The first time I saw a Pai Gow Poker table was in a Hungarian casino located in the capital city of Budapest. Despite having years of experience playing Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em and various other card games, I found the layout of the felt intimidating and complicated.
It probably didn’t help that I had previously witnessed people playing the original form of Pai Gow using dominoes, and that too had left me feeling confused and bewildered. I briefly considered sitting down to watch a hand or two, but after less than thirty seconds decided not to bother. I continued walking across the casino floor towards the Blackjack tables.
Later that evening in my hotel room, I decided to search for the game on the web. I quickly discovered that in spite of the apparent complexity of the layout, the majority of the various spaces were allocated to a range of side bets, and the core game itself was actually very simple. I was a little drunk at this point, but felt I had learned enough to warrant giving the game a try.
I was wrong – I lost my money quickly, much to the amusement of the locals gathered at the table. The moral of the story? Never sit down to play a casino game you do not fully understand – always make sure you learn to play the game properly first. If you can’t help yourself and simply must try this new and mysterious game you have never seen before, then at the very least be sensible and keep your bets small!