Pai Gow Poker Variants
2004 – Pai Gow Mania first appeared on trial in early 2004. The first casinos carrying this game of Pai Gow were Fitzgeralds Casino in Las Vegas and Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard CT. This version of Pai Gow offered two side bets. The first was a side bet based on the first three cards dealt (similar to 3 Card Poker’s “Pair Plus” betting option). The second option was based on the seven card hand – similar to the bonus paid on the current version of Fortune Pai Gow’s – Fortune bonus. This game failed to grow in popularity as it required the cards to be dealt by hand, so that first the three card bonus could be determined: both dealers and casino executives alike, were not too fond of this invention which made the already slow paced game of Pai Gow Poker even slower. The game still does, however, exist at Downtown Las Vegas Casino – Fitzgerald’s.
2004 Fortune Pai Gow offers players an optional side-bet which pays out based on a player making trips/straight or better. This is the most popular version of Pai Gow with bonus bets to date.
2006 Emperors Challenge This is another bonus game working much like Fortune Pai Gow; however, the pay table is different, as bonuses are also awarded for players making Pai Gow hands (hands with no pair, straight or flush). This game can be found in a handful of Las Vegas casinos including Hooters as well as a few Boyd Gaming casinos located downtown.
2006 In November 2006, Shuffle Master debuted the casino game Progressive Fortune Pai Gow at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. This game is the same as Fortune Pai Gow, with an added $1 bonus bet that pays out for a full house or better with an opportunity to win a part of the progressive jackpot by making a 7 card straight flush.
This is a game where a bonus bet is offered on whether or not a non ranking (Pai Gow) hand is made. For example, a hand 9-high with no pairs, straight nor flush is worth a payout of 100 to 1, where an A-high hand with no pairs, straight nor flush is worth a payout of 3 to 1. Las Vegas casinos offering this game include: Red Rock, Aliante Station, Palace Station, Boulder Station, Texas Station and Sunset Station.
House Way Variations
There are differences between the way a dealer is forced to set their hand (house way) from casino to casino. This might not make sense at first, but after reading our page on House Way you’ll understand more why this is the case.