Where to Play Pai Gow Poker in Las Vegas in 2023

There are four types of pai gow poker that are dealt in Las Vegas. Face Up Pai Gow Poker is the most popular. It entered the market in 2018. Today, more than three out of every four pai gow poker games in our Las Vegas Table Game Survey are this version. The other options are Dealer Open, Emperor’s Challenge, and Fortune Pai Gow Poker.

Emperor’s Challenge and Fortune Pai Gow Poker charge a 5% commission on wins. Some houses still permit players to bank those games. No commission games cannot be banked by players.

Face Up Pai Gow Poker is faster and has a lower house edge than the other versions. The other two common pai gow poker variants are Fortune and Emperor’s Challenge. Emperor’s Challenge is sometimes dealt as Emperor’s Exposed, giving it the same house edge as Face Up.

Dealer Open Pai Gow Poker is the other no-commission variant available. The dealer pushes all players when dealt two or more jacks.  

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Las Vegas casinos with pai gow poker

The most common minimum bet is $10. It is $15 or $25 at most Las Vegas Strip casinos. There are no more $5 pai gow poker games in Las Vegas. The last was at Cannery. It is now $10.

We collected the following information in the summer of 2023. We found 55 Las Vegas casinos with at least one type of pai gow poker. The list below is sorted by the expected minimum bet. The games are listed under that by the pai gow poker variant. The minimum bet may be higher during busy hours. Some casinos deal multiple versions of pai gow poker. 

Las Vegas Pai Gow Poker minimum bet

$10 – Emperor’s Challenge
  • Arizona Charlie’s Decatur
  • M Resort
$10 – Face Up
  • Cannery
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Palace Station
  • Rampart
  • Red Rock
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Silverton
  • South Point
  • Suncoast
  • Sunset Station

$15 – Dealer Open
  • Binion’s
  • Sahara
$15 – Face Up
  • Aliante
  • Binion’s
  • Boulder Station
  • California
  • Cromwell
  • Flamingo
  • Four Queens
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station
  • Palms
  • Plaza
  • Sam’s Town
  • Treasure Island
  • Westgate
$15 – Fortune
  • Golden Nugget
  • Resorts World
  • Tropicana

$20 – Fortune
  • Orleans

$25 – Face Up
  • Bellagio
  • Circa
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Excalibur
  • Gold Coast
  • Harrah’s
  • Horseshoe
  • Linq
  • Mirage
  • Mohegan Sun
  • New York-New York
  • Palazzo
  • Paris
  • Park MGM
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Resorts World
  • Rio
  • Venetian
$25 – Fortune
  • Gold Coast
  • Rio

$50 – Face Up
  • Aria
  • Caesars Palace
  • Encore
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • Wynn
$50 – Fortune
  • Paris
  • Wynn

How to play pai gow poker

A pai gow poker game uses a 53-card deck that includes a joker. This card may be used to complete a straight, flush or straight flush. If it cannot be used for that purpose, it is an ace. 

Players receive seven cards after making a bet that may include multiple optional side bets. The cards are split into a five-card low and two-card high hand. The five-card hand must beat the two-card hand. Once players have set hands, the house hand is exposed. The house has a set of rules it uses for its hand. Once set, it is compared to each player’s hand. 

If the player’s five-card and two-card hands both beat the banker, the player is paid even money. There is a 5% commission in Emperor’s Challenge and Fortune Pai Gow Poker. If the banker’s two hands beat both player hands, the house wins. If the banker wins one, and the player wins the other, it is a push. 

The banker wins all ties. This is called a copy in pai gow poker. This is usually the house. However, players may bank at Emperor’s Challenge and Fortune Pai Gow Poker. The casino’s dealer becomes a player hand. The player banker is up against each player at the table. The house takes 5% of net winnings when a player banks. The player banker wins all copies just like the house usually does. 

How Face Up Pai Gow is different from the traditional game

Face Up Pai Gow Poker turns a poker game into one of luck. It is best suited for players who do not want to worry about strategy and want to go after the jackpot and other side bets. There is no skill involved in Face Up Pai Gow Poker. The house sets its hand first. If it is an ace-high pai gow, meaning a hand with no pair or better, the house pushes all player hands. If the dealer does not push, the hand is set. The player’s hand is set by the dealer as he or she helps the player find the best hand. 

Players may not bank in Face Up Pai Gow Poker.

No Commission Pai Gow Poker

No Commission Pai Gow Poker has one installation in Las Vegas. It is at Boulder Station. In our 2020 Las Vegas Table Game Survey, this game had just one install. It was at Fiesta Henderson. This game pushes all players when the dealer has a queen-high pai gow. We have never seen this table open at either casino so it is likely only available during peak hours. There is no player banking at No Commission Pai Gow Poker. 

Las Vegas Pai Gow Poker FAQ

What is the minimum bet for pai gow poker in Las Vegas?

One locals casino still deals $5 pai gow poker, but it is typically $10. It can be found for $15 in downtown Las Vegas and $15 to $50 on the Strip.

What types of pai gow poker are dealt in Las Vegas?

Emperor’s Challenge, Emperor’s Exposed, Face Up, Fortune, and No Commission are all pai gow poker versions dealt in Las Vegas. A new Dealer Open version is dealt at Binion’s and Sahara.

What is the most popular version of pai gow poker in Las Vegas?

Over three-quarters of Las Vegas tables for the game are Face Up Pai Gow Poker. 

Can I bank at pai gow poker in Las Vegas?

Emperor’s Challenge and Fortune Pai Gow Poker allow players to bank.

Is there a commission at Las Vegas pai gow poker tables?

Emperor’s Challenge and Fortune Pai Gow Poker have a 5% commission. Face Up and Emperor’s Exposed Pai Gow do not.

Why is there not a commission at Emperor’s Exposed or Face Up Pai Gow Poker?

The dealer pushes all players with an ace-high pai gow. This offsets the commission and keeps change off the table. 

Are there any video pai gow poker machines in Las Vegas?

Yes. We found a video blackjack game on Casino Wizard machines at Golden Nugget in August 2023. It has a $5 minimum bet.

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by John Mehaffey