Pai gow can trace its roots back to an ancient Chinese game dating thousands of years back. The original Chinese game is believed to have been played with domino tiles. In the ancient Chinese tradition, pai refers to both dominos and cards because during that time difference was not made between cards and domino tiles in China. The early Chinese dynasties used dominos in place of cards; they were treated in the same way as cards and also packed like cards.
In the ancient pai gow game, dices and dominos were used where the dominos supposedly represented the army and the civilians. The Chinese game was slightly complicated; in the present day, this Chinese game can still be found in China. Gradually the game began to spread to different parts of the world and it was only in the 1800s that it travelled to the shores of America. However, it was not before 1980s that the game found presence in the casinos.
The modern version of pai gow poker is very different from the Chinese game from which it originated. After its introduction in America, the use of dominos was discontinued and cards began to be used instead. The basic rules of the game had several similarities with that of poker but there are several differences also. In pai gow poker, a whole deck of 52 cards is used along with the joker card. Also, unlike in some other forms of poker, in pai gow the players do not play against each other but against the dealer.
The pai gow game can be played by a maximum of six players. All the players are dealt seven cards which they have to use to make two hands “ one consisting of 5 cards i.e. the major hand and the other consisting of 2 cards i.e. the minor hand. The players have to make the hands in such a way so that they can beat the dealers hands.
Pai gow as we know it today was developed by two gentlemen, Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian. Fred Wolf took the ancient Chinese game and made changes which turned it into the popular poker version seen in the casinos today. Apart from replacing the dominos with cards, the poker hand rankings were also introduced in the game during this time. The game of pai gow is still evolving. With the coming of online casinos, the game can now be played from the comforts of your home.Tags : History : Poker