There are a fair number of online casino games that have their origins in the Orient. One of them is Pai Gow Poker, which has been adapted as a poker hand ranking based game. Microgaming, the leading software provider to Australian online casinos, has further innovated and offers Pai Gow Poker with a bonus side bet.
Bonus Pai Gow Poker is played with a single 53-card deck using a joker. The joker may be used as an ace, or as a wild card to complete a straight, flush, straight flush, or royal flush. You place the ante wager, after which seven cards are dealt to you. You have to divide them into a five card hand and a two card hand following the specified rules. The main rule is that the five card hand has to be higher ranked. If you are unsure of how to do this then you can use the House Way button. The dealer’s cards are then turned over and his hands automatically made. The five card hands will be compared, and the two card hands will be compared. If you win both hands, then you are paid even money on the ante bet, less a 5% commission. If you win one and loses one, then the bet pushes. If you lose both hands, then you lose the bet.
The bonus bet in this online Pai Gow Poker variant has to be placed up front along with the ante bet. The bonus bet is paid out according a payout table based on the cards dealt to the player. Most of the rankings in the payout table are based on the best five card poker hand rankings. These start from 2 to 1 for a straight and go up to 150 to 1 for a royal flush. A hand of five aces using the joker pays out at 400 to 1. A seven card straight flush with the help of a joker pays out 1,000 to 1. A royal flush with a deuce pair pays out at 2,000 to 1. A natural seven card royal flush pays out at 8,000 to 1.
Microgaming has built in a number of customization options into Bonus Pai Gow Poker that can be set from the Options menu in the bottom toolbar. These include four different speeds and a number of audio options. Bonus Pai Gow Poker is live at all Microgaming online casinos such as Crazy Vegas, Ruby Fortune and Gaming Club.