Pai Gow Poker Odds and House Edge

Pai Gow Poker is a fascinating casino card game. It is based on a competition between player and dealer for the best hands, which revolves around three possible outcomes – 1) the dealer will win, 2) the player will win or 3) the game will end in a “push,” or tie. All this may sound simple at first, but there is plenty of room for player strategy and skill, rather than just plain luck. With the right training, a player can manipulate the Pai Gow Poker odds and house edge so that they will be more favorable. This will result in more frequent wins and a more enjoyable playing experience.

Pai Gow Poker Outcomes

In Pai Gow Poker, the dealer wins if each of his hands is worth more than each of your corresponding hands – in other words, his “low” hand has a value greater than your low and his “high” hand is greater than your high. (If each of your hands is worth exactly the same as the dealer’s, he also wins the round.) You win if the opposite is true, that is, each of your hands is worth more than the dealer’s corresponding hand. A push means that one of your hands is worth more than the dealer’s and the other is worth less. In such a case, neither of you wins.

Pai Gow Poker Odds

When you look at the odds in Pai Gow Poker, you may be surprised to see that on the average, 41 percent of all games end in a push, with neither the player nor the dealer coming out a winner. The odds of the remaining outcomes are almost even matched. The odds of the player winning (both his hands beat both the dealer’s) are 29 percent, while the odds of a win by the dealer (both his hands are higher in value than, or equal to, the player’s) are 30 percent. This means that the dealer, who is playing on behalf of the house, has a slight advantage.

Pai Gow Poker House Edge

The house edge in Pai Gow Poker works out to 1.5 percent. This is relatively low compared with many other casino games. If you play carefully and apply Pai Gow Poker strategy, you can reduce the house odds somewhat more. Don’t forget, though, that in addition to the house edge, there is normally a charge for playing Pai Gow Poker. The casino will generally take a 5 percent commission, known as the “rake,” on your winnings, although there is a commission free variant called EZ Pai Gow Poker.