The History Of Pai Gow
Tracing its roots to ancient Chinese gaming, Pai Gow is literally translated as “make nine”. Pai Gow is a Chinese game, believed to be thousands of years old, and played with Chinese domino tile sets. The beauty of Pai Gow has attracted the curiosity of gaming audiences in cities such as Nevada and California.
In ancient Chinese, the translation of p’ai is a term designated both for cards and dominoes. The reason for the use on both objects is that there is no main difference between dominoes and cards in China. During the early Chinese dynasties, dominoes are precisely used as cards. Dominoes are packed and treated the same way as cards.
Prior to the birth of Pai Gow, there were already two old Chinese gambling games that may have been the reason for the development of Pai Gow. They are yu-p’u and yeh-tza. Some players consider the two games as card games. There are others, however, who consider that the game of yu-p’u to be similar to a modern poker dice or something similar to it. Only the game of yeh-tza might be considered as a card game since it literally means leaves. Many authors believe that the possibility of using leaves as cards is very apparent.
The movement of time and the availability of new materials paved the way for the formation Ku P’ai, which curiously resembles a game using dominoes. It is further believed that yu-p’u, the ancient form of gambling considered as poker dice game, is the root of Chinese domino games. A domino, after all, is nothing but a pair of dice placed side by side. Chinese dominoes, which could be traced from the writings during Song Dynasty (1120 AD), have developed since then. They are used in several tile-based games, namely, Pai Gow, Tien Gow, Gwat Pai, Che Deng, Tiu U, Kap Tai Shap.
Pai Gow today is played very similar to many existing card games. The only main difference is that domino tiles are used instead of cards. The similarities to card games such as poker could make Pai Gow something to be enjoyed as a recreational card game. There is no doubt about it; those who begin to learn Pai Gow often end up becoming more than enthusiastic about the game. After all, it only takes a very short time to realize the beauty and ease in playing this popular Chinese game.
The popularity of Pai Gow has ushered into the development of Pai Gow Poker, an American version of the popular Chinese Pai Gow. It is a game played using cards, instead of the traditional dominoes, and is growing in popularity in various casinos as a source of amusement and fun.