Pai Gow – A Thousand Year Old Asian Game Has an Americanized Version – Pai Gow Poker

How to Play the American Poker Version

Pai Gow Poker is played with a standard 52 card deck plus one joker. Players must first place a bet on the table. The order of play is determined by the dealer’s roll of the dice or a random number generator selection. Seven cards are then dealt counter-clockwise, face down, to each player and the dealer.

The object of the game is for the player to create two poker hands from his or her seven cards. The five card hand must rank higher than the two card hand. When setting the hands, the five card hand must be placed in front of the two card hand. In order for the player to win even money, both hands must beat the dealer/banker hands. If one wins and one loses, the decision is a push. If both the banker and player hands are of equal value, the banker wins.

The house takes a 5% commission on all winning hands. Any player may elect to be the bank in turn or s/he may pass. It can be advantageous to bank because the banker wins all ties, but the banker must also hold sufficient funds to cover all bets. Winning hands are determined by standard poker hand rankings with the following exceptions:

  • A joker can be used to complete a flush or a straight, otherwise it’s counted as an ace.
  • An A-2-3-4-5 is the 2nd highest straight or straight flush, under 10-J-Q-K-A. Therefore, a 9-10-J-Q-K ranks 3rd.

The house edge is about 1.46%.

How to Play the Asian Way

Pai Gow, translated as “make nine” has its roots in ancient Chinese gambling and is believed to be thousands of years old. Because it’s played with Chinese domino tiles it is found mainly in casinos that cater to Asian players. This game is not as popular with Americans. Also, it’s more complex and requires more study to learn.

The game is played with a set of 32 dominos known as The Woodpile. After all the players place their bets on the table, the dealer shuffles the woodpile face down and stacks them in 8 rows, 4 high. The dealer then rolls three dice to determine the order of play. The dealer starts as banker and gives each player and his or herself 4 tiles face down.

Each player must make two hands of two tiles each. The hand with the lower value is called The Front. The higher value hand is The Rear. If the totals from the players’ hands beat the dealer/banker’s hand the players’ win even money, minus a 5% commission to the house. If both player hands are of lower value, s/he loses. If one hand wins and the other loses, it is a push. In case of a tie, the tile with the highest singleton wins. When a player and banker equal zero, the banker wins. Players may act as banker in turn or pass. Sufficient player funds are required for a player to bank the game.

With few exceptions, the best a hand can score is 9. For example, a 1-3 tile and a 2-3 tile totals 9. If two tiles total above 9, such as a 3-2 and 6-5 totaling 16 requires that the tens place (1) be dropped and would therefore total 6. 5-5 and 6-4 would equal 0 as 10 + 10 = 20. Drop 2 to equal 0.

There are certain exceptions where a hand can score more than 9. These are called “Gongs” and “Wongs”. The double one and double six tiles are known as the “Day” and “Teen” tiles. A Day or Teen combined with an eight results in a Gong, worth 10, while putting either of them with a nine creates a Wong, worth 11. When paired with any other tile, standard scoring rules apply.

Also, there are tiles that can be used like a “wildcard” called “Gee Joon” with The 1-2 and 2-4. When used as part of a hand, these tiles may be scored as either 3 or 6, which ever results in a higher hand value. For example, a hand of 1-2 and 5-6 scores as seven rather than four.

The house edge is about 1.5%. Good Luck!

Choosing Revenue Option For Poker Affiliate Programs

One of the most profitable niches for an affiliate marketer is with no doubt poker. If you have a poker site making money it is fairly easy, but make sure you are choosing the right commission model for your affiliate program; fixed commission, rev share or a combination of both. Use this fairly simple way of calculating which to choose.

Sending players to various online poker rooms is a lucrative business. Due to the very high competition, the poker affiliate programs need to offer very high commissions to attract new affiliates. For webmasters, this is as good as it gets.

The typical poker affiliate program offers variations of commission, making it possible for you to analyze your traffic and referred players, helping you choose the best model for you and your site. It is not always easy to know the break-even point for revenue share vs. fixed commission, but if you know your visitors, all you need is a calculator.

You need some information about the players you refer. This is sometimes hard to know, but usually you can use a rough estimate. The more information available to you, the better you will understand your players. Try to find out – or guess – the following:

Referred players average limit (player level)

Type of game preferred (limit/no-limit, stud, Omaha etc.)

Table size preferences (usually 6 or 10 players/table)

To find this information out, you can use any method available; a poll on your page isn’t a bad idea, one or a few easy questions will get many answers, making it easier to estimate the above details. There are numerous ways of getting to know your visitors, but that would be another topic, and therefore beyond the scope of this article. If you have no information about your visitors, or if you are yet to build your site, look at a few different levels (of limit games) to see the impact on your revenue. The same applies with table size and type of game, investigate and evaluate.

What you need to know about the affiliate program is the following:

Rake percentage (the percentage the poker room earns from every pot)

Revenue share (the percentage of the rake paid to the affiliate)

Average number of players on active tables (on the referrer’s player level)

Find the average number of players seated at the tables, as well as the average pot. This information is given at almost all poker rooms. If you can’t find the information in the affiliate interface, log in as a player and look directly at the tables.

Then calculate as follows:

(rake percentage x average pot x revenue share) / average seated players.

