Playtech’s Pai Gow Poker is an online casino table that perfectly demonstrates the innovative nature of the iGaming industry. It is a copy between a regular poker game and the Chinese game called Pai Gow. Despite its unorthodox nature, it will not take long for players to get used to it. You play against a computer dealer, who serves as the banker in this title.
The RTP for this release is 97.15%. It is played with a single deck with 53 cards: your usual 52, plus a Joker. The Joker can only be used to complete a straight, flush or straight flush wins; otherwise, it is treated like an Ace. Pai Gow Poker does not have any available side bets: not that it needs them, given how exotic it is!
Before any actual decisions can be made, you need to place your wager. You do this by choosing one of the coin values, then placing them in the betting field. It is located in the middle of the screen and is hard to miss. Mainly because no other place you can place your wager exists! Feel free to take your time in setting your budget, since there is no time limit.
Once all bets are placed, the round begins! Both you and the dealer are dealt seven cards. The goal of the game is to split those seven cards into two-card and five-card poker hands. The five-card hand must outrank the two-card hand, and both must be stronger than what the dealer has available. Hand values follow standard poker hands, with the exception of the A-2-3-4-5 straight. It is now the second-highest straight in terms of value.
Punters can choose to sort the hands themselves or use House Way for the game to sort it for you. We advise manual control, but House Way can be useful as a learning tool until you get a hang of the game. Unlike standard poker games, the strength of your card does not change how much you are rewarded.
We enjoy Pai Gow Poker, but the absence of any side bets is quite noticeable. This is something that we are not too fond of, but we understand why Playtech decided on it. It takes a bit of time to get used to the different rules this release works under. Adding a side bet on top of that might have proven too much for players! Without a side bet, the entire experience is kept sharp and focused.
Due to the way this variant is structured, the strength of your hand is not taken into account when determining a win. You would have to track the value of both the two-card and five-card hands. Then, you would need to find a way to put them together to determine a payout. The approach the developer chose is much smoother in comparison. Pai Gow Poker grants an almost 1:1 payout every time you win the round. Much like in baccarat, this table has a 5% bank commission applied to each win.