Even though blackjack has been verified to be the most popular casino game in the world, no one can question the prominence of poker games. There are dozens of poker variations, but the one that stands out is Pai Gow Poker (otherwise called Double-Hand Poker, especially in California).
This variant of poker was invented in the mid-1980s thanks to a Californian card club owner called Sam Torosian. Despite the fact that other casino game inventors have amounted riches from their respective games, Sam is only known to have never patented his invention, thereby allowing other casinos to offer and monetize his game. While he witnessed neither fame nor fortune through Pai Gow, the game itself has spread across the globe – and most notability – in the United States.
The variant is more or less an upgrade of the Chinese game, Pai Gow, which is played with a set of 32 dominoes and very popular in Macau. Instead, Pai Gow Poker is played with the usual 52-cards deck and the additional Joker. Meanwhile, the spiking fame of Pai Gow Poker can be tied to its low-risk mechanism, spontaneous house edges, interactive gameplay, and the ease to play.
Today, we are diving into the pool of online Pai Gow poker: the best casinos to play it, a brief explanation of how to play it, and the difference between this version and its offline/land-based counterpart.
As you may know, there are numerous websites that offer real money Pai Gow Poker; but trustworthiness is a major issue on the Internet. As a result, we have done some research and concluded on three of the best online casinos to play Pai Gow Poker. Our list is proudly based on elements such as withdrawal speed, payment methods, bonuses, security technologies, real-life customer reviews, the efficiency of gaming software, the rules, and the house edge.
As the rebranded Bodog, Bovada has a lot of standards to live up to, and they have certainly been living up to them. From the United States to Europe, this online casino is widely known for not only casino games but also sports betting, horse race betting, poker, and live casino games.
In addition to everything we mentioned above, the casino is also perfectly operational on both desktop and mobile devices, but without a downloadable version. Thanks to Realtime Gaming, Visionary iGaming, Rival, Revolver Gaming, and Makitone Gaming, they feature an assortment of exciting slots and table games, which includes Pai Gow Poker.
– This game is powered by Rival and dealt by the standard rules.
– The minimum and maximum wagers are $1 and $500 respectively.
– There is a 5% commission and payments are rounded up to the next $0.25.
– There are three buttons. Use the Bet button to pick a chip value and place your bet. Use Deal to start the game after placing the bet. After selecting the two cards that will make up the 2-card hand, use Split to split the cards.
– The house edge of the house way is 2.72% or 2.51% with the optimal strategy.
Pertaining to security, Bovada uses encrypted SSL technology to secure data to and from the website. Should you have any issue, the customer support is available 24/7 via phone and email and you can even self-exclude yourself in case you are suffering from any gambling problem. When it comes to payment, each withdrawal takes nothing less than 48 hours (except check) and there are diverse methods to use. When all is said and done, Bovada is one of the best casinos to play real money Pai Gow Poker in the United States.
The website combines Nucleus Gaming with Betsoft to deliver more than 100 exceptional table games, slots, video poker, and live casino games. Wild Casino is licensed in the jurisdiction of Panama and welcomes US players.
– Powered by Nucleus Gaming and follows the standard rules.
– The chip values are are $1, $5, $25, $100, and $500.
– The house edge is 2.71% only if the player uses the optimal strategy.
– There is no house way button.
Wild Casino supports various payment methods including cryptocurrencies and fiat, using 128-bit SSL encryption. 24/7 customer support is available through email and they offer a generous sign up bonus in along with a variety of other promotions. In addition, there have never been any player issue or complaint filed against Wild Casino as of September 2018. This makes Wild Casino one of the best casinos to relish Pai Gow Poker anywhere.
Out of the few reputable casinos in the US online gambling scene, Las Vegas USA stands as one of the strongest and most popular names. Licensed in Panama, Las Vegas USA has been in the game since 1999 and has been delivering admirably ever since.
They offer hundreds of diverse games powered by Realtime Gaming and have a downloadable client, which is the best way to access all the games available and utilize the live dealer games provided by Visionary iGaming. Another perk to love is the availability of different promotions and bonuses.
– This RTG game has the A-5 straight as the second highest.
– The house edge is 2.86%.
– Winnings are rounded up to the nearest quarter and there is the usual 5% commission. Pro-tip: Always bet in the rise of $5.
– Similar to most RTG games, chip values are $1, $5, $25, $100, and $500.
– Unfortunately, there is no house way button.
The website is licensed in Panama and effectively secures all of its users’ connections through 128-bit SSL encryption technology. Every game featured on the Las Vegas USA website has been verified by Technical Systems Testing (TST) to be fair. In our opinion, they have some of the best customer support, which is available via live chat and email. Concerning deposits and withdrawals, they are processed in a timely fashion.
Note: Live dealer Pai Gow Poker is not so common online.
