Fortune Pai Gow Poker Review
Developed in the 1980s Pai Gow Poker is an Asian-influenced casino poker game that has developed a loyal following with many players at land-based casinos. Like Blackjack it requires good knowledge of strategic play to extract the best potential RTP figure from play, but if you like casino games that stretch you with the challenge of decision making rather than pure luck this is one to add to your list.
Played with a standard deck of cards the aim in Pai Gow Poker is to assemble the best two poker hands, one of two cards (the Lo Hand) and one of five cards (the Hi Hand) from a deal of seven cards. One important condition is that the player’s Hi hand must outrank the Lo hand. That set is then played against the Dealer’s hand, which must have a minimum Lo hand of 10 or better to qualify.
If Lo vs Lo and Hi vs Hi are both won by the player, the game is won. If only one hand is beaten, the game ties and if both lose, the player’s stake is forfeited. And what makes this Pai Gow game so ‘fortunate’ in its title? Well that’s the optional Fortune side bet it offers which rewards a player’s full seven-card deal if it can rank as a five-card straight flush or better. What is particularly tempting for indulging this side bet now and again is its ultimate pay – if the deck delivers a seven-card straight flush that rare treat will payout that good fortune at 8,000 to 1!
With regards to the playing experience of this SG title, it’s quite simply excellent. The general presentation is very attractive with smooth animation and sound effects giving a pretty lifelike feel of playing at a real-world table. We can also report that even the background music seems to work nicely, being quite calming and pleasant to listen to during a session – something that’s so rare in our experience of reviewing table games that it makes us even more positive about this SG game!
Overall Fortune Pai Gow Poker is a very interesting alternative to the usual table games to be found at online casinos, and this version is very nicely executed. The only weakness in our view is the relatively uncompetitive RTP of 97.47% that flows from good strategic play – and with regard to that do be aware that this game’s Auto Split option to assist in the decision making for building your Lo and Hi hands does not always use optimal strategy!
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