Pai Gow Poker Strategy

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 19:41

Pai Gow Poker Strategy

Optimal strategy for pai gow poker.


A lot of people are learning how to play Pai Gow Poker -- the Americanized adaptation of Pai Gow, which is a gambling game from China. Aside from knowing the rules and the basic concepts in playing Pai Gow Poker, players can learn some strategies to win games. There is no really secret formula or magic hand that can help players to be a champ in Pai Gow Poker. What are available are simple strategies and tips to work with the cards that are given to the players. By studying the following guideline, a player can have the chance to make his own Pai Gow Poker strategy to beat his opponents.

Learning the Odds
Among the important things to keep in mind to improve the skills of a player in playing Pai Gow Poker is knowing the odds of the game. Some players want to study the probabilities of drawing various top and bottom hands but that can be a waste of time. The biggest odd in playing Pai Gow Poker is the dealer or banker has the advantage of winning in case of ties. Pai Gow Poker requires an adept skill in making hands so it will be better to create a strategy that may be used in any game. Having a classic but effective playing scheme can guarantee a player to win around 3-in-10 hands and push roughly 4-in-10 hands.

Basic Strategies
Here are some of the possible moves for a starter to play his cards right:

1. In case the player has one pair, he has the option to include his pair in his five-card hand. So, his two-card hand will be composed of the two largest remaining cards. For instance, a gamer with A-J-J-8-5-4-4 can play A-8 and J-J-5-4-4.

2. If the Pai Gow Poker player has two pair, he has two choices: he can play high pair at the bottom and smaller pair on top or two pair at the bottom and place the high cards on top. When he is given  J-J-5-5-A-Q-4, the best move that he can do is to have A-Q and J-J-5-5-4.

3. Meanwhile, if the player was given three pair, then he can have the best of luck. He must play his highest pair on top without any exemption. Assuming that the player has K-K-8-8-5-5-A, he must play K-K and 8-8-5-5-A.

4. When the player only has three-of-a-kind, it is advisable for him to play his three-of-a-kind at the bottom and his other cards on top. But if he has three aces, he must split them to make better hands.

If he has two three-of-a-kind, he is obliged to play his highest pair at the top and his smaller cards at the bottom. No exceptions are given to this, so if the player has K-K-K-8-8-8-A, then he must play K-K and 8-8-8-A-K.

On the other hand, when the player receives four-of-a-kind, he can choose to play as if he has two pairs. But, he must not always separate them so he still have the chance to have the highest hands.

5. A player who can have a flush or a straight or both must play the best five-card and two-card hands.

6. If the player has a full house, it is sometimes best to have a pair and three of a kind. If he has 6-6-6-4-4-A-Q, he can play 6-6-6-4-4 (the full house) and A-Q.

Play More
Although there are readily available Pai Gow Poker strategies, a player can be more skilled if he tries to play more games. This way, he can encounter some rare cases, which will allow him to create his own techniques. Frequent playing can also develop the skills of a player because he can study all the strategies.