Next up in our series of rewarding casino wagers is Pai Gow Poker, which offers a house edge of 2.30%, making it fourth in our list of the best casino bets.
#4: Pai Gow Poker (2.30%)
Pai Gow poker always proves a popular game with card players due to the combination of strategic decision making and slow pace. Slow paced games are a great way to expand the life of your casino bankroll, while many casino regulars prefer games with a perceived “skill” advantage, rather than a pure game of chance such as Keno.
Players at the Pai Gow poker table are dealt seven cards, as is the dealer, and they must be arranged into one five card hand plus one two card hand. The poker hand containing five cards must be of a higher rank than the two card hand, while the dealer makes his or her hands in accordance with specific house rules.
The player’s poker hands are then compared to the dealer’s and if both poker hands prove to be higher, the player wins an even money payout, less 5% in commission. If both Pai Gow poker hands are lower than those of the dealer, the player loses all of his or her wager.
If the player wins one hand but the dealer wins the other, the hand is classed as a push and the player’s wager is returned. A push will occur in 41.48% of Pai Gow poker hands, which is one of the many reasons as to why Pai Gow is a slower paced casino game, preferred by those players who like to stretch their bankroll as far as possible.
If you have a larger bankroll, it is possible to gain a significant advantage at Pai Gow poker by playing as the banker. By volunteering to act as the banker, your own chips are used to pay winning Pai Gow poker hands at the table. The player / banker will collect all of the losing bets (less the 5% commission for the house). To comfortably play as the banker at Pai Gow poker, you would ideally like to have at least three times the table maximum in your bankroll.
The 2.30% house edge figure is calculated by experts, but in truth, it does vary slightly depending on your own personal Pai Gow poker playing abilities, as well as other factor such as the number of players. By playing as banker, against more than one opponent, the house edge can actually be completely negated and may even become slightly weighted in favour of the player, assuming an optimal strategy is followed.
For that reason, Pai Gow poker is definitely in the top five casino wagers.
Don’t miss the previous instalment of our Five Best Casino Wagers series, where we took a look at the popular casino game Baccarat, whose “Banker” bet carries a house edge of 1.17%.