Pai Gow Poker FAQ

pai-gow-poker-faqWe receive a lot of questions about playing pai gow poker. Most times it makes sense for us to create separate pages for our answers. However, in some cases our answers are short enough that they don’t need their own page. That’s what this page is for. Below you will find the most common questions/answers to playing pai gow poker online.


What skills are needed to play pai gow poker?

Experience playing poker will work in your favor. You should know and understand hand rankings, too.

A good memory (for pai gow strategies) is helpful too, to reduce the house edge.


What is the most profitable casino game?

If you consider all casino games, then poker is at the top of the list. Your edge will vary depending on your skill level, and the skill level of your opponents.

For casino games, the top game is blackjack, video poker and roulette. Pai gow is in the top 10.


Can you beat the house (long term) at pai gow poker?

According to the Wizard of Odds, the best you can do is .04 percent. So, close to break even. That’s assuming you utilize basic strategy while playing as the banker.


What type of bankroll do you need for pai gow poker?

That will depend on the games, the casino’s table min/max, and your bankroll. Playing online, with table minimums as low as $1, and the fact that you push so often in pai gow poker, you could stretch a $100 bankroll for awhile.

To better answer the question, though, you can get by with a 100-hand bankroll for a solid afternoon of playing.


How would I setup a pai gow poker game at home?

You’ll need a table (a blackjack table would work), chips and cards. You should also figure out who will bank. Posting the rules (for beginners) will be helpful, too.

Most important of all – you want to make sure playing for real money in your area is legal. Often times it should be so long as the house isn’t taking a cut.


How can you cheat at pai gow poker?

The same way as other card games. You can mark cards, play with partners, or cheat with the dealer, all with varying degrees of success.


Can I get a deposit bonus playing pai gow poker online?


Keep in mind that online casinos handicap deposit bonuses for pai gow poker. So you will be asked to play 5-10x as much to earn the same amount of money as slots players.


Is playing pai gow poker online legal?

That depends on where you live.

In some states online gambling is illegal. Washington and Utah come to mind.

However, in other states, like Delaware and New Jersey, online casino games are legal, so long as you’re playing within state lines.


Why not show the table your cards in pai gow poker?

It shouldn’t matter to other players. It will help them play their hand better, but since all hands are played against the dealer, and the dealer plays the same regardless, it’s not a big deal.

You don’t want to show them if you’re the banker.


What website offers pai gow poker?

Lots. Bovada, Party Casino,, Loco Panda, 888, and more.


Is the joker wild? Or only an ace? Can it be any suit to finish a flush?

The joker is a semi wild card, and sometimes a full wild card (depending on the casino).

The joker can be used as an ace, or to finish a flush or straight.


Where can I learn how to play pai gow poker?

We outline the rules for pai gow poker on our site.

You can also go to Wizard of Odds. Another option is Wikipedia.

Another option is to read a book – Stanford Wong has written one.


Where can I play pai gow poker for free?

Any online casino will let you play for free. You can find numerous (free) apps for your phone and/or tablet.


Can I play pai gow poker for a living?

The only way I can see someone playing pai gow poker for a living is if they played high enough stakes, using optimal strategy, while being the banker and breaking even, all the while earning comp points and/or (bonus) cash back to live off of.

Honestly though, I don’t see it. If you want to be a professional gambler I think you’d have better luck playing blackjack. Poker would be even better.