Pai Gow poker has all the enthralling elements of conventional poker but is simplicity itself. It’s the kind of low risk comparative card game you can play anywhere to kill a few hours in your day.
When you learn how to play Pai Gow poker the best way you can, it’s possible to transform Springbok Mobile Casino South Africa into a small-scale ATM.
Although this version of poker is based on an ancient Chinese tile game of the same name, it has more in common with Five card Stud. Your mission when playing is to create the best possible poker hands - note the plural version of hand - based on the conventional poker rankings.
Unlike video poker and other popular poker variants such as Texas Hold’em and Caribbean Stud - which by the way we offer at Springbok Casino - you don’t have to discard and draw cards to complete the best possible five card hand. In Pai Gow poker you are dealt seven cards in the one and only deal in the game.
Mission Pai Gow: Form the Best Poker Hands
Your objective is to create two winning poker hands by splitting the seven cards into a five card hand and a two card hand. These hands are known as the back hand and front hand, respectively.
Once you’ve formed the best hands you can based on the cards you are dealt, the dealer’s cards are revealed and automatically split into two hands just like yours.
If both your hands beat the dealer’s hands, you win the bet and are paid out even money. If one of your hands loses, the bet is a push. When both your hands lose or tie with the dealer’s hands, you lose your wager. It really is as simple as that.
Top Springbok Mobile Casino South Africa Tip: Exploit the House Edge
What makes this form of a poker so popular at Springbok online and mobile casino South Africa is its comparatively low house edge. What is the house edge? It’s the portion of the wagers the casino takes in profits.
When you learn how to play Pai Gow poker optimally - and we can help you in that respect - the advantage to the casino is only 2,86 percent. That’s a similar advantage to another casino classic in the form of the multi-play version of Jacks or Better video poker.
What does this mean in real terms? Well the flip side of the house edge is the calculated return to player - the share of all the wagers that’s paid back to players in the form of winnings. In this particular poker variant, the RTP is 97,14 percent.
In other words, for every R10 bet on Pai Gow poker at Springbok online and mobile casino South Africa, R9,71 is returned to all players over the long term and only R0,29 is banked by the casino! Now that’s the kind of return smart players love to exploit.
Rules Governing Pai Gow Poker
Before we get into the Pai Gow poker strategy tips, here a few things you have to bear in mind:
- Jokers only substitute aces or to complete straights, flushes, straight flushes and royal flushes
- A-2-3-4-5 is the second highest straight in the game
- A 5 percent commission is automatically deducted by the house on each hand
Learn How to Play Pai Gow Perfectly at Springbok Mobile Casino South Africa
Right, now to our Pai Gow best play strategy. If you’ve played poker before you’ll know the different card combinations and how they are ranked. A two pair is ranked higher than a pair, a three of a kind higher than a two pair… and so on.
That’s the easy part. The more difficult aspect of the game is to know how to split the seven cards you’re dealt into the best possible poker hands - and that’s the backbone of our Pai Gow poker strategy.
Pai Gow Poker Strategy for Beginners
Here’s a blow by blow account of how to play Pai Gow poker like a seasoned pro:
- Keep the highest value card in the five card back hand, and the next two highest cards in the two card front hand
- Keep a pair in the five card back hand, and split the two highest cards to the two card front hand.
- Split two pairs, and keep the highest ranking pair in the five card back hand, and the lower ranking pair in the front hand.
- On a three pair, split the highest pair into the two card front hand, and keep the remaining pairs in the five card back hand
- Keep three of a kind in the five card back hand. The only exception is three aces - keep two in the back hand and split one into the two card front hand.
- When dealt two three of a kind, keep the lowest value combination in the five card back hand. Split the high three cards into a front hand pair and a back hand single.
- Split a full house into a pair to the front hand and three of a kind into the five card backhand.
- When dealt a full house with three of a kind and two pair, split the highest pair into the two card front hand
- When dealt two three of a kind, split the highest pair to the two card front hand
- Always keep a straight or flush in the five card back hand
- When dealt four of a kind keep 2 to 6 in the five card backhand, split 7 to 10 unless you have an ace or better, split jack to king unless you have a pair of 10 or better and split aces unless you have a pair of 7 or better to go to the two card front hand.
- Split on five aces unless you have a pair of kings to go to the two card front hand
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