Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive

  1. Pai Gow Poker Progressive
  2. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Machine
  3. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Las Vegas
  4. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Online
  5. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Game
  6. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Procedures
  7. Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive
Pai gow poker
OriginUnited States
Card rank (highest first)A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Random chanceHigh
Related games
Chinese poker

Pai gow poker (also called double-hand poker) is a version of pai gow that is played with playing cards, instead of traditional pai gow's Chinese dominoes. The game of pai gow poker was created in 1985 in the United States by Sam Torosian, owner of the Bell Card Club.[1]

The game is played with a standard 52-card deck, plus a single joker. It is played on a table set for six players, plus the dealer. Each player attempts to defeat the banker (who may be the casino dealer, one of the other players at the table, or a player acting in tandem with the dealer as co-bankers).[2]

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Winning condition[edit]

The object of pai gow poker is to create a five card poker hand and a two card poker hand from seven cards that beat both of the bank's hands. The five-card hand's rank must exceed that of the two-card hand, and it is for this reason that the two-card hand is often called the hand 'in front', 'on top', 'hair', or the 'small', 'minor', or 'low' hand. The five-card hand is called the hand 'behind', or the 'bottom', 'high', or 'big', as they are placed that way in front of the player, when the player is done setting them.


The cards are shuffled, and then dealt to the table in seven face-down piles of seven cards per pile. Four cards are unused regardless of the number of people playing.

Betting positions are assigned a number from 1 to 7, starting with whichever player is acting as banker that hand, and counting counter-clockwise around the table. A number from 1 to 7 is randomly chosen (either electronically or manually with dice), then the deal begins with the corresponding position and proceeds counter-clockwise. One common way of using dice to determine the dealer starting number is to roll three six-sided dice, and then count betting spots clockwise from the first position until the number on the dice is reached.

If a player is not sitting on a particular spot, the hand is still assigned, but then placed on the discard pile with the four unused cards. In some casinos, such as the Golden Nugget and Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, an extra 'dragon hand' is dealt if a seat is vacant. After all players have set their original hand they are asked in turn if they would like to place another bet to play the dragon hand. Generally the bet on the dragon hand can be the table minimum up to the amount the player bet on their original hand. The first player to accept the dragon hand receives it; this player is effectively playing two separate hands. Rules vary from casino to casino, but generally the dealer turns over the dragon hand and sets it using the house way. This is because the player has already seen 7 cards (their original hand) which could affect the way they would set the dragon hand.

Hand rankings[edit]

The only two-card hands are one pair and high cards.

Five-card hands use standard poker hand rankings with one exception: in most casinos, the 'wheel' (the hand A-2-3-4-5) is the second-highest straight. At most casinos in California and Michigan this rule doesn't apply, and A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest possible straight.

The joker plays as a bug, that is, in the five-card hand it can be used to complete a straight or flush if possible; otherwise it is an ace. In the two-card hand it always plays as an ace, except in several southern Californian casinos where the joker is wild.

Win reckoning[edit]

If each of the player's hands beats each of the banker's corresponding hands, then he wins the bet. If only one of his hands beats the banker then he pushes (ties) in which case neither he nor the banker wins the bet. If both of his hands lose to the banker then he loses.

On each hand, ties go to the banker (for example, if a player's five-card hand loses to the banker and his two-card hand ties the banker then the player loses); this gives the banker a small advantage. If the player fouls his hand, meaning that his two-card hand outranks his five-card hand, or that there are an incorrect number of cards in each hand, there will usually be a penalty: either re-arrangement of the hand according to house rules or forfeiture of the hand.

In casino-banked games, the banker is generally required to set his hand in a pre-specified manner, called the 'house way', so that the dealer does not have to implement any strategy in order to beat the players. When a player is banking, he is free to set the hand however he chooses; however, players have the option of 'co-banking' with the house, and if this option is chosen then the player's hand must also be set in the house way.

California casinos typically charge a flat fee per hand (such as 5 cents or one dollar) to play, win or lose. Other casinos take a 5% commission out of the winnings, which is usually known as the rake.[3]


There are a number of variations of Pai Gow poker that are popular in casinos today. These variations were mainly formulated in 2004 — 2009. Pai Gow Mania was the first variation to be created which allows for two side bets instead of the traditional one side bet per hand. Fortune Pai Gow is another variation which allows players to make a side bet on a poker hand ranking of trips or better. This is one of the most popular variations. Similar to Fortune Pai Gow is Emperors Challenge, which also allows a side bet on a 7 card pai gow (no hand). Shuffle Master introduced a variation of the game in 2006, adding a progressive jackpot side bet, named Progressive Fortune Pai Gow. Part or all of the jackpot may be won by placing a side bet and landing one of the hands specified on the payout table. The hand that wins 100% of the jackpot is a combined seven card straight flush.[4]

