The game of pai gow that you play at online casinos and at live casinos is usually an Americanized version of an old Chinese game. The original version of the game used Chinese dominoes as opposed to playing cards that we see both online and live. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be looking at the history of pai gow poker, as it’s the predominant game played in live and online casinos these days.
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Let me take you back to the early 1980s and, more specifically, to California. This is where a man named Fred Bell was managing the Commerce Casino. Now, Fred was the entrepreneurial type and had loved the old game of pai gow and wanted to modernise it and bring it to the West, so he took over some of the floor space in the Bell Casino, also in California, and introduced the game of Lucky Pan-9. Lucky Pan-9 was very similar to baccarat, so Fred needed something else to get the customers coming in, which is when he brought in pai gow poker.
Pai gow poker became almost an overnight smash, especially with the Asian gambling fraternities, as it added a new element to an old classic game. It would be akin to them introducing a brand new version of craps and it taking off. Imagine that, a new spin on an old favourite!
Thanks to the success of Wolf’s idea, the game spread through the west coast of America and made the inevitable progression throughout North America and, naturally, to Las Vegas.
The game itself is far more popular in North America than elsewhere in the world, but there is no doubt that Fred Wolf made his mark on the world of gambling by introducing pai gow poker. Thanks to Mr Wolf, pai gow is now one of the staple games of online casinos, including surprisingly, at Slotland Casino.
The popularity of the game allowed Fred Wolf to develop more variations of old casino favourites that you might just see in a casino near you, including more variations of pai gow and pai gow poker, but also another variation on his other old favourite, Lucky Pan-9. So, if you’ve ever won big at pai gow poker, remember you’ve got one man to thank for that – Fred Wolf. Without him, you wouldn’t have had half as much fun at your favourite casino, whether it’s online or live.
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