Half poker, half ancient Chinese tile game, Pai Gow is extremely popular in the casino as well as online. Learning how to play is easy, however, learning to win is tougher. In order to be a successful Pai Gow player there is plenty to learn, just as with any poker game. However, once you have a developed strategy, winning becomes much simpler. We’ve done the hard work for you and have developed a list of tips and strategy to learn and employ during your next game of Pai Gow. If you learn these items, you’ll be winning at Pai Gow in no time.
Know the Rules
Pai Gow is poker, just with more intricate rules. You must know all of the rules of poker and Pai Gow inside out in order to be successful.
Know the Basic Strategy
Just like blackjack, there is a basic strategy to employ when playing Pai Gow. Using it will help you decrease the house edge, thereby improving your odds of winning. Knowing how to use the front hand, the back hand, when to split pairs, when not to is very important and will come into play every hand you are dealt. Learn them like the back of your hand before playing Pai Gow.
Collect Online Bonuses
Every online casino has bonuses of one kind or another. Welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, refer-a-friend bonuses. However, many serious players do not use them because they often come with large rollover rates, making it tough to cash out while you are ahead. These rollovers aren’t meet until you’ve wagered a certain amount of money on the site. Pai Gow is the perfect game in to use these bonuses because of the amount of pushes that come up in one sitting. When you push, no one wins, no one loses, however, the wager you made will decrease your rollover allowing you to take full advantage of the bonus.
Be the Bank
Positioning is very important in Pai Gow and one way to ensure you are always in a prime position is to be the bank during the game every time you can. It will take a big bankroll as you have to pay out the players, however, the banker collects all the ties, thus giving them greater odds. It is also advised to place larger wagers when in the banker position.
Be Sure to Split Pairs
Having two pairs means that you have to consider how to split them in two potentially winning hands. This way you not only reduce the house edge, but you actually turn it into your advantage. Always play the better pair as a two card hand. There are many methods on how to play with two or even three pairs. Be sure to try a few different strategies during free play to truly get the hang of it. Most will put the better of the two pairs in the back hand, thus improving your chances on the back end.
Play like the House
Pai Gow is very complicated. Especially, at first, so if you get caught up or confused the slightest bit with trying to arrange your hands, it will be best to use the House Way. With the House Way your hands are arranged automatically with the best combinations possible. Still be sure to note your hand as every casino has a different House Way.
Three of a Kinds
One of the hard and fast rules of Pai Gow is to always play a three of a kind in your five card hand, never splitting it. Always, always, always… Unless, of course, you are carrying three aces. Splitting aces will allow you to form a strong two card hand by having a pair of aces. This is the best way to build two strong hands.
No Full House
A full house is a good hand in regular poker, but never in Pai Gow. With Pai Gow, a full house hands are not favored. If you have been dealt a full house you leave your two card hand in a weak position. You need to strong hands in Pai Gow in order to win. Having a full house in one of them simply weakens both.
Both Hands are Equals
Most players make the beginners mistake and simply try to build a strong five-card hand, thuscancelingg out the two card hand. Winning requires both of your hands to be stronger than both of your opponent’s hands. Successful players always try to keep a good balance between both of the hands. If you make two strong hands, you can wager much more with more confidence.
This means it is important to know the ranking of all hands. Many will get one good hand and hope for the best and not see its full potential. Splitting up obvious strong hands to make two good hands happens all the time and is probably the biggest mistake in Pai Gow.