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Origin of Pai gow

Pai gow traces its roots to a Chinese game. It was originally played as a language game in China with the help of domino sets. The game supposedly dates back to hundreds of years. Gradually, the game traveled to different parts of the world and it was during the 1800s that it was introduced in North America. However, the game became popular as a casino game only during the 1980’s.

The ancient Chinese game of pai gow, which inspired the popular casino pai gow poker, was actually a complicated one where, dominoes and dices were used. In the game the dominoes were used to represent the army and the civilians. In the present time, still the ancient game of pai gow can be found in China.

The modern pai gow games have undergone several changes. When it was introduced in the US, cards began to be used in the game instead of the original dominoes and from then on it became a card game. The basic rules of the game were similar to that of poker but in pai gow apart from using the whole deck of card, the joker card was also used. In the pai gow poker, the players do not play against themselves, but against the dealer and a single table can hold up to a maximum of six players. In the game, each of the players are dealt seven cards with which they have to make two hands – one of them will consist of five cards while the other hand will have the rest of the two cards. The players have to use the two hands to beat the two hands of the dealer.

It was Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian, who are given the credit of developing the game as we know it now. Fred Wolf actually took the difficult Chinese game of pai gow and gave it a new shape and turned it into the popular poker variation that can be found in the casinos in the present day. Not only did he replaced the dominoes with cards but also introduced the poker hand rankings.

In the present day, pai gow poker can be found in most of the casinos. It is a refreshing change from the usual casino games. With the coming of advanced technology, the online casinos are also offering pai gow games. This has made the game more accessible and more and more people are taking up pai gow.

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