Category Archives: Poker Articles

Pai Gow Poker in UK online casinos

Entering the category of table games in the lobby of most UK online casinos, you will notice numerous variations of poker there. Pai Gow Poker is one of them. Pai Gow poker originates from a famous Chinese domino game called Pai Gow as well. It was really popular in China and some other Eastern countries many centuries ago. As for the modern variation of this game when dominoes got replaced with traditional cards, it came to the American brick-and-mortar casino floors in 1980s. Right now practically everyone can enjoy this card game in UK online casinos.

Pai Gow poker is played with one traditional deck and one Joker. However, this Joker cannot substitute for all other cards as usually. The rules of Joker will be explained below. So, we decided to take Playtech software as an example of Pai Gow gameplay and rules. You can check it out on such gambling sites as Omni Casino for instance. Once you launch the game you will see a purple table with Chinese dragons on it. This is probably a tribute to the Chinese origin of Pai Gow poker. The first thing you are expected to do is to place an ante bet. Omni Casino offers you the following set of chips: $0.01, $0.10, $0.50, $1, $5, $10 and $25. Minimum wager equals $0.01 while the highest betting limit is $300 (some other software providers can have different low and high limits). So, you place your bet that goes to the BET area in the centre of the table. Then you press the DEAL button located underneath the table. Both you and a banker will be dealt 7 cards, however you will be able to see your cards only.

Pai Gow Poker

The next stage is probably the most important in the whole Pai Gow game. You need to analyze the cards you see in front of you and divide them into two hands. The first hand is also called ‘back’ or ‘highest’ hand. It consists of 5 cards and will stay in the first row. The second hand is also called ‘front’ or ’second highest’. It consists of 2 cards and will be transferred to the second row. The main rule you should follow when splitting your hand is that the back hand should be always higher than the front hand. In other words, it should qualify higher on the traditional poker hands ranking than the second hand.

Therefore, to play Pai Gow poker successfully you need to learn the traditional poker hands rankings. The only difference implemented in Pai Gow concerning the hands is that the straight from Ace to five is ranked as the second highest combination instead of straight from 9 to King. The highest poker hand you can collect in the front 2-card hand is certainly a pair of Aces. As for the Joker rule that we have already mentioned above, a Joker can substitute for other cards only in such hands as straight, flush or straight flush. If you don’t have any of these combinations, then Joker will act as an Ace.

By the way, if you are not sure of the right way to split your original hand, you can always press the House Way button that appears after you press the DEAL button. Pressing this button your cards will be divided automatically according to the optimal Pai Gow strategy. Such a functionality is implemented by practically all UK online casinos as it facilitates Pai Gow gambling process significantly.

So, if both a back and a front hands of yours beat the hands of a dealer, then you win a 1 to 1 payout. If only one of your hands is higher, then it’s called a push and you receive your ante bet back. If both your hands are weaker than dealer’s hands, then you lose your bet. Pai Gow Poker is one of the most skill-based games in UK online casinos, so why not to check it out?

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A Brief History of Online Poker

In 1998, the first online poker room, Planet Poker, was inaugurated. Though the first of its kind, this online novelty was soon overtaken by a huge number of other online poker sites. Though it had been around for several years beforehand, online poker really came to the attention of the masses in 2003, when an amateur online poker player won the World Series of Poker tournament. By beating live poker professional, Sammy Farha, Chris Moneymaker, who had earned his place in the tournament through one of the largest online poker site in the world, Pokerstars, had truly pushed online poker into the limelight.

Growth

Following Moneymaker’s victory in 2003, online poker went through a period of exponential growth with sites like the aforementioned Pokerstars and PartyPoker growing rapidly in popularity across the globe. By 2004, online poker had become a multi-billion dollar industry, with live games also seeing an increase in popularity as a result. Indeed, from a figure of 800 in 2003, the number of players competing in the World Series No Limit Hold’em event reached 2,600 in 2004 and an astonishing 6,000 in 2005.

Between 2004 and 2005, it has been estimated that the online poker industry grew by a rate of around 600%, with the great levels of expansion occurring not only in the US, but also in Europe. As time wore on, online poker gradually became accepted and endorsed by professional poker players and was thus seen as a legitimate form of the game. This led to launch of many reputable poker sites, including Pokermira.com, which is a rather popular online poker room in the UK.

online-poker

Demise

But all was not well in the world of online poker. In 2006, the FBI launched its fight against online poker, indicting the founders of the online payment processor, Neteller, for conspiracy and money laundering. The subsequent withdrawal of Neteller from the US market rendered online poker increasingly hard to come by in the US, a fact that was made worse by PartyPoker’s decision not to allow American players access to the site. As the US represented the largest market in the online poker industry, these governmental actions inevitably led to a steady decline in growth. Continue reading

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BetFred Poker

BetFred is the world’s biggest independent bookmaker and has over 550 shops in the UK. BetFred launched their poker site in 2005 and uses the excellent Playtech Software. The software uses an attractive 3D perspective and runs at a good speed. BetFred offer a good range of cash games, single and multi table tournaments, sit and go’s, and daily freerolls.

