Although Pai Gow is originally a Chinese pastime with pieces similar to dominoes, the modern-day game of Pai Gow poker has very modern origins. However, it can be said that Chinese Pai Gow is the predecessor of today's Pai Gow. The origins of Pai Gow can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279), where up to eight players, each with four tiles, played with two pairs called the front hand and the back hand. The objective of the game is to defeat both hands of the banker and walk away with the wagered money. The complex system used to determine the winner of Pai Gow hands meant that the game never became popular outside of Chinese gambling halls. In 1979, only one casino in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, offered the game, and Westerners rarely joined in.

However, Pai Gow poker is an American invention. It was first played in California in 1985 at the Bell Card club. Sam Torosian, the club owner, had been striving to attract wealthy Asian players to the club's tables. A player from the Philippines introduced a Chinese card game to the club owner, known as "Puy Soy," where 13 cards were divided into three separate poker hands.

Torosian was pleased with the concept; however, his clientele later expressed that the 13-card game was excessively sluggish. Subsequently, the club owner opted to decrease the number of cards from 13 to 7 and reduce the number of hands from three to two. This alteration rendered the game significantly more akin to the traditional Chinese Pai Gow, featuring a hand in front and another hand behind.

To earn money through betting, both the player and the house must strive to outperform each other. Winning a hand would lead to a tie, while losing both hands would result in the forfeiture of any wagered amount. The key to success lies in strategic decision-making, sharp intuition, and thorough analysis of the game. It's a battle of wits where skill and luck intertwine, creating an exhilarating atmosphere filled with anticipation and excitement. Whether you prefer the thrill of poker, the strategy of blackjack, or the spin of the roulette wheel, the world of gambling offers endless possibilities for those who dare to take the plunge. So, step into the realm of chance and test your mettle against the odds, for in this precarious dance, fortunes can shift in the blink of an eye.

Toroson, an innovative mind, introduced two novel additions to the standard deck of 52 playing cards. To enhance the gameplay experience, he incorporated the Joker, a versatile wildcard that can substitute any other card. Furthermore, he implemented a revolutionary technique that revolutionized the way cards were used.

The advent of this new game has simplified and made it even more intriguing to play, as it has ingeniously incorporated the fundamental rules of poker to ascertain winning combinations. This innovative twist has breathed new life into the game, captivating players with its enhanced simplicity and captivating gameplay.

This fresh variation of Pai Gow poker made its debut on a Friday evening at Bell Card Club tables. Just seven days later, these 30 tables were completely captivated by the game. In no time, the Pai Gow poker tables took over the entire establishment. The influx of players was so overwhelming that the hallways were brimming with people, and even the restroom entrances were obstructed.


With its unique blend of Chinese and American influences, Pai Gow has captivated card players, while embracing American-style shadows. George Hardie, the owner of Bicycle Club, the largest club in the world at the time, witnessed this remarkable phenomenon. When he introduced Pai Gow Poker to his clientele, he was met with the same level of enthusiasm.

In the year 1981, the emergence of a fresh card game took place within the premises of Las Vegas casinos. From that point on, it didn't take long for it to spread to Atlantic City, Buenos Aires, and Monte Carlo. Eventually, Pai Gow poker successfully completed its global journey and returned to China, where it was warmly embraced by the Macau casinos. At that time, Macau was still a Portuguese colony, and the game was highly appreciated by the local establishments.

Today, Pai Gow poker has enthusiasts around the globe and is widely popular in brick-and-mortar casinos as well as a favored choice in online casinos. The game is incredibly straightforward to grasp and play, offering minimal risk. Numerous players draw comparisons between Baccarat and this particular variation. Just like the classic French game, Pai Gow poker also accommodates high-stakes gameplay.

The rise and fall of Pai Gow poker's history tells a somewhat melancholic tale, particularly for its original creator. Sam Torosian, regrettably, never filed a patent before the game gained popularity. According to some experts, the game's inventor may have let slip a fortune, potentially missing out on over $100 million in royalties.

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