Pai Gow was established by the Chinese, but little is known as to when the game appeared. The title translates as Make Nine, which helped keep the scoring to one digit. Wizard of Odds Pai Gow is a variation of the old Chinese game, in which you use cards instead of dominoes. Sam Torosian is credited with the change, having shared the game in 1985. It was first played at Bell Card Club, a Los Angeles location. The version provided today is with two hands and seven cards, to make it easier to learn the rules.
A deck of 52 cards and one joker is necessary for Pai Gow Poker Wizard of Odds games. The joker is the wild card. It is used with an ace or to complete a straight flush, flush, or straight. Each person receives seven cards. They are divided into two hands, one with two and another with five. The dealer does not look at his. The game uses the same values as in regular poker.
There is one difference. A-2-3-4-5 is a second highest hand. The five cards must be arranged as the higher ranking. Once the rankings are made, the player lays their cards face down, and the dealer arranges his for all to see. At this point, the people at the table show their cards to determine if the dealer or player has the better hand.
The bet is made before the cards are dealt, which means, you can decide to raise your bet only after you see the cards you hold. A good strategy is to ensure you only play Wizard of Odds Pai Gow when you know you will not lose, and fold when your hands are not good enough. The casino will always have the advantage. The house odds are in favour of a tie or winning hand due to the number of cards played.
Wizard of Odds Pai Gow requires a wager at the beginning, like the original domino game the Chinese developed. It is always a game against the dealer instead of other players.