What is the house advantage in Pai Gow Poker?
Pai Gow Poker is one of those games that polarizes gamblers. Apparently, you either love it or hate it. A lot of opinions are based purely on misinformation. As a matter of fact, Pai Gow Poker is one of those games that every gambler can play well and enjoy.
One of the factors of Pai Gow Poker that puts off newbies is its house advantage. There’s a common misconception that the game has a dangerously high house edge. Therefore, many players avoid playing the game at casinos.
First and foremost, the game’s house edge is not fixed. Pai Gow Poker house advantage varies with each bet and there are numerous bets available.
So, to answer the question of house advantage in this American-Chinese hybrid casino game, you need to look at the different bets.
How Edge and Commission Affect the House Advantage
Pai Gow Poker online or at a brick-and-mortar casino comes standard with a 5% commission. So, whatever you win will always have 5% in casino commission deducted.
That may scare some who feel that the commission and the edge (that comes naturally with all gambling games I must add) makes Pai Gow Poker riskier. Or, makes it a game not suited to new players or one with no chance of winning.
Fair enough; but baccarat which also comes with a 5% commission does not get a bad rap. Does that make baccarat a losing game?
Not at all. You can get consistent wins in baccarat with that commission and added edge on whatever bets you place.
With that in mind, you should approach Pai Gow Poker with the same attitude. In fact, the overall house edge of Pai Gow Poker ranges from 1.46% to 2.84%. Yes, there is a commission, which may skew your perception of the edge in the game.
What Else Influences your Odds in Pai Gow Poker?
However, there are several bets that have good odds. Good enough odds to make the commission and edge insignificant. What’s more, the edge and the commission overlap. The overall edge in Pai Gow Poker is a combination of the casino’s set advantage and the commission.
Moreover, the type of game you play affect the house edge too. Depending on whether you are playing a face up, dealer or player-banker game – the edge increases or decreases. Dealer-banker games have an edge of 2.84 percent while player-banker tables have an edge of 1.42% for the player who banks.
If this has piqued your curiosity or interest in the game, you can do one of two things. For one, you could try your hand at a free game at any of the casinos we recommend or scan through the Pai Gow Poker guides we have to help you get familiar with the game.