Rivers Pittsburgh pays $1.39 million jackpot on Pai Gow Poker progressive

January 22, 2024 7:54 PM
Photo: Rivers Casino flickr photo by World Poker Tour shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
January 22, 2024 7:54 PM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh paid out its third monster table-game jackpot in 17 months.

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A player won a $1.39 million Fortune Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpot with a seven-card straight flush at 2:45 a.m. Jan. 21. It was the highest table-game jackpot in the history of the casino, which began offering table games when Pennsylvania legalized them in 2010. In August 2022, the Rivers Pittsburgh poker room paid a $1.2 million bad-beat jackpot, still the largest ever in the United States. In November 2023, the poker room paid a $905,622 bad-beat jackpot.

While the poker-room payouts were divided among all the players at the table, the Pai Gow jackpot went to one person, whose name was not released. The player was dealt a seven-card straight flush, 4 through 10 of clubs.

Fortune Pai Gow Poker uses a standard deck of cards, plus one joker that can be used as an ace or to complete a straight, flush, straight flush, or royal flush. The player and dealer each receive seven cards, then make a five-card high hand and two-card low hand. The five-card hand must be better than the two-card hand. Gambling expert Michael Shackleford has put the odds of getting a seven-card straight flush, including a wild one, at 1 in 676,066.

In addition to a standard game bet, the player had placed two optional $5 side wagers, which contributed $25,000 and $3,000 to the total winnings.

This is the first time the full Fortune Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpot has been hit at Rivers Pittsburgh since the bet was introduced in April 2017. Its largest previous payout was for $92,196 in August 2020, when a player received 10 percent of the jackpot for being dealt five aces, including the joker.

“We’re the place to go to win,” Andre Barnabei, assistant general manager, said. He noted that the Pai Gow progressive payout reset to $538,791, “still a life-changing jackpot.”