Pai Gow Poker Payouts

In the casino world, many games have different payouts that are based on your skill with the game combined with a sort of cap that's inherent in the game based on perfect play. Pai gow poker payouts work a lot like this, but you run into the problem that perfect play is essentially impossible to learn for a human being because of all of the complexities. Games like blackjack and video poker are much easier to perfect than pai gow poker, so any discussion of payout rates has to include a reasonable skill level somewhere in the list of topics.

Using the House Way

One baseline you can use for pai gow poker payouts is using the house way. You can ask the dealer to arrange your hand for you based on the house way if you'd like, so in theory, you should never have to take a payout rate that's lower than this. This is particularly important for pai gow poker bonus payouts when you're clearing terms and conditions that could make your play unprofitable as a whole if you don't keep your payout rate over a certain mark. Playing with the house way will typically give you a house edge of about 2.7 percent. This is pretty low, and it's in line with other low-edge games like European roulette that require no skill (since you're just telling the dealer to arrange your hand).

Without the House Way

Breaking from the house way has advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage, especially for pai gow poker bonus payouts, is that the house edge can increase if your skill level is not sufficient. This is a problem when clearing bonuses because the play-through requirements of certain bonuses will dictate that you keep your payout rate over some value, say 97 percent for example, and it's very easy to accidentally let the house advantage inch over the three percent mark. Once it does this, your bonus suddenly becomes unprofitable, and that's a problem.

On the other hand, there are two main advantages to playing on your own. The first is that it's a lot more fun for a lot of players to try to incorporate your own strategies and work into the game instead of just asking the dealer to do it all for you. Additionally, if your skill level is high enough, then you can earn a better payout rate of about 2.5 percent. This is a relatively small amount, but it's satisfying to certain kinds of players to know that you're ahead of the pack.

Pai Gow Poker Payouts for Side Bets

There are a number of side bets available in different pai gow poker games. Knowing the payouts for them is critical in picking and choosing which of them, if any, you'd like to play. One problem with knowing these payout rates, however, is that they're often based on much different payout tables. For example, the pai gow poker bonus payouts for the Fortune side bet can range anywhere from 7.8 percent to 9.3 percent depending on the paytable used since you get payouts based on the different hands you can make. When these payouts chance, so does the overall value of the bet.

Jackpot pai gow poker odds are a little more forgiving because the paytable is pretty stable and doesn't change much from casino to casino. It's also a good side bet, relatively speaking, because it only has a 2.2 percent house edge. This is lower than playing pai gow poker perfectly, so it's worth checking out because it'll bring down your average house edge.

The pai gow poker bonus payouts for the Emperor's challenge side bet is about 4.2 percent in favor of the house, and the insurance side bet has a house advantage 7.3 percent. You'll want to avoid this as well as the G3 Bonus (also just called the "bonus bet" in many pai gow games) which has an overwhelming 9.3 percent house advantage.

Overview and Summary

Overall, the payouts for pai gow poker depend on a number of factors. It depends on your skill level, whether you decide to play with the house way and whether you decide to play with any of the side bets or bonus bets. As you can see from the payouts listed above, you should really be careful about taking any of the side bets except for the jackpot because of the high house advantage of all of them. This game doesn't have a high house advantage in general, but you can fall into some sucker bets if you aren't careful and run up the average house advantage to an abnormally high level.

3 Best Pai Gow Poker Casinos