Popular Pai Gow Poker Variants
Some casinos offering Pai Gow Poker tables have gone ahead and modified the basic structure of the game, resulting in a higher house advantage, for instance, as in case of ‘Emperor’s Challenge’ that has a house edge of 4.17%.
Let’s take you through some of these highly popular Pai Gow Poker variants that are played in a good number of off-line and online casinos throughout the world.
Devised and played extensively in the United Kingdom, this Pai Gow Poker variant has earned approval of the Gambling Commission. It features a side bet that normally pays out an additional sum to the player if his/her hand consists of a joker. There is another popular modification to it which involves bonus payout in the event that the 7 card hand consists of all cards of the same colour. That’s also how this poker variant gets its name: Jokolor = Joker + Colour!
Pai Gow Poker – Commission Free
This Pai Gow Poker variant made its first appearance in a Washington casino and completely did away with the 5% commission applicable on the Pai Gow Poker winnings. Rather, the house monetised the site bets, which as you may be aware, feature very impressive house margins, and aren’t the best bets by any means for the players.
Fortune Pai Gow Poker
Highly popular in online casinos and the brick-and-mortar ones in Macau, Fortune Pai Gow Poker features an ‘Envy Bonus’ that is dependent on the overall value of the 7 cards dealt to a player, no matter how he/she chooses to arrange them into 2 poker hands. However, the player is required to make a separate contribution or ante when playing Fortune Pai Gow Poker. It is mandatory for the 7 cards to consist of at least 4 of a kind or a better hand in order to qualify for the fortune amount or bonus.
Jackpot Pai Gow Poker is a well-known variation of Fortune Pai Gow Poker wherein the bonuses usually go up to 100,000 times of the bet amount. Progressive Pai Gow Poker is also a popular Fortune Pai Gow Poker type that is played in permissible places in Canada where in a $ 5 side bet made by a player can earn him/her $ 100,000 or more.
Another quite commonly known variant of the conventional Pai Gow Poker played world over, this one involves an extra hand dealt to the empty seat on a Pai Gow Poker table. The players are free to bet on this extra dragon hand too, apart from their original bets. However, the cards dealt to the dragon hand are set or arranged the house way, and not as per the needs or strategy of the player.
Revolving bank Pai Gow Poker
In this Pai Gow Poker variant, the banker’s role moves between the players and the dealer in a zigzag manner. However, when players assume the banker’s role, they must set their cards the house way.
Pai Gow Mania
It comprises of 2 side bets - the players are allowed to place additional bets on all the 7 cards and the first 3 cards. You can earn a bonus if you get triplets and/or pairs in your first 3 cards or 7 cards too (for a certain minimum hands). These aren’t considered the best wagers since the payout rates are far less compared to the actual odds. All regular Pai Gow Poker rules are applicable to the game.
Pai Gow Insurance
Offered by some of the casinos based in Las Vegas, this Pai Gow Poker variation gives players the option of placing a side bet for covering their returns.
You win if your hand consists of no flushes, straights or pairs. You can even get paid an additional amount based on the highest card received in your hand – the lower the highest card, the better the payout rate!
No push Pai Gow Poker
Played mostly in a handful of Las Vegas casinos, it features the same rules that are applicable to the conventional Pai Gow Poker. The only difference is that there is no 5% commission involved and the dealer always holds the banker’s hand. There’s another twist! The deck’s unused cards may come into play (for the settlement of a tie) whenever there’s a push. The player wins if he/she draws a card that’s higher than the dealer’s, and loses if it’s of lesser or equal value than the dealer’s.