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The Difference Between Pai Gow and Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Games: Differences Between Pai Gow & Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Games: Differences Between Pai Gow & Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Games: Differences Between Pai Gow & Pai Gow Poker

Just as you have imagined, Pai Gow Poker originated from Pai Gow. It’s quite obvious, isn’t it? Although Pai Gow Poker originally originated in the US, it was birthed by merging Pai Gow and classic poker. This was like blending the eastern and western gaming world into one. 

No wonder, it stood out!

However, since Pai Gow and Pai Gow poker are two almost different games, it’s impossible to compare. Therefore, this article will attempt to explain the two games differently, highlighting their differences as we go. Seat tight! And let’s explore.

Pai Gow Game

Pai Gow is the earliest known form of dominoes, dating back to the Song dynasty in China. Western-style dominoes trace their roots back to this game. The Chinese creation story and military hierarchy in China were both inspirations for the original game’s name, which translates to “create nine”.

When it comes to casino games, pai gow is one the most difficult to master. It is necessary to know the positions of 16 tiles before playing the game. This rating may likely seem arbitrary and difficult to remember to a westerner or someone unfamiliar with Chinese mythology. 

There is a story behind this game, and learning about it will help you figure out how the pairings are ordered.

Each of the pairs tells a part of the origin story.

  • Gee Joon is the highest-ranking couple and the universe’s Supreme Creator.
  • Gee Joon’s first creation, Teen, is a celestial body.
  • Day is the earth itself, set beneath the stars.
  • Gee Joon created Yun, a guy, to live on the Earth.
  • Gor is a breed of goose bred specifically for human consumption.
  • Mooy, or plum flowers, adorn the ground with their delicate beauty.

The story continues with successive pairs: a man’s robes (Bon), a hatchet (Foo), a house’s partitions (Ping), and a man’s seventh and eighth children (Tit and Look).

Rules to Play

There are 32 pai gow tiles used in Pai Gow. To play pai gow, you’ll need a set of specially-designed tiles. A set of conventional dominoes won’t work since pai gow tiles seem similar to dominoes, but they aren’t the same. Fortunately, pai gow tiles can be purchased online or at a local gaming shop.

  • After betting on the outcome of the game, players then receive four tiles from the dealer.
  • Divide your tiles into two equal hands, each with two tiles. Both your high hand and your down hand are excellent.
  • The tiles of each player are flipped over one by one. Take a look at the dealer’s high and low hands and compare them. You win the wager if yours is worth more.

Pai Gow Poker

This is a variation of the basic poker game that has undergone numerous modifications throughout the years. Pai Gow was invented by an American in the 80s and has since become a casino fixture.

In this poker variant, you want to build two hands of poker to win the pot. One of the hands with five cards, while the other hand with two. In poker, you win if your two hands defeat the dealer’s two hands. 

Pai Gow Poker can sometimes be referred to as “double hand poker” because of its unique nature.

One of your hands must win for the game to be a “push”. You’ll forfeit your wager if you lose both of your hands. Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, and full houses are among the possible winning combinations, just as they are in traditional forms of poker.

Simple, right?

Because it’s so basic and quick to learn, it’s ideal for those who enjoy playing poker and want something to do in a more leisurely setting.

Rules to Play

Here, a 53-card deck is used (regular 52 cards and a joker). All players in a hand and the banker are dealt seven cards faced down by the dealer after bets have been placed. It is not uncommon for a player or a player/dealer team to serve as the banker, however, this is not always the case.

Next, players sort their hole cards into two different hands of five cards each and two cards each. The best hand is always the one with the highest value.

House regulations, which vary from venue to venue and online, let the banker to slot their hand into both a high and low hand.

There are several ways a player can win or lose a hand based on these situations:

  • A player wins if both of the player’s hands are better than several of the banker’s cards. Subtract the charge from the initial wager when computing the winnings.
  • When one of the player’s hands defeats a banker’s hand, it’s a push, and the player receives their original wager back (tie). To use this rule, you must win one hand and lose the other.
  • The bet is lost if the player loses both hands to the banker.


Pai Gow and Pai Gow poker are two different games. Although Pai Gow poker was created with the ideology behind the traditional Pai Gow game, it has since then drifted a lot from it. A notable difference is that Pai Gow is played with 32 Pai Gow tiles while the poker Pai Gow is played with 53 card decks. Stay tuned here and on our social media for further updates on online casinos.

Pai Gow Games FAQs

What skills do I need to play poker?

It would be advantageous to have prior poker experience before playing Pai Gow. You’ll also want to be familiar with and comprehend hand rankings. For this game, it will also help if you recall things quickly.

In Pai Gow, what happens if the dealer wins both hands?

If the dealer wins both hands, the player’s stake is lost.

Are the rules of Pai Gow always the same?

No, is the short response to this question. Modifications in play and regulations may be made according to the individual casino, just as they are for any other game of Poker.