An Outline to Playing Pai Gow Poker Online

For someone like me, gaming online is darn near 2nd nature. It’s nothing for me to open a casino, make a deposit, and play a hundred or two hands of pai gow poker.

However, I understand that many of our readers have yet to play games online. So we wanted to create a page that served as an overview of playing pai gow (or any casino game) online. That’s what you’ll find below.

Why Play Pai Gow Poker Online?

There are several upsides to playing games online.


Promotions – Mostly this applies to deposit bonuses. Not once have I been offered a bonus for walking through the doors of a brick and mortar casino. However, that’s a standard occurrence online. Just for creating an account and making a deposit, you can receive hundreds, even thousands of dollars in ‘free’ money.


Quickly Change Casinos – One perk to playing online is the ability to change casinos at the drop of a dime. In fact, you can play at multiple casinos simultaneously.


Convenience – I don’t know about you, but I don’t live that close to a casino. The best option for me is about 3-4 hours away. My computer? A 30 second walk down my hallway.


Avoid Obnoxious People – You don’t have to deal with drunks, smokers or people that smell. You get to avoid crowds and long lines, too.


Smaller Stakes – Online casinos have a lower overhead than live casinos. As such, they’re able to offer limits as low as $1 (for table games). This is great if you’re on a limited bankroll.


Downsides to Online Pai Gow Poker

There are downsides to playing online games, too. For example:


No Banker Option – Last I checked, there is not an option to become a banker (online). If you read our strategy articles, you would know that being the banker offers the best odds in the house.


Fewer Legit Casinos – Starting an online casino is easier than a brick and mortar casino. Due to the lower barrier to entry, it attracts fly by night crooks. If you’re not careful you may end up at a scam-y casino.


Miss the Experience – Live casinos deliver a type of experience that you cannot get online. Things like bright, flashing lights, cocktail waitresses, shows, free drinks, being social, and more.


The positives clearly outweigh the negatives. That said, online gaming is not for everyone. And for some, like me, a mixture of both online and live action is preferred.

How to Choose a Casino

Picking a casino can be tricky because there are more scam casinos than legitimate ones. Doing your due diligence is a must, and will make or break your online experience.

Here is what I recommend looking for:


  • Licensing – A small barrier to entry, but a barrier nonetheless.
  • Deposit Options – The more options you have, the better, especially if you’re American. You should also consider deposit limits and payout times. Don’t forget the withdraw options, either.
  • Deposit Bonus – Is there a bonus? How much is it? Does the casino handicap bonuses earned by playing pai gow poker?
  • Reputation – Is the casino liked? Do other players feel safe playing there? Read our reviews and forum threads for additional info/opinions.
  • Software – Do you like the way the software looks? Are the games fluid? Are they compatible with your preferred device(s)?
  • Americans – Do they accept US players? Better yet, are they a licensed, online US casino?


Last thing – always trust your gut. If a casino seems off, it probably is.


How to Make a Deposit Online

Making a deposit is simple.


  • Log in to your account.
  • Click cashier.
  • Choose your deposit option. These will depend on where you live, but may include credit cards, e-wallets, wires and money transfers.
  • Enter your details. For credit cards, this will be a number, expiration date and 3-digit code. For other options, this might be account number, money transfer reference numbers, etc.
  • Enter how much you want to deposit.
  • Click submit.


Your funds will be available within minutes (for most options). If you go the money transfer route, it might take a few hours to a couple of days.

Deposit Bonuses: An Overview

A deposit bonus is an incentive to sign up and make a deposit. It is offered at most casinos (poker rooms and sportsbooks).

The idea is that the casino matches your deposit, up to so many dollars. For example, a 100% match bonus up to $1,000 would mean that for every $1 you deposit, the casino will give you $1 in return.

But the money isn’t free – you have to earn it. You do this by playing real money games and earning points. After so many points the casino will release so much of your bonus.

One thing that is important to note – because pai gow poker is such a low house edge game, they will often handicap the points you earn. For example, a casino might state that all points earned from pai gow are only worth 10% points earned from playing slots. That means you will need to play 10x as much to earn the same bonus.

It’s important to keep this in mind, because most bonuses will have expiration dates. You want to be sure you can clear the bonus in time, or else you risk forfeiting whatever bonus money you can’t clear.

Playing Online Pai Gow Poker in the USA

Can you play pai gow poker from within the United States?

Yes, and no.

Online casino games aren’t technically illegal. What is illegal is funding your account. Because of the UIGEA, banks / credit unions are not supposed to process deposit requests.

You can still play online though. Just know that you’re at a higher risk. Obviously, online casinos know the rules and continue to take players anyway.

That said, the legalities of online gambling are on a state by state basis. For example, states like Washington and Utah are known to be against online gambling. But states like Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have not only legalized it, but have already launched online casinos and poker rooms.

As of now, Delaware is the only state to offer a full blown casino. If you live in that state you can most certainly find a pai gow poker game to join.