Pai Gow is a casino game that is very famous in the United States, Canada, and some South Asian countries. It originally came from China where it was played with a 32-set domino. In 1985, the game was transformed into a poker variant in the United States.
We will focus on the domino set version of the game which is widely played in North America. The game requires a set of 32 dominoes with particular numbers marked on them. The dominies are used similarly as cards and the end value of the hand decides a player’s fate. The game can be played with even one player but usually with seven players on the table. Instead of competing against each other, the game has the players competing against the dealer. Let us look into the details of the gameplay of Pai Gow. Also, we will discuss some tips to help you win every game. Keep going for more!
How to play Pai Gow
The basic structure of the gameplay is very easy to understand. But there are some other rules which come into play after the game does not reach a straight conclusion.
The dominoes are arranged in 8 tiles of four dominoes each. This arrangement is ideal for seven players and a dealer. Before the players are handed their stack, they are required to place their bets. After the bets are placed, each player gets four tiles with numeric values on them. The players are required to arrange the tiles in two pairs, one called the front hand and the other is the rear hand. It is by comparing these hands with the dealer that the result is calculated.
The two dominoes in pairs are to add according to their numeric values. If the number exceeds nine, the unit value of the result is taken into account and the tens value is rejected.
If the players’ front hand beats the dealer’s front and so does his rear hand, the game is won by the player. If one of the hands is smaller than the dealer’s, the player is in a push, where he is returned his money. If the dealer’s hands are stronger, the player loses his money.
Tips to win at Pai Gow
While there is a certain place of luck in the game, there is a need for a skillset too. Here are some tips to take you closer to the jackpot.
Keep a sharp eye on the cards which make a total of 8 or 9. These are usually the highest you can go in a hand.
Keep a close eye on pairs, too. They can help your hand.
Make basic maths your strong point. Calculate all the values and choose the best ones. Try keeping the highest-ranking domino in the lower hand.