Pai Gow Poker is played with playing cards bearing poker hand values, instead of Pai Gow's Chinese dominoes. This card game requires a studied approach to beat not one, but two dealer hands. The object of Pai Gow Poker is for the player to split seven cards into a five-card hand and a two-card hand that he/she is dealt by the dealer. The two-card hand is called the low hand and the five-card hand is called the high hand. Your hands are compared to the dealer's two hands.
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The Online Casino version of Pai Gow Poker is only played between you and the dealer and each game is played with a 53-card deck comprising the normal 52-cards plus an added Joker. The Joker is a semi-wild card which can be used to complete flushes, straights, straight flushes and royal flushes. Other than that, it only counts as an Ace. The deck is shuffled between every game.
If your high hand and your low hand are both stronger than the dealers high/low hand, then you win! If a player's low/high hand is equal to or pushes/ties with that of the dealer's corresponding hands the player loses that low/high hand. The Joker Card is also considered equal to the value of the Ace if used with other Aces.
Now if your cards do not contain any pairs or better then the card of the highest value must remain in the High Hand. If both the player and the dealer have the same value to their high cards then the second highest cards are compared to one another. If you win on your high hand and lose on your low hand and vice-versa then the game is considered a push and your wager is returned to you.
There are also many other relevant aspects to this game including what is called the "House Way". Most "House Way" strategies are quite reasonable and can be quite close to optimal strategy when one uses them properly, which is why I mentioned previously that this card game requires a studied approach.
Different software adopt different House Way settings (the way the dealer sets its hands). For Microgaming, Rival and Playtech software, how the casino sets the House way is listed clearly in the Help files for the Paigow Poker game. They also have a button whilst playing suggesting a House Way for the player. It is up to the player however, to decide whether or not to accept the suggested method of setting the hands.
RTG and Crypto software don’t allow players the luxury of suggesting the House Way so players are on their own there. As long as the player studies their hands well, they will be able to beat both of the dealer's hands to win their bet. This game is perfect for thoughtful gamers who thoroughly consider their hands and enjoy a complex challenge.