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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Rosenblatt

Face-Up Pai gow Poker - best bet in the house. Casinos hate it, here's why:

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Face-up Pai Gow Poker is a variation of the traditional Pai Gow Poker game, which is a fusion of the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the American game of poker.


The game was invented and introduced to casinos by Sam Torosian in 1985. Sam owned the Bell Card Club in Southern California and wanted to create a new and exciting poker game for his casino.


However, due to a miscommunication with a potential patent attorney, he failed to patent the game, and it quickly spread to other casinos without him receiving any royalties.

In Face-up Pai Gow Poker, players play against the dealer instead of other players, as in traditional poker. The main difference between Face-up Pai Gow Poker and the regular version is that all the dealer's cards are dealt face-up, allowing players to see the dealer's hand. This added element of information enables players to make more informed decisions when setting their own hands.

Odds of Winning in Face-up Pai Gow Poker:

The odds of winning in Face-up Pai Gow Poker are influenced by several factors, including the player's strategy, the dealer's strategy, and the house edge. The house edge refers to the advantage the casino has over the player, represented as a percentage of each bet that the casino expects to keep.

The house edge in Face-up Pai Gow Poker is relatively low compared to other casino games. On average, the house edge is around 2.5%. This means that, in the long run, the casino can expect to keep about 2.5% of all the bets made by players. However, it's important to note that the house edge can vary depending on the specific rules of the casino where you're playing.

Given the low house edge, Face-up Pai Gow Poker is considered a player-friendly game, especially when compared to other casino games like slots or some versions of blackjack.

It's worth mentioning that the odds of winning in Pai Gow Poker are influenced by the player's skill and decision-making. In this game, players have the opportunity to set their hands strategically, aiming to create two hands that are stronger than the dealer's hands. Being able to accurately divide the seven cards dealt, understanding the rankings, and making sound decisions can significantly impact a player's chances of winning.

Face-up Pai Gow Poker is an exciting variation of the traditional game that offers players the advantage of seeing the dealer's hand. With a relatively low house edge and the potential to employ strategic decision-making, players can improve their odds of winning.


As with any casino game, responsible gambling, understanding the rules, and developing a solid strategy are key elements to enjoy Face-up Pai Gow Poker and potentially walk away with some winnings.

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