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3.5 out of 5 - from 26 votes

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Pai Gow Poker, also called double-hand poker, is a card game played against a dealer. It is somewhat based on the Chinese game Pai Gow, but it uses playing cards instead of dominoes. The game uses a standard 52-card deck plus a joker, and while Pai Gow Poker usually supports up to six players, this virtual version by Playtech supports only one.


At the lower left-hand side of the table is a series of chip icons labeled 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 100. The player uses these values to set their bet, which must be at least $1 and no more than $100. If the player has already played a hand, then they can simply use the “REBET” button.

When the game begins, seven cards are dealt to the player and then seven cards are dealt facedown to the house. The goal is to form the best five-card hand and the best pair possible with the restriction that the five-card hand must be better than the pair. Players can select these hands manually, or they can simply use the “HOUSE WAY” button, which is accurate, faster and convenient.

Special Features

In Pai Gow Poker rules, players are never allowed to raise their bet or split their hand, so there are no special features in that sense. There is the “HOUSE WAY” button, which implements the known house way strategy with great precision. The optimal strategy requires manual hand play, but note that the difference in win probability between house way and optimal is about .304 to .306.

Graphics & Audio

As with most Playtech table games, the graphics are sharp, and the playing cards and table text are easy to read. The sound effects are very authentic and used sparingly. We did find all three background Muzak options to be a bit grating. Fortunately, there is an option to disable the music but keep the sound effects on.


Pai Gow Poker never pays out more than 1:1, and the maximum bet is $100. Assuming a $100 bet, if the dealer beats both hands, the player loses $100. If the dealer beats just one hand, the game is a push, and the $100 stake is returned to the player. If the player beats both hands, the $100 stake is returned, and he wins $100.

Overall Impressions

Pai Gow Poker is a simplistic game played at a slow pace. Experienced gamblers may find it boring. It is, however, a strong option for new players or the player looking to stretch out a small bankroll over a long period.

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