Bonus

BetFred offer a 100% bonus up to $500 on your first deposit. The bonus is awarded once a set amount of raked hands have been played. Ten raked hands must be played for each $1 of the bonus.

Software, Security and Fair Play

BetFred Poker’s software was developed and maintained by Playtech, one of the leading online gaming software companies, with vast experience from the “brick and mortar” casino world. BetFred Poker employs a combination of automated and human monitoring tools to identify and prevent any irregular play patterns or incidences of collusion between players, thus ensuring fair gaming and a pleasant, honest poker environment.

Banking

BetFred supports; Neteller, Neteller InstaCash, Citadel (US and Canada only), Click2Pay, Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard), Debits Cards (UK and Ireland) and Bank Transfer.

Support

Support is provided 24/7 through email, phone and also via Live Chat which is available within the poker software.

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Carbon Poker

Carbon Poker is one of the fastest growing and most popular poker rooms on the internet at the moment. Carbon Poker offer a superb range of tournaments, sit n go’s, and cash games to suit all levels of poker players. Tables and tournaments are quick to fill up so there’s not too much waiting for the action to start. If you fancy a break from poker you can play on the recently launched blackjack tables or backgammon!

Bonus

Carbon Poker offer a 100% bonus on deposits up-to $100. When you make your first deposit enter the code 100FIRST1K. Make your first deposit with Carbon Poker and you will receive a voucher to enter one of the daily $500 Initial Depositor’s freerolls. Your coupon will be valid for 14 days.

Software, Security and Fair Play

The Carbon Poker software offers a clean, easy and user friendly poker experience. Carbon Poker is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commision and offers secure, encrypted banking to ensure the highest level of privacy and confidentiality. Cards and hands are created using a random number generator that is virtually impossible to predict, ensuring the play is fair at all times.

Banking

Carbon Poker supports; Neteller, Neteller InstaCash, Citadel (US and Canada only), Click2Pay, Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard).

Neteller and Click2Pay are Carbon Poker’s recommended banking methods and often run extra deposit bonus promotions for customers using them. You can also get Instant Withdrawals with these methods of banking!

Support

Support is provided through a help section, including an FAQ. Contact with the poker room is via email with queries usually being answered within 30 minutes.

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Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt Poker is probably one of the best know poker rooms at the moment, mainly thanks to their sponsorship of several TV shows and advertising such as the infamous, but never shown, Phil Ivey poker face commercials.

Full Tilt has got some big name endorsements and also some big players like Jennifer Harman and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson involved in running the company. The players give advice on how to play in weekly emails and also play at the site fairly often. You could even find yourself facing Phil Ivey!

The software looks good and runs quickly. You get to choose an avatar from a varied selection which are all fairly cartoony.

There’s tournament and cash game levels to suit all players including lots of satellites to the $200k guaranteed Sunday tournament.

Overall Full Tilt is a great site, with a good dose of fun thrown in, that is well geared to supporting it’s players.

Bonus

Full Tilt Poker offer a 100% deposit bonus up to $600! The bonus is cleared in $10 increments every time 100 Full Tilt points are earned. Full Tilt points are earned on both cash tables and tournaments, so it’s fairly easy to earn the points needed.

Banking

Full Tilt accept; Neteller, FirePay, Credit Cards, Click2Pay, ePassporte, and Cash Transfer.

Support

Full Tilt Poker provide 24/7 support through email.

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32Red Poker

32Red Poker is part of the Prima Poker Network, with over 500,000 registered players. They use the Microgaming software which give a good realistic feel to the play, with online statistics and the ability to play up to 4 tables at once on one screen. 32Red run tournaments throughout the day for all levels of player with over $1million given away every week in prize money.

Bonus

You can get a $50 bonus with 32Red plus entry into the $2000 new player freeroll .

32Red also offer a $32 monthly match bonus every month of the year.

Software, Security and Fair Play

32Red Poker uses the industry leading Microgaming software to power it’s poker room. All banking and player information is protected to a high level. 32Red uses Barclay’s Merchant Services and TrustmMarwue to handle financial transactions meaning they are safe, secure and swift. Card shuffling is independently audited to ensure fair play.

Banking

32Red accepts the following deposit methods; Credit/Debit Cards, Neteller, ECO, Firepay, UKash, Western Union, Wire Transfer, Cash (UK only)

Withdrawals are usually to the method of deposit.

Support

32Red provides excellent customer support 24/7. You can contact support through instant chat, email, telephone or via snail mail.

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