The Fundamentals of American Pai Gow Poker

July 23rd, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Traditionally Pai Gow poker is played with a set of domino-type tiles. To make the game easier to understand and play in casinos, an American version was developed using a standard deck of cards (and one joker) with hand rankings similar to regular poker. The extra joker card acts as an ace or wild card to complete a straight, flush or straight flush only.

An Overview

Pai Gow is played on a blackjack-sized table consisting of up to six players and a banker. All players are against the banker which is usually the dealer. In general, the house collects a five percent commission for each winning bet.

How to Play

To begin the game, each player places a bet equal to the table minimum. The dealer then shuffles and distributes seven stacks containing seven cards regardless of the number of players. The banker shakes a cup that holds three die; this resolves which player starts. The player evaluates the dealt cards and sets them into two hands; one containing two cards and one with five.

The two card hand is moved to the front and the five card hand to the back. If both hands beat the banker’s hands, you’re the winner. If only one wins, it’s a push and you’re money is returned. If either hand displays the exact same values, it’s referred to as a copy and the banker wins. Obviously if the banker has two better hands then you lose.

Your five card hand must be of higher value than your two card hand. If you set the two card hand higher, then a foul is committed which results in an automatic loss. The banker sets their cards according to the “house way” which are specific rules that must be followed. If you’re unsure how to set your hand, ask the dealer to set it the “house way” to avoid any costly mistakes.

Pai Gow Poker is generally a slower-paced game that has many pushes. The dealer does have a slight edge due to their automatic win during a copy. With the proper strategy the game can be mastered and won long term.

Most casinos offer Pai Gow poker at many of their regular gaming tables. In order to be successful, there are a few strategies that involve selecting specific cards depending on the nature of the hand. Following this general overview will help you familiarize yourself with the basics of the game.

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Pai Gow Poker Tips that Give you a Competitive Edge

July 20th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Growing in popularity, Pai Gow Poker is a different type of game than the average casino patron is used to playing. While the game is always played against the house, in both online and land casinos, there are a few tips to decrease the dealer’s edge.

These guidelines will help you gain a winning edge against the house. The tips include:

  • Players are in competition with the house
  • There are two hands to play in Pai Gow Poker
  • No cards in either hand can be switched
  • You can win one hand but not the other
  • Study the pay tables prior to playing

The first tip is important to remember as you’re at an automatic disadvantage when playing against the banker or house. One nice feature is that the banker role can change. Some casinos allow individual players to be the banker in the game. By assuming that role, you are acquiring the house edge giving you a better chance at winning. Also there is a five percent commission for all winnings at the table. For this reason this player role is losing popularity amongst casinos.

The second tip to remember is there are two hands played in Pai Gow Poker; the large hand and the small hand. The large hand is made up of five cards of which must contain a better poker hand than the small, two card hand. If the small hand is higher a foul is committed which is an automatic forfeit. The dealer will also be trying to make the best possible two hands.

The third tip is to realize that no cards in either of the two hands can be switched like in draw poker. This game is more similar to stud, you play what you are dealt. The fourth tip is it’s possible you can win one hand but not the other. The payout structure is based on the hand you created with the seven cards. Like all poker games, the Royal Flush is the best possible hand. So if you lose one hand and win another, you can break even at the table.

Finally, it’s vital to study the pay tables prior to playing. This will help you shape your hands to maximize profits. Pai Gow can be an exciting twist on traditional poker. By following these guidelines, you can improve your skill and decrease the house edge.

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Where to Gamble in Atlantic City

May 28th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

If you are looking for an alternative to Las Vegas, Atlantic City may be your answer. Atlantic City offers much of the same amenities you will find in Las Vegas. They have several top-notch casino resorts where you can stay, spend some time at the poker tables, get a facial, play around of golf, and enjoy world class dinning. However, Atlantic City, much like Las Vegas, is frequented for its casinos more then anything else, and the city has plenty to offer.

Casinos in Atlantic City

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino is one of the most famous casinos in Atlantic City. The casino is home to the United States Poker Championship. There are over 3,000 slot machines, 210 table games, a smoke-free section, and a separate baccarat room. There are several dining options to choose from at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino included a highly rated steak house and a late night sushi buffet. In addition to a casino, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino hosts a nightclub with live entertainment throughout the year, a spa, and several shopping facilities.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort

The Tropicana Casino and Resort has a large casino with a wide variety of games. The casino covered all of the basics with slot machines, video poker, and table games. There is also a separate room, known as the Jade Palace, which features Asian inspired games like Pai Gow poker. Outside of the casino the resort features several amenities, such as a full service spa, an IMAX movie theater, and a comedy shop. There are over 20 restaurants at the Tropicana Casino and Resort offering dining options from all over the world.

Atlantic City can be just as exciting as Las Vegas and a closer stop for some poker enthusiasts.

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