Advantage play[edit]

Advantage play refers to legal methods used to gain an advantage while gambling. In pai gow poker, a player may be able to gain an advantage in certain circumstances by banking as often as possible, taking advantage of unskilled players while banking, and dealer errors when not banking.[3]


Sam Torosian, owner of the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles, invented the game of Pai Gow Poker in 1985. The idea for the game came to Torosian after being told about the game Pusoy by an elderly Filipino customer. He figured that the 13 card game with players arranging 3 hands would be too slow, but a simplified 2 hand version with only 7 cards would be faster and easier for players to learn. The game quickly became popular and by the late 1980s was being played on the Las Vegas strip, and eventually worldwide. Torosian famously failed to patent the game he invented after being given bad advice by an attorney he consulted, and noted poker author Mike Caro, both of whom told him that the game was not patentable.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abRichard Marosi (3 November 2002). 'Casino Boss Can't Cash In on Game He Developed'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. ^Michael Shackleford. 'Pai Gow Poker'. The Wizard of Odds. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ abWong, Stanford (1993). Optimal strategy for Pai Gow Poker. La Jolla, CA.: Pie Yee Press. ISBN978-0935926170.
  4. ^'Pai Gow Poker Variants'. Play Pai Gow Now. Retrieved 21 December 2016.

External links[edit]

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Pai Gow Poker Progressive

This section contains my analysis of the following pai gow poker side bets:

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive

Dealer Bonus

Please see my page on the Dealer Bonus for information on that side bet.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker

Please see my page on the Fortune side bet for information on that side bet.

Jackpot Pai Gow Poker

'Jackpot' is a side bet I noticed at the Rio in November 2005. The game was closed at the time so the top prize was not evident, but according to the Shufflemaster web site it is alternatively $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000.

The following table shows the probability and return for each possible event. A $100,000 for the top win is assumed and a $5 bet, for a win of 20,000 to one. The table also assumes the player will always set his hand to maximize the value of the side bet, at the possible cost of his pai gow poker bet. The lower left cell shows a house edge of 2.21%, which for a side bet is pretty good.

Jackpot Pai Gow Poker Return Table

Natural Royal plus Pair of Aces*20000120.000000080.001557
Five Aces plus Pair400720.000000470.000187
Royal Flush plus Pair20015600.000010120.002024
Five Aces20010560.000006850.00137
Royal Flush100245600.000159330.015933
Straight Flush plus Pair60117480.000076210.004573
Four of a Kind plus Pair40576480.000373990.01496
Straight Flush301730840.001122880.033686
Four of a Kind202498240.001620730.032415
Full House plus Pair121504800.000976240.011715
Flush plus Pair84892600.003174060.025393
Straight plus Pair611555360.007496520.044979
Full House640245600.026109250.156655
Three of a kind274706760.048465850.096932

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Machine

* Both royal flush and pair of aces must be natural (no joker) for highest win.

If the top prize is less than $100,000, or the player bets more than $5 on the side bet, the return will be slightly less. The next table shows the house edge according to various other wins for a natural royal plus pair of aces according to the win on a to one basis.

House Edge by Highest Win

Natural Royal plus Aces PaysHouse Edge

Emperor's Challenge

Emperor's Challenge is a side bet I noticed at Hooter's Casino in Las Vegas in April, 2006. The following return table shows the probability and return of all possible outcomes. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 4.171%.

Emperor's Challenge Return Table

Natural 7-card straight flush5000320.000000210.001038
Wild 7-card straight flush10001960.000001270.001272
Five aces50011280.000007320.003659
Royal Flush150260920.000169270.025391
Straight Flush501846440.001197870.059894
Four of a Kind253074720.001994720.049868
Full House541885280.027172990.135865
Three of a kind376725000.049775180.149326
9 high pai gow40310800.000201630.008065
10 high pai gow52486400.001613050.008065
J high pai gow29634800.006250560.012501
Nonpaying hand-11233129960.79999048-0.79999

I hear that in Washington State the player must bet at least $5 to qualify for the pai gow hands.

Progressive Pai Gow Poker

The Falls View casino in Niagara Falls Ontario offers 'Progressive Pai Gow Poker'. This is basic pai gow poker with an added $5 side bet.

The following table shows the return table based on a breakeven meter of 20536.05 bet units, which for a $5 bet is $102,680.24. The house edge at all other times is 11.5428% less 1.1242% for every $10,000 in the meter.

