Learn about the old chinese game Pai Gow.
The name “pai gow” is sometimes used to refer to the card game Pai Gow Poker or Double Hand Poker, which is loosely based on pai gow.
Exploring the Ancient Chinese Game of Pai Gow
Pai Gow is a traditional Chinese gambling game that has been enjoyed by players for centuries. The game is played with a set of 32 Chinese dominoes and can be found in casinos across China, Macau, Las Vegas, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In this article, we will delve into the history and basics of Pai Gow and provide a brief introduction to the popular card game variant, Pai Gow Poker.
History of Pai Gow
The origins of Pai Gow can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) in China. The game was played as a form of entertainment and a way for people to socialize. Over the years, Pai Gow spread throughout China and later made its way to other parts of the world, particularly in areas with significant Chinese populations.
In the 1980s, the game gained popularity in the United States, particularly in Las Vegas, where casino owners introduced the card game variant Pai Gow Poker to attract more players.
How to Play Pai Gow
Pai Gow is played with a set of 32 Chinese dominoes, also known as tiles. Each tile has a unique combination of two numbers, represented by dots. The objective of the game is to create two hands, a front hand and a backhand, that will beat the dealer’s hands.
The game begins with the dealer shuffling the dominoes and dealing them into eight stacks of four tiles each. Each player then receives one stack of four tiles. Players must arrange their tiles into two hands, with the front hand consisting of one pair of tiles and the backhand consisting of two pairs of tiles.
The ranking of the pairs in Pai Gow follows a specific order, with certain pairs being considered more valuable than others. The highest-ranking pair is the “Gee Joon,” which consists of the two tiles with the lowest numerical value, while the lowest-ranking pair is the “Nines.”
Once the players have set their hands, they reveal their hands to the dealer. The dealer then compares the front and back hands of the players with their own hands. If both of the player’s hands beat the dealer’s hands, the player wins. If one hand wins and the other loses, it is considered a push, and no money is exchanged. If both of the player’s hands lose to the dealer’s hands, the player loses their bet.
Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker, also known as Double Hand Poker, is a card game variant of Pai Gow that was introduced in the 1980s. The game is played with a standard 52-card deck plus one joker, which can be used as an Ace or to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush.
The objective of Pai Gow Poker is similar to that of Pai Gow, with players aiming to create two hands (a five-card hand and a two-card hand) that can beat the dealer’s hands. The game follows traditional poker hand rankings, with the additional rule that the five-card hand must outrank the two-card hand.
Pai Gow is a fascinating ancient Chinese game that has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by players worldwide. Its unique gameplay and strategic elements have made it a popular choice for casino enthusiasts. Additionally, the introduction of Pai Gow Poker has brought the traditional game to a new audience, ensuring its continued popularity in the modern era.