First, you should know that there are no big differences between online Pai Gow Poker and the one you play in your favorite land-based casinos. The prevailing element that will help you decide whether you should opt for the former or latter is your preference.
To be fair, this should be a strong win for offline Pai Gow Poker. However, we should acknowledge the fact that everyone has his/her own preferences.
In a land-based casino, the gambling climate is often described with adjectives such as lively, luxurious, and interactive. Casinos are usually filled (not overwhelmingly filled) with casino staff and other players all interacting with each other. The overall mood of your experience would likely be energetic, provided you are not wagering losers.
In contrast, there is the online gambling climate, which is basically no climate – or more precisely, how you view it. Online casinos have attractive graphics to mirror the experience of Las Vegas but we can all agree that is far from impeccable. Nonetheless, the climate is defined by you: where and when you decide to play a game of Pai Gow Poker online. This is a con for most people but can be a pro for players who enjoy a quiet background in their own comfortable environment.
As it has always stood, online gambling is certainly superior when it comes to convenience. When you play Pai Gow Poker online, you are opening yourself to a whole new world of gaming compared to offline. For one, you can start playing the game right there, right now. You do not need to cross borders before enjoying a bit of Pai Gow Poker (or any other game). Online gambling poses a simpler approach to gaming. Once you have your laptop or mobile device and a loaded balance, you are ready to play Pai Gow Poker.
If you are just starting out, you should probably stick with online Pai Gow Poker. This is because most casinos offer free versions, which you can play over and over until you can wrap your head around the rules, gameplay, and lingoes, and test-run strategies. In addition, there are numerous websites offering Free Play Pai Gow Poker. Just perform a Google search and you will find dozens of them a click away.
Another point is the fact that offline gambling is generally not amateur-friendly. If you have ever been to a casino, you know you do not want to be the guy on the table looking both anxious and unsure of his moves. Other players are also wagering so you are expected to be as swift and responsive as possible, which is fairly impossible for an amateur. This offers a less amateur-friendly experience for newcomers and rushing you would amount to nothing more than losses.
Just like the gambling climate, the promotions offline and online casinos offer have their separate pros and cons. With land-based facilities, you are open to a world of comps, special events, exclusive offers, and discount rates. Most casinos have at least one additional service, which includes accommodations, restaurants, shops, event centers, and bars. What casinos do to appreciate their loyal customers is to reward them according to their expenses. Rewards range from free meals to shopping discounts.
With online casinos, promotions work quite differently. The promotions are often cash bonuses based on a predefined percentage of deposits. Usually, a percentage of your first, second, and third deposits are individually awarded back to you in a bonus balance. The catch is to meet the wagering or rollover requirements before earning the ability to transfer money in the bonus balance to your real balance, then request to withdraw. Yet, there is a trick to this system.
Pai Gow Poker is of a relatively low house edge, which means it brings low income for the casinos. Not as low as blackjack but the house edge typically falls between 2.5% and 2.9% depending on your strategy.
What this means is that casinos are obliged to place strict wagering requirements on Pai Gow Poker to guarantee their income. This results in high rollover requirements; e.g. backgammon (6.56% house edge) or Wheel of Fortune (11.2%) could have a requirement of just 20 while Pai Gow Poker and other low house edge games could require 100x or more rollovers. In general, the requirements of table games have peaked in recent times to an extent that it makes more sense to play slots when you are trying to meet a wagering requirement.
Another system used is the contribution percentage, which simply indicates the percentage a certain game (simplified down to each variant) contributes to your wagering requirements. For example, craps and baccarat (both with low edges) alongside Pai Gow Poker could contribute 10%, i.e. each $100 counts as $10. Sic Bo, which has house edges as high as 47.22% with the lowest being 7.21%, could be 100%, i.e. each $100 counts as $100.
While the rules stay unchanged, the offline version has an upper hand as certain strategies are not applicable online—similar to blackjack. These strategies include hole carding, edge sorting, and steering, which all involve knowing the cards the banker has. These strategies are nowhere near popular because of their unethical and highly difficult nature but are worth looking into if you decide to play in land-based facilities.
Unfortunately, you cannot be a banker in online casinos. Only the dealer can be the banker. Even though this is not a major letdown, those who prefer to be the banker will find it impossible switching to the remote platform.
Online gambling has always been more budget-friendly than offline gambling. When playing online, you can bet with as little as $0.1 or even $0.05 depending on the game and casino. In the case of Pai Gow Poker, the minimum wager is usually $1 but some websites accept far less.
On the other hand, offline casinos typically have Pai Gow Poker tables with $25 minimum table limit. While it is almost impossible to find a Pai Gow Poker table with any amount less than that, you can, however, wager as little as $10 or $15 in some land-based casinos.