The most popular game at the Macau casinos

Pai Gow, which in Chinese means ‚make nine’, is the most played game in the Macau casinos. Thousand of years ago, it used to be a domino game only. Today, it is known everywhere as the Poker Pai Gow.

For the Pai Gow, the dealer separates the domino stones into four equal groups, after which he throws the dice to decide which group every player will get. Pai Gow, the most popular gambling game in the Macau casinos, played with 32 domino stones, became famous amongst the players in the 1800-1900. Back then, the world adopted it, under different versions, and impacted the most common mass games in the large casinos. It will be played in Macau and also in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Brought to US by immigrants

Rumor has it that Pai Gow was brought to America by the Chinese immigrants. In time, the game has changed and the domino stones were replaced by playing cards. At the end of the 1900, Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian invented what is known today as Poker Pai Gow. It is played with a 53-card deck, including a joker, acting as a Wild Card or an Ace. The game uses a Blackjack table, maximum six players and a dealer, against whom they will be playing.

How to play

The rules for the Poker Pai Gow are simple, even for the beginners. The players will place the bets and the dealer will hand out seven cards, face up. A dice is rolled to decide who will get the first hand. The players see the seven cards, then they split them into a two-card hand and a five-card hand. The smallest goes on top and the highest on the bottom. Should both hands of the player exceed the two of the dealer’s, then the player wins. In case one of the player’s hans is a winner and the other one is not, the game ends with a push and nobody wins. If a hand of one of the players sitting at the same table has the same face value as the dealer’s, there is a tie and the dealer wins. And, of course, when both hands of the dealer exceed the player’s, then the latter loses.

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