Pai Gow Poker Strategy Guide
Pai Gow Poker, an Americanized version of Pai Gow, was created by Fred Wolf and Sam Torosian. Some of the rules replicate those of the classic game of Poker that we all know, especially as they concern the forming of hands. Here you will play against the Bank and not against the other players at the table, like in Texas Hold’Em, for example. There are obviously some strategies to follow in order to improve your game so let's take a look at a few.
The "House Way" Technique in Pai Gow Poker
Online casinos will offer you a playing technique that can have their advantages and their drawbacks. This is known as "the house way game". The casino software will find you the best possible combinations automatically according to your cards. Hence, as you might have guessed, you won't make