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The Best Online Pai-Gow Poker in New Zealand

Pai-Gow Poker

Pai-Gow Poker, which also goes by the name 'double-hand poker', is a Westernized version of the ancient Chinese game Pai-Gow. It has become an extremely well-known game with top popularity in New Zealand casinos recently, including online gambling sites. Pai-Gow poker is a great game for beginners as well as skilled players, and is especially fun to play when online gambling. Pai-Gow poker is best if you have a lot of time to play though. Unlike slots and other single player games you can play at an online casino, Pai-Gow poker is on the slower side. We've put together this Pai-Gow online poker guide so that you can have the best chances of winning every time you play. We will also tell you about the best online casinos to play Pai-Gow Poker. Read on to learn more about the game as well as the benefits you'll garner from choosing to play it online.

  • Excellent odds of winning
  • Side bets throughout game
  • Fun poker rules
  • Low risk game good for new players
Top Casinos In New Zealand


How to Play Pai-Gow Poker Online in NZ

Pai-Gow Poker merges the complexity of Pai-Gow with poker rules for an exciting and strategic game.

Traditionally, Pai-Gow is played with Chinese dominoes. However, at any NZ casino online, Pai-Gow poker is played using a standard 52-card deck, with a single joker included. Pai-Gow poker is well known in NZ for being a particularly slow game. It is very low risk, making it easy to win real money. It is easy to learn proper strategy, making it a top choice for beginners. It is also a nice change to the typical poker game, or video poker, which, although there are tons of variations out there, can get a bit old to some people.

The table is set for 6 players and 1 dealer. Each player's goal is to beat the banker, who may be the dealer or one of the players. The main object of the game is to create two poker hands out of the 7-card hand you are dealt. With these 7 cards, you create one 5-card hand and one 2-card hand. The 5-card hand must have the best value out of the two, which is why the 2-card hand is nicknamed the hand 'in front', 'on top', or the 'small' or 'minor' hand. The 5-card hand is called the hand 'behind', or the 'bottom', 'high', or 'big' hand. This is how they are placed in front of the player, once you are done setting the hands.

The game was first was adapted to playing with a deck of cards in 1985. Sam Torosian, who owned the Bell Card Club in California, never filed a patent for this game. He missed out on some top-level income when the game made it big and spread to casinos all around the world, including to NZ where Asian games are top priority. If he had had the game patented, even online casino's Pai-Gow poker games would owe him royalties.

The basic rules to play this game are the same whether you play in a NZ land casino or a site for online gambling. Kiwi Pai-Gow poker beginners will find that these rules are really easy to learn. This means beginners can become the best players at the table rather quickly, and everyone has a good chance of winning real cash. Here are the basic rules to the game:

  • A traditional 52-card deck is used, plus 1 joker.
  • The joker is semi-wild, meaning it can be used as an Ace, to complete a straight flush, straight, flush, or royal flush.
  • After a player makes a bet, the dealer deals the player and himself 7 cards.
  • The player separates their cards in to the best possible hands. One hand has 5 cards, while the other has 2 cards. The 5-card hand must have the top value of the two hands.
  • The 5-card hand is judged by traditional poker rules. The 2-card hand can only be a pair or a no-pair, where the individual cards determine the value of the hand.
  • The dealer divides his cards according to specific rules called the 'house way'.
  • The two high hands are compared, and the two low hands are compared separately. If there is a tie, then the tie goes to the banker.
  • If the player wins both hands, then they win even money on their bet.
  • The player is allowed to bet against both the dealer and other players.
  • The banker role rotates around the table, or zig zags between the dealer and the next player in a row.
  • The player can always decide to bet against another player, or 'bank', which will make the option of betting revert to the next player or the dealer.

