Pai Gow poker, being a variation of the traditional poker game, has had players consider it with mixed feelings. This casino games typically draws players that know the game well rather than those who are either complete beginners or who are more used to playing conventional poker. The way Pai Gow rules appear to those that are unfamiliar with them can make the game seem more complicated that it is. To help you getter a better feel for the game, Pai Gow rules are explained below.

Pai Gow is typically played with 53 cards, which is equivalent to a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker. In this version of poker, the joker can be used either as an ace or as a filler to make a complete flush or straight set. Alternatively, the joker can be used to make a straight set. Once you have chosen how much you want to bet the dealer will begin dealing out the cards. Both yourself and the dealer will receive seven cards each. While the dealer’s will remain face-down yourself will be dealt face-up. Once the cards have been dealt you need to split your hand into two groups, one consisting of five cards and the other two. The aim of the game is to then beat the dealer’s own two hands.

When it comes to hand values, traditional poker rules apply. In other words a single pair will always been stronger than a high card, just as a full house will win over a flush. One thing to keep in mind though is should your hand tie with the dealer’s, the dealer always wins. Pai Gow is commonly found both in land-based casinos and online. The fundamental Pai Gow rules are pretty much the same for both except for some minor details such as online, it will always just be you against the dealer whereas in land-based casinos you will typically found other players seated around the Pai Gow table playing alongside you at the same time. The Internet is particularly useful when trying to get to grips with the game for the first time as there are numerous casino sites that offer Pai Gow games for free where no real money is involved. This will give you ample opportunity to practice what you have learned about the game and enhance your skills before playing when the stakes are real.

Exotic Pai Gow poker

‘Pai Gow’ is not some weird food you get when travelling to Papua New Guinea; it is actually the lovechild of the Asian game Pai Gow and Poker. Where Pai Gow is played with dominoes, Pai Gow Poker is played with cards. The phrase Pai Gow means ‘to make nine’ and shares similarities with the game baccarat. It involves two hands instead of one, one hand of two cards and one hand of five. The five card hand is played like Stud poker. There are six players and the dealer. Each player has to try get one up on the banker. Each player gets a turn to be the banker. If you are banker, you are in luck because the banker is the only position that is highly likely to see you walking away with any kind of money because the banker bets against the players with ‘pushes’ and ‘copies’ also counting as a loss. The game is played with a full deck of cards as well as the joker which can be a wild card or just act as an ace depending on the casino and your hand. The five card hand ranks the same as in poker with the exception of five aces, four aces and a joker, which is the highest ranking hand. Pai Gow strategy can get pretty hectic but most people follow some basic principles when it comes to arranging or ‘setting’ their hand. Each player can be the banker for a maximum of two turns. The cards in the five hand must have a higher value than the cards in the two hand. The player and the dealer then have a go at ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ and compare cards. Whoever has the strongest cards in both hands wins. The dealer wins if it is a tie. One winning hand and one losing hand is called a ‘push’ which is a tie in game jargon. It’s a very slow game because you are very likely to get a ‘push’ which is a win for the banker of which the casino takes a commission. If your hand matches the dealer’s hand it’s called a ‘copy’ which counts as a loss to the player. This is why banking is the most profitable position in this game. People who like playing Pai Gow like its slow, paced nature which can be beneficial to your pocket as your money will last you a long time. It can also be very relaxing because of its lack in intensity.

The Biggest Pai Gow Casino Bonus

Before outlining which casino offers the biggest Pai Gow bonus, it is important to note that while some offer scads of money, they are not always quick on the follow through, citing various terms and conditions that prevent them from paying out, should someone win. That being said, some casinos, especially the bigger and more established ones, really do go a little haywire when offering cash and as a result, can claim the title of giver of the biggest Pai Gow casino bonus, an award that will certainly draw in more player for them.

So which casino gets the ‘biggest casino bonus’ award?

Frankly, this is not a title that can be given to any one casino, as a bonus is not comprised of free cash only. Rather, it is made up of the money being given, the time it is awarded for, the games it can be used on, and the chances of getting a payout should it contribute to a jackpot win. Players therefore, need to really scrutinize their casino’s offerings, and think about what they are really gaining when they agree to a bonus. The temptation to take the cash may be strong, but remember that at the end of the day, if any winnings from that cash are not paid out, the bonus was really not the biggest at all.

How to spot a so-called ‘big’ bonus

If you’re on the lookout for a bonus that seems larger than life, it is always a good idea to perform a comparison of the top casinos. The most popular ones, especially that run Microgaming, Playtech or RTG software, can give out bigger bonuses because they have more players. A bigger client base at the same operating cost as a smaller site will yield more marketing spend. In layman’s terms, they have more clients, less costs, more money and want to share that with you.

What to do with your big bonus

Once you have found the casino that has a lot more to offer you in terms of bonuses than others, you may want to think carefully about what you’re going to do with all of that money. You can’t cash it in, and with the myriad of games on offer these days, why would you want to anyway? Rather, take that biggest casino bonus and split it amongst the casino’s various games. Take a little time to try everything from the slots to the blackjack tables. You may even want to try keno, the scratch cards or pai gow poker, even if you’re not quite sure what they are and how they work. After all, a big casino bonus is meant to be a value-added service to you, a product that allows you to experiment, and if you do win, well that’s another bonus.