages, paperbound. I first heard Bill Zender on Bob Dancer’s weekly podcast. Bill Zender is a published casino gaming consultant who specializes in table game protection, management training, table game performance evaluations, and court expert witness testimony. So why would he have one of the top books for Pai Gow Poker? – Bill entered the gaming industry in 1976 as a blackjack dealer at the now defunct Royal Inn Casino. He continued on through the gaming industry to hold a number of executive positions including, including Asian Games Manager at the also defunct Desert Inn Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. He knows his stuff from playing, dealing, managing, and these days specializing in casino security.