This gives you the average commission for one played hand.

Look at their fixed commissions and do another quick calculation:

Fixed commission / earnings per hand.

This gives you the number of hands the referred players has to be part of, before you make more from revenue share than from the fixed commission.

If you want to know the time each player has to spend in the poker room to make up for the fixed commission, all you need to find is the average pots per hour. This information is also available in almost every poker room. Then simply calculate:

Number of hands (from the calculation above) / hands per hour.

Giving you an estimate of the time each player has to spend in the poker room before you start earning more than the fixed commission.

Now you have a few more parameters to consider before choosing your revenue model, take your time – it is well worth it.

What We Know About Poker Pro Fred Sarge Ferris

When you think of all-time greats in the poker world Fred “Sarge” Ferris has to be at the top of your list. Ferris played poker and played it well. Realizing that some people play poker for fun and some played it as a hobby, few of them had what it took to play for a living. Fred “Sarge” Ferris knew he did.

Fred “Sarge” Ferris grew up in the Great Depression and his father did everything to put food on the table. Living in poverty, his brother enlisted in the Navy and later became a well-known watchmaker and jeweler. He wanted to choose a different path. So he picked up gambling. He didn’t call it gambling. He was a consummate professional, never showing off his cards or giving away any information.

Although not much for publicity, Mr. Ferris started getting the attention of the other players and media as well. He started winning big pots, and high stakes cash games garnering the respect of his peers. His first big win came in a deuce-to-seven draw in 1980 winning $10,000. He then won $150,000 and a gold bracelet in the World Series of poker. After collecting his winnings, Fred Ferris was approached by a man named Stu Ungar.

Ungar did everything he could to convince Ferris that he could win the World Series Of Poker, but needed Fred’s help with the entry fee. Fred was unconvinced at first to help him out, after Ungar told him he had never played in a tournament before. Never the less, here stood a man so convinced he could do that Fred gave him a shot. Fred approached it as no different than playing cards; to him it was just another gamble. Ungar played masterfully, out dueling Fred’s arch rival Doyle Brunson to win the World Series of poker.

On April 22nd 1983 IRS agents approached Ferris in the card room and seized $46,000 in chips. It made headlines in on news circuits while sitting at Binion’s Horseshoe at high stakes games. The money was then reportedly seized because of back taxes Ferris owed to the federal government. One of the agents told Ferris to use the remaining money and buy a taco.

Fred “Sarge” Ferris and his scandal outrage the local Hispanic communities. Protesting that one of the agents mocked Ferris’ ethnicity. His parents were born in Lebanon but he was somehow mistaken for a Mexican. This was all a misunderstanding. Ferris said the agent was trying to be nice. The incident died off eventually.

During most of his life, he spent all of his time at the poker table. It seems appropriate to have his tombstone made out of a poker table, he died there. On March 12th, 1989, after playing in a high-stakes cash game, He suffered a massive heart attack. His funeral was held in Las Vegas. Many people attended his funeral. People came to show their condolences, some were happy he had died.

However after everything Ferris brought to the game he became the 18th inductee into the poker hall of fame. Later that year after a long investigation by both Las Vegas casinos and the Indian gaming commission, Ferris would be linked as one of five men who was in debt to the mob. To Fred’s credit the mob would never see their money.

He will be remembered for his accolades and achievements in the world of poker. His intelligence for the game and his techniques have earned him the respect of future poker players. Fred “Sarge” Ferris was called a “consummate pro” for a reason.

Information On Online Poker Rooms

Poker is quickly becoming the fastest growing game in the gaming industry. Poker has had a new addition with the entry of online poker sites. The popularity of poker is exploding due to internet poker sites and all the television coverage the game is getting. Internet poker has gained popularity because of the ease to use. All that you need is a computer and an Internet connection to start playing the game!

An internet poker room is actually a company that allows users or poker players to access their software they developed to host poker games on their internet site. There are many poker sites available today that accept US players, but not all of them do. This is because of a gambling law passed in the United States called the UIGEA or Unlawful Internet Gaming and Enforcement Act. This made it hard for the online poker rooms to transfer money in and out of the United States so some companies stopped trying and left the market.

Internet poker sites make their money from the rake from the pots. The rake in poker is what the casino takes for allowing you to play in their game. The percentages can vary and in a traditional casino it is generally in the range of 5 and 20%. Internet poker rooms charge less rake because the overhead expenses of online US poker room are very less compared to a brick and mortar casino. The rakes of online poker rooms are as low as 2% and as high as 5%.

When you are selecting an internet poker room, it is vital to check the safety of the internet site. Some sites are not as secured as they should be and any information that you pass on may be used in wrongful manner. Check if the room is secured so that all financial transactions that you do are safe. In addition, some of the online poker rooms do not have license from a trusted gaming commission. You must always choose a room that has a license to host poker games. Other things to consider while choosing online poker rooms are personalized features, multi-table features and compatibility with the operating system of your computer.

It is also recommended to check the traffic that an online poker sites has before selecting it. The more number of players a room has, the more number of games you can play and better are your chances of winning and making money. There are many poker sites that offer bonuses and promotions to enhance poker players to play online. Since there are so many poker sites to choose from, it is advisable to spend some time researching before you select one. Whichever online poker room you select, you are sure to have tons of fun and make tons of money!