Pai Gow poker may not be the first game you think of when it comes to big jackpots. However, it can deliver huge wins in some cases.
Case in point, a Las Vegas gambler recently won almost $250,000 through this game. They earned one of the largest Pai Gow poker jackpots in Vegas Strip history.
You can read more about this player’s impressive win below. You can also learn how it’s possible to win such a progressive jackpot yourself.
How Did the Player Win Nearly $250k?
A Utah gambler recently visited Las Vegas for the first time. They decided to play Pai Gow poker at The Orleans casino (located just off the Vegas Strip).
The player was placing the required minimum bet along with both a $1 jackpot wager and Fortune Bonus side bet. The latter wager sees you earn big payouts when getting certain hands.
Back to the Utah player, they won big after receiving a natural seven-card straight flush (no joker). This rare hand earned them both the $223,000 progressive jackpot along with $25,000 on the Fortune Bonus wager.
The gambler wanted to remain anonymous and didn’t offer any statements to the media. Whoever they are, though, they’re celebrating a quarter-million payout.
Where to Find Big Pai Gow Poker Jackpots
With many games, you can find huge jackpots in land-based and in real money online casinos. Pai Gow poker, however, isn’t one of these cases.
While both mobile and brick-and-mortar casinos offer Pai Gow jackpots, only the latter features significant progressive prizes.
Even when playing in land-based establishments, you won’t find large jackpots everywhere. Instead, you’ll need to visit major gambling destinations.
As alluded to in the story above, Las Vegas is definitely the premier spot for Pai Gow progressive jackpots. It can offer a six-figure jackpot at any point in time.
Other major gaming destinations, such as Atlantic City, Biloxi, Philadelphia, and Tunica, can offer large Pai Gow poker payouts as well. You’ll need to do some research in these cases, though, to find out where the largest progressive prizes are.
Tips for Chasing Pai Gow Poker Jackpots
You need lots of luck to win a jackpot in this game. However, you can also improve your chances of winning big through the following tips.
Prepare for Side Bets
If you’re familiar with Pai Gow poker, then you realize that a side bet is required to win the jackpot. This game also features other side wagers, such as the Fortune Bonus covered in the story before.
When mapping out a bankroll plan, you want to consider more than just what you’ll be risking on the main wagers. You also need to plan for the side bets too.
Here’s an example on developing a bankroll management plan for Pai Gow poker:
- You have a $1,100 bankroll.
- You plan on placing a $5 minimum bet, $5 Fortune Bonus wager, and $1 side bet each round.
- 1,100 / $11 = 100 betting units
Of course, you can always skip side bets from hand to hand. But you’ll need to place them the majority of the time if you want a realistic shot at winning the jackpot.
Use Good Strategy
Pai Gow poker is a strategic game that sees you lower the RTP with solid play. You can enjoy 97.16% RTP as a regular player. When acting as the banker, you’ll boost the payout percentage all the way up to 98.58%.
As for the basic strategy, you need to follow a simple set of rules. Here’s what to do with each type of hand:
- No qualifying hand – Place the highest card you have in the high hand and the two next highest ranked cards in the low hand.
- Pair – The pair must go in your high hand. The two next highest ranked cards will go in the low hand.
- 2 pair – You place the best pair in the high hand and you place the lowest ranking pair in the low hand. Exceptions to this strategy include the kings and deuces, which need to be placed in the high hand.
- 3 pair – Place the smaller pair of pairs (two pair) in the high hand. Place the best pair in the high hand.
- 3-of-a-kind – Use the 3-of-a-kind group in the high hand. An exception includes aces, with two aces getting placed in your high hand and the other going in the low hand.
- Full house – The 3-of-a-kind is placed in the high hand, while the pair is placed in the low. With a full house plus another pair, you place the top pair in the low hand.
- Straight – Place the straight in your high hand. An exception includes a two pair that should be split between high and low hands.
- Straight flush – You use the same strategy as for regular straights.
- 4-of-a-kind – Place a 4-of-a-kind with 6’s or less in the high hand. Split a 4-of-a-kind with 7’s or better between the high and low hands.
- Five aces – Put the 3-of-a-kind in the high hand and in the low hand place the two pair.
You can perform as the banker when the option comes around the table. You’ll need to have a large enough bankroll to cover other gamblers’ bets because you’re essentially playing against them.
You may not be thrilled with this idea if you’re a low roller. But if you’re lucky enough to have the required funds, then being the banker whenever possible can raise RTP to 98.58%.
Sign Up for the Player’s Club
Land-based casinos offer player’s clubs as a way of rewarding loyal customers. You definitely want to sign up for these programs wherever you play.
Once you sign up and receive a player’s card, you can take it to a Pai Gow poker table. You hand the card to the dealer, who’ll then give it to the pit boss.
The pit boss will rate your play as they make their rounds. They’ll be looking at your average bet size and potential side wagers.
The comp rate for Pai Gow poker ranges anywhere from 0.1% to 0.01% of your wagers. Everything just depends upon the given casino.
Here’s an example on what kind of rewards you might earn while playing this game:
- You’re betting $11 per round (one main bet & two side wagers).
- The table sees 50 hands per hour.
- 50 x 11 = $550 in hourly wagers
- You play for five hours.
- 550 x 5 = $2,750 in total bets
- The casino’s comp rate is 0.1%
- 2,750 x 0.001 = $2.76 in rewards
$2.76 isn’t a tremendous amount of money. However, it’s worth getting any extra benefits that you can while playing Pai Gow. Going further, the rewards will add up over time.
Seek Out Online Pai Gow Poker Bonuses
As covered earlier, the biggest Pai Gow jackpots are in Las Vegas casinos. But you might still be interested in playing online Pai Gow poker for convenience sake.
If so, you should take advantage of any available bonuses. Many casinos offer deposit bonuses that cover Pai Gow and other table games.
Here’s an example of such an offer:
- An online casino offers a 100% match bonus on your deposit worth up to $500.
- You deposit $100.
- You’re now eligible for a $100 bonus.
You’ll need to meet terms and conditions before withdrawing the bonus funds. When looking through the T&C’s, you should pay special attention to the restricted games.
Pai Gow poker doesn’t always qualify for bonus deals. That said, you’ll want to choose a gaming sites that features pai Gow poker bonuses.
Be Realistic About Your Chances of Winning
This game allows you to dream big thanks to its large progressive jackpots. For many, though, Pai Gow jackpots will merely remain a dream.
The odds of you getting a seven-card straight flush and winning the top prize are extremely low. Therefore, you shouldn’t count on hauling in six figures anytime soon.
Going further, you want to be a realistic about your chances of winning. You may have to play hundreds of thousands of hands before capturing a jackpot.
Your first priority should be having fun with this game. The jackpot, meanwhile, should be a distant secondary objective.
Big wins can strike in Pai Gow poker at any time. The aforementioned Utah player managed to win nearly $250k after receiving a natural straight flush.
You can find these types of jackpots in Las Vegas and, sometimes, other major gambling destinations. You’ll be able to play for progressive jackpots for as little as $6 ($5 minimum + $1 jackpot bet).
By using good strategy and taking advantage of rewards, you’ll minimize theoretical losses while chasing jackpots. Even if you never win the big one, then you should still enjoy this exciting game.
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