How Similar is Pai Gow to Poker?


Pai Gow is a game that was invented in the 1980s and has gained a lot of popularity since then. It is a form of Poker that lets the players try and test their skills against the professionals at the casino. For players who have played Chinese Poker before, Pai Gow is similar and fun. If you are a professional Poker player who is looking for something different than the old blackjack and Texas Hold’em, then Pai Gow is a great option. If you are worried about learning new rules of a game and think it is complicated, you could not be further from the truth. This is a simple game that a child could play. In this article, we will understand the basic rules and strategies of the game to provide you with a better understanding of how similar it is to general poker.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow is a game that is played by Chinese Dominoes instead of cards, unlike poker. The game is very interesting and fun to play. This game is quite popular around the world in all casinos. This game is commonly played at home also using tiles that are designed in a special way. Understanding the basics at the initial stage can be a little difficult. The rules may be difficult to understand, but once you get the hang of it, you will be making bets and winning profits in no time.


Poker is a card game that is played all across the world in casinos, and now, at homes as well. The game was invented in North America and has been highly popular there. There are countless varieties of poker, and all of them are interesting games that help people convert their initial investments into large profits. Anybody who has even a little experience in playing the game will understand that the rules of all poker games may differ a little from one another, but they are all easy to understand, especially for new players.

Though the concepts of these games differ from one another, there are a few similarities as well –
  • There are high risks involved in each game, some minor, and some major.
  • The presence of analytical skills can help a person calculate their odds of winning. This helps them determine the investments they should make, play further, or just fold.
  • There are standard rankings in each game. In Pai Gow, the winner is determined by seeing who has the best combinations of tiles. While in Poker, the winner is determined by understanding who has the best cards.
  • In Poker, there is a variety of games called Pai Gow which is similar to the basic rules of Pai Gow as well. Both games require making 2 hands and their comparisons.
Although there are similarities, the 2 games can be quite different from each other. Here are some differences that make these games what they are today-
  • Pai Gow was invented in Asian casinos, and is quite a popular game, whereas poker was invented in America, but is played fondly all across the world.
  • Pai Gow uses 32 dominoes, or Chinese tiles, while Poker uses a standard deck of cards that includes 52 cards.
  • In Pai Gow, the players initially receive 4 tiles, while in poker, players get a set of 7 cards.
  • Pai Gow is a generally difficult game to learn and play, unlike poker which is easy to understand. New players often have difficulty in understanding the Pai Gow as compared to understanding poker.
  • When playing Pai Gow, people are often overcome with superstitious beliefs, however, poker involves a lot of calculations and analytical skills.  
  • The rankings of Pai Gow and Poker are quite different from each other. While poker card rankings are easy to understand because they are quite similar in all games, the rankings in Pai Gow are difficult to understand and may require a cheat sheet for the initial few games, especially for new players.


Pai Gow and Poker are 2 most popular casino games all across the world. Pai Gow is generally played in Asia but in the last few years, their popularity has increased worldwide. Poker, however, has always been popular all across the world. The games have a few similarities but are also quite different from one another.  Pai Gow may be difficult to understand, but both these games are full of fun and sometimes full of twists that keep the players on their toes at all times.

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