Different Types of Pai-Gow Poker

When you play for real money at any NZ online casino, Pai-Gow poker comes in a few different variations other than the original best-known version. They were mainly invented between 2004 and 2009. The first one is Pai-Gow Mania, which allows players to make 2 side bets instead of just one side bet per hand. Another top variation, Fortune Pai-Gow allows you to make a side bet and a poker hand that ranks triples or better. One of the best variations is Emperor's Challenge, which allows you to place a side bet on a 7 card Pai-Gow. Finally, there is Pai-Gow Progressive, which adds a progressive real money jackpot to the table in addition to regular bets. The real cash jackpot consists of the combined $1 side bets that players wager during the game.

Beginners Tips and Strategies

Always make your 5-card hand as good as possible and worry about the two-card hand second.

With the addition of a few beginners' tips and strategies, you can catapult your game into the top level and win huge amounts of real money! Here are some of our best tips for beginners so that you can win real cash right away:

  • If you don't have a pair, straight, or flush, you should play the highest card with your high hand. Then play the next two highest cards in your low hand.
  • If you have two pair including a pair of aces, split the pairs between the hands. If the top pair is kings, split. The only exception is when the other pair is Deuces, then you should play the pairs together and play the two remaining highest cards in the low hands.
  • If you have a two pair of sixes and below, split the pairs unless you hold an Ace. In that case, play the pairs together with the Ace and put the next highest card in the low hand.
  • If you have two pair including 7's through 10's, follow the same rule as above. Split the pairs unless you have an Ace, then include both pairs with the ace and play the next two highest cards in the 2-card hand.
  • If you have two pair including any face cards, always split with the highest pair in the high hand.
  • For three pair, always play the highest pair in the low land.
  • If you have three of a kind, always play them together unless the cards are Aces. Then, play a pair of Aces in the high hand and the single Ace with the next highest card in the low hand.
  • Full house should always be split with the pair in the low hand. The only exception is if you also have a second pair, in which case you should play the highest of the pairs in the low hand.
  • If you have a straight or flush, keep it in the high hand. Unless you also have two pair, then you should split the pairs according to the two pair rules above.
  • Four of a kind is a little more complicated. If you have 6's or lower, keep them together. If you have 7's through 10's, split them up unless you have an Ace or better for the low hand. If you have face cards, always split unless you have another pair to put in the low hand.
  • If you have 5 Aces, always split them unless you have a pair of Kings, which should go in the low hand.
  • You have a great chance of winning if you get the opportunity to bank on a regular basis. Most casinos let you bank one in every 7 hands. If you have the bankroll you should always take the bank, because you will be playing your money against every other player, giving you the best odds.

Now that you have all the tips you'll need to go from a beginner to a top level Pai-Gow poker player, take a look at our list of the very best online Pai-Gow poker rooms in NZ! If you're going to play for real money at an online gambling site, Kiwi Pai-Gow poker players should definitely choose one of the casinos on our list. These are top of the line casinos with the best customer service, odds and graphics in the industry. We scoured the web to find the best sites so that you can start winning real cash prizes today!

Get your game started at Spin Casino!!
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How does online pai gow poker work?

Online Pai Gow works just like playing in person. You face off against a dealer to try to get the best two poker hands. The major difference is that you don?t play with other people and the dealer is computer software.

Where can I find the best games?

To track down the very best games you should take the time to look at leading casinos online. These are the places with high ratings and are known for being good options. They typically have well-known software that they are built on as well.

How does it compare to traditional poker?

Pai Gow poker is quite a bit different than traditional poker. The main difference is that you?re trying to build two hands at the same time, but you?re also working with a two-card hand and a five card hand. The game relies on poker combinations but is much different overall.

Is it popular amongst New Zealand players?

Though Pai Gow poker is offered at some New Zealand casinos it isn?t all that popular. It?s only offered at some locations and not nearly as popular as standard poker or other table games.

How much can I win?

It?s possible to win many thousands in NZD while playing Pai Gow poker. Top bets can be as high as 3,000 NZD.

Is it fixed?

Pai Gow poker is not fixed and it?s entirely possible for you to come away with a high level of profit if you?re lucky enough. The game is completely random. ?