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Downtown Las Vegas player wins $543,000 progressive table jackpot

Posted: June 20, 2022, 10:15 a.m.

Last update: June 20, 2022, 10:55 a.m.

The California Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas was the site of the latest life-changing victory in Southern Nevada. Boyd Gaming, which owns and operates the Cal, said a lucky guest who wished to remain anonymous won a table progressive jackpot that won more than $543,000. The more than half a million dollar stunt happened last Friday morning just before 8 a.m. local time.

Las Vegas Jackpot Wins Face Up Pai Gow Poker
The anonymous $543,000 Face Up Pai Gow progressive poker winner stands behind her winning check at the California Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The Sizable Fortune is just the latest headlining jackpot won in Las Vegas in recent months. (Image: Boyd Gaming)

The unnamed woman, identified only as a resident of Las Vegas, was playing Face Up Pai Gow Poker when she landed a seven-card straight flush. Luckily, the woman had placed the progressive $1 extra bet qualifying her for the progressive pool.

The woman had bet $25 on the hand, plus the $1 progressive bet. The guest also placed a $5 side bet which won him an additional $25,000. In total, the Cal boss’ straight flush won $543,619.32.

Players on a winning streak

The progressive win at the California table is just the latest in a series of noteworthy jackpots recently won in Las Vegas.

Last week, Casino.org reported that a guest at Harrah’s Las Vegas won a mega progressive jackpot of $918,000 playing Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The win came just days after a Las Vegas resident won nearly $315,000 on a $5 bet playing video poker at the Aliante casino north of Las Vegas.

The California Face Up Pai Gow Poker win came just over a month after another life-changing win in downtown Las Vegas. May guest at D Casino won over $1.4 million on progressive play Wheel of Fortune insert.

Also in May, another Harrah’s Las Vegas guest won around $253,000 playing traditional Pai Gow poker at the Strip Casino.

Explanation: Face Up Pai Gow

Face Up Pai Gow Poker is a head-to-head game where players face off against the dealer or banker. In a progressive format, there is an optional side bet, usually $1, plus an Ace-High side bet.

Face Up, unlike traditional Pai Gow, is a rake-free game, which means the house does not take 5% of the winnings. This is how the Face Up pattern is played.

Face Up Pai Gow Poker uses a single standard deck of 52 cards, plus a joker. The dealer and player(s) are each dealt seven cards, with the dealer’s cards dealt face up.

The object is to assemble a five-card hand and a two-card hand that beats the dealer’s or, in the case of card rooms, the player’s designated banker. The five-card hand must always rank higher than the two-card hand.

Face Up Pai Gow is a relatively simple game to learn and play. It also comes with a small house edge of around 1.8%.

But while many players put together their best five-card hand and simply use the remaining two cards as their two-card hand, this isn’t always the best strategy. Instead, it is in the player’s best interest to think about how to build the best two-card hand that ranks just below the remaining five cards. The face-up layout of the dealer’s cards makes it easier to decide how to build the two hands.

When the player wins both hands, he even wins money on his bets. When the hands are apart, it’s a push. If the dealer wins both, the player loses his bets.