Progressive Pai Gow Poker Return Table

Natural Royal Flush or Five Aces + pair20536.053360.0000020.044764
Wild Royal Flush + pair20012600.0000080.001635
Straight Flush + pair50117480.0000760.003811
Four of a Kind + pair40576480.0003740.01496
Full House + pair121504800.0009760.011715
Flush + pair84892600.0031740.025393
Straight + pair411173880.0072490.028996
Natural Royal Flush or Five Aces2053.653040.0000340.070664
Wild Royal Flush100203600.0001320.013209
Straight Flush251730840.0011230.028072
Four of a Kind202498240.0016210.032415
Full House640304160.0261470.156883
Three of a kind275445480.0489450.09789

Pai Gow Insurance

Pai gow 'Insurance' is a side bet that I noticed at the Red Rock casino in August, 2008. It appeared along with the Emperor's Challenge side bet. A 'pai gow' in pai gow poker is a hand with seven singletons, where no straight or flush is possible. This side bet wins if the player had a pai gow, the lower the highest card, the more it pays. The following return table shows the details. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 7.35%.

Pai Gow Insurance

9 high pai gow100310800.0002020.020163
10 high pai gow252486400.0016130.040326
J high pai gow159634800.0062510.093758
Q high pai gow727195000.0176430.123499
K high pai gow563869400.0414350.207176
A high pai gow3144307800.0936190.280858

Lucky 8's

Please see my page on the Lucky 8's for information on that side bet.

Pai Gow'd

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Las Vegas

Pai Gow'd is a side bet I noticed at the Four Queens on December 26, 2011. It is exactly like Pai Gow Insurance, explained above, but with a modified pay table. The lower right corner of the odds table below shows a house edge of 6.44%.

Pai Gow'd

9 high pai gow100310800.0002020.020163
10 high pai gow502486400.0016130.080652
J high pai gow109634800.0062510.062506
Q high pai gow727195000.0176430.123499
K high pai gow563869400.0414350.207176
A high pai gow3144307800.0936190.280858

The Jokolor is a side bet mentioned on page 85 in the a document titled Rules of casino games in Great Britain (1124K). The side bet wins if the player has a joker and/or all cards of the same color. The following table shows the house edge is 3.90%.


Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Online

Six cards same color plus joker304604600.0029870.089617
Seven cards same color, without joker1013156000.0085350.085349
Any hand with joker5198980600.1290880.645441

This side bet is paired with pai gow poker games, including EZ Pai Gow, offering the G3 electronic side bet wagering. Zodiac casino bonus codes 2018. As far as I can tell at the Rampart casino, it is just titled the 'Bonus Bet.'

Bonus Bet Return Table

EventDynasty PaysEnvy BonusCombinationsProbabilityDynasty ReturnEnvy Bonus
Natural 7-card Straight Flush8000$ 5000320.0000000.0016610.000208
Royal Flush + Natural AQ Suited2000$ 1000720.0000000.0009340.000093
Wild 7-card Straight Flush1000$ 5001960.0000010.0012720.000127
Five Aces400$ 25011280.0000070.0029270.000366
Royal Flush150$ 50260200.0001690.0253210.001688
Straight Flush50$ 201846440.0011980.0598940.004791
Four of a Kind25$ 53074720.0019950.0498680.001995
Full House5$ 041885280.0271730.1358650.000000
Flush4$ 061720880.0400410.1601650.000000
Three of a Kind3$ 076725000.0497750.1493260.000000
Straight2$ 0110342040.0715840.1431680.000000
Losing combinations-1$ 01245561960.808056-0.8080560.000000

The next table shows the overall house edge according to the number of players, including yourself, and various bet amounts. Note that the high edge is lowest at a bet of $1. This is because the win for the Envy Bonus is the same, regardless how much the player bets.

Bonus Bet House Edge

Players$1-$4 bet$5 bet$10 bet$15 bet$25 bet

This is a progressive side bet found with G3 electronic betting units. The player may bet $1 to $25. All jackpot wins are the same, regardless of bet size, so I would never bet more than $1. As usual with progressive bets, wins are on a 'for one' basis. That means you don't get your original bet back, even if you win. To be consistent with other pages on this site, the following page is on a 'return basis,' meaning what the player can expect to get back for his bet, based on a $1 bet.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Game

G3 Progressive

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive Procedures

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive
7-card Straight FlushJackpot$ 2280.0000010.000000
Five Aces0.1×Jackpot$ 1,1280.0000070.000000
Royal Flush$500$ 26,0920.0001690.084636
Straight Flush$100$ 184,6440.0011980.119787
Four of a Kind$75$ 307,4720.0019950.149604
Full House$4$ 4,188,5280.0271730.108692
All other0$ 149,434,9880.9694560.000000

Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive

The bottom right corner shows a return of 46.27% on all fixed wins. The value of the progressive is 22.11% for each $100,000 in the meter. To reach 100% the meter would need to be $243,011.06.When I saw this bet at the Rampart casino on March 17, 2011, the meter was at $207,361, for a return of 92.12%. This was probably unusually high, because the Rampart has had a truck with a big sign in the back drive around Summerlin promoting the large jackpot.