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Pai Gow Strategy

January 8, 2016

With so many games to choose from in a casino, it is often difficult to decide which game to play. There are countless machine and card games, and all of them are equally capable of providing hours of entertainment and winnings to those who play them. When looking at all the options, many people overlook Asian casino games. Perhaps this is due to the fact that fewer people know about the different games, how they are played, and how much fun they can be.

Pai Gow Poker is the Americanized version of the classic Chinese game Pai Gow. Instead of using Chinese dominoes, this game uses playing cards with poker hand values. At first this game can appear to be confusing and overwhelming, but with a little practice this could become your new favorite casino game!

If this is your first time being exposed to Pai Gow Poker, you will want to learn the general rules and guidelines to the game. If you already know how to play, then proceed below for a general strategy to Pai Gow Poker that can help you find greater success at the table.

You want to play the “house way” as a general guideline. For example, if you are dealt two pairs, be sure to separate them. This is the same strategy that the casino (the house) will play, so unless he has a higher pair, you will have a better chance of winning. If you choose to keep both of your pairs in your five-card hand, you have a greater chance of pushing to the banker. It is important to remember that in order to win in Pai Gow Poker you must beat both of the banker’s hands. According to the rules, your five-card hand’s value must be greater than your two-card hand. So as a rule of thumb, keep your higher pair in your five-card hand and place the lower pair in your two-card hand. In the long run, this strategy will give you a greater chance of success.

Just like any other card game, there are hundreds of situation-specific strategies that require an expert level of knowledge and experience. But for the beginner or moderately experienced player, following this approach can hopefully lead to a successful and enjoyable experience the next time you visit a Pai Gow table!