What is the difference between Pai Gow Poker and Chinese Poker?

Poker games
What is the difference between Pai Gow Poker and Chinese Poker?

There are many poker variants available to play at online and real-land casinos. This question about Chinese poker variants has been asked by one of our regular readers so we tried our best to answer this.  To make things a bit clear understand that Pai Gow Poker originated in the US and spread to China. Now you would ask how? Well, Pai Gow actually is a branch or offshoot of the Chinese game. When pai gow poker emerged in the mid-80s, its original “pai gow” element was gradually squeezed out by traditional poker rules, and thus blotted out and soon lost its intrinsic resemblance to Chinese poker.

Though China is the one who gave birth to this American poker variation and is considered by many the cradle of these two legendary games and aside from the essential poker element, the origin of the game is an element that makes them so alike yet so different.

The Pai Gow Poker

Poker games pai gow-Pai Gow Poker and Chinese Poker
poker games- Pai Gow

According to history in 1985, creative Vegas casino mastermind Sam Torosian gave a thought to merge two games pai gow and the classic game of poker. This is how pai gow poker was born. The game was an instant breakthrough in the classic casino gaming range, for it was a unique blend of Eastern and Western gaming culture, combining the elements and features of the Chinese pai gow game and poker. You play the traditional game using 32 dominoes or tiles, its poker variation with cards, a standard 52-card deck, and one joker.

The goal in this game is to create two hands out of the seven-card hand. Betting positions normally have numbers from 1 to 7. This number is randomly chosen. After placing the bets, you receive 7 cards from the 53-card deck. As soon as the dealer takes any unused hand, each player sets the two pai gow poker hands.

Chinese Poker

Chinese poker games -Pai Gow Poker and Chinese Poker
Pai Gow Poker and Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker is a card game that revolves around poker hand rankings that require only basic knowledge. As in each poker variation, the Chinese one involves an element of chance, allowing new poker players to play the game without any particular skills. The game has a standard 52-card deck. Each player is dealt a 13-card hand and has to divide these cards into three hands: two hands containing five cards and one that contains three cards.

Difference between these two games

Chinese poker game difference

The main difference between the two games is that betting on Chinese poker doesn’t require placing bets. While in other games betting is an integral part of the game. Also in poker hands; the difference is that only you have to make two hands in pai gow at the end; a one-card hand and a two-card hand; and in Chinese poker, the number of hands is three, two five-card hands and one three-card hand.

Also, there are two to four players allowed in a game of Chinese poker. And six players in pai gow poker. Finally, the game of Chinese poker comprises relatively simple combinations as well as the gaming mechanism; especially when compared to pai gow poker. The latter entails many more complex and elaborate rules that once again display the blended nature of this “hybrid” game.

You can play both the games at casinos of your choice and are easily available even at online casinos to play for free or with real money.


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