Dec 14, 2020
Other Games

Advanced Strategy for Pai Gow Poker

One of the main advantages of poker in general (as in Blackjack, for example) is the ability to use many different strategies. Yes, the house edge is a bit higher (specifically for Pai Gow, the value of the house edge is 2.5%), but it is still a lot of fun to play. If you follow the basic strategy, you can squeeze the casino's advantage to the minimum. Today, we will look at several game situations that you can use while playing Pai Gow Poker.

If you are unfamiliar with Pai Gow, check out the article to introduce Pai Gow Poker's basics.

Playing with a Pair

When you only get a pair, the game's strategy is very simple - you keep a pair in a 5-card hand and put the highest card or cards in the other. There is nothing else to think of in this position, so the player has nothing to worry about.

Playing with Two Pairs

A slightly different situation occurs when two pairs get into your hand. At this point, many players would choose a variant with two pairs in the first hand with five cards, then the highest remaining card in the second. However, this is not the best choice. It is much more advantageous to support the other hand and divide the pairs into both hands. As we explained in the last article, it is not important to create one flawless and one bad one, but two good hands.

Playing with Three of a Kind

A slightly more complicated situation occurs when a three of a kind appears in your hand. It is necessary to consider all the pros and cons and then play by the best possible strategy. There is a simple rule - if you have a three of a kind of deuces to kings, you keep it in the first hand, then put the highest card into the second. The change comes with three aces. This situation would entice the vast majority to keep a very good card combination in one piece. Much better, at least in terms of numbers, is to tear these three into a pair and a high card. You then divide them into two hands (pair to the first, ace to the second).

Playing Flush or Straight

A straightforward situation happens the moment a flush or straight gets on your hand. In this case, you will keep your hand and play cards in your first hand. The only exception occurs when you get three of a kind or two pairs. It is appropriate to consider the situation, whether it would not be more advantageous to leave two pairs or divide the three of a kind. If you manage to get, e.g., AA and 55, in addition to the lowest possible straight, it is more advantageous to keep two pairs.

Playing with Full House

If you are lucky and manage to get a full house, you are on the verge of almost certain victory - you can keep both a pair (second-hand) and a three of a kind in the first hand. With a full house, there is no need to think about anything. The situation is set clearly.

Playing with Poker (Four of a Kind)

As we talked about in the last article, it's time to separate four of a kind from time to time. However, you will not get to situations where you have four cards so often and not so often when it will be useful to divide this combination. It is necessary to keep in mind that there may be situations where such a solution is also suitable.

Playing with Nothing

It often happens that you get absolutely nothing. It's nothing special or anything that should upset you too much. This is simply a classic poker situation, and you will have to learn to play with it anyway. Unfortunately, in these cases, you cannot rely on any strategy. So the only option is to keep the highest card in the first hand, while you put the second highest card in the second. However, everything depends on the situation, and there is no universal advice on how to deal with these or other cards if you do not get any winning combination.

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