Pai gow poker which is also known as Double-hand poker in some circles is an American version of the pai gow. The original pai gow is a gambling game which has its roots in China. It is said to have originated during the Song Dynasty. It is a traditional game played with a Chinese dominoes tile set. The game is not legalized and it is played in a covert manner unlicensed casinos. It is popular in China, Australia, New Zealand, California etc.
Pai gow poker was created by the joint effort of San Torosian and Fred wolf. It was an invention forced out by extreme necessity. Fred Wolf was a casino manager during the 1980s and he faced stiff competition from the other prosperous gambling houses. To lure people into his own vacant casino he invented this game and it immediately became crowd pullers. He also invented several new games like three special dice, lucky pan 9 etc.
Pai gow poker is played with a 53 card deck which also includes the joker. The joker is used as an ace or a wild card. It can be used to complete three hand combinations a straight, a flush or straight flush. Pai gow poker is a slow paced game with lot of ties which lessens its intensity and excitement. There can be maximum six players and a banker. All the players are playing against the banker.
Pai gow poker starts just like other poker games by placing a bet. The dealer gives out seven cards per player. The cards must be arranged into one hand of five and one hand of two. The dealer also gets seven cards and arranges them like wise.
Five card hands are known as high hands while the two card hand is low hand. Naturally, high hands have to be higher in value than the low hands as only then can the player qualify. Pai gow poker has one important difference from the other poker games. In pai gow if the player’s and the dealer’s hand produces the same value – the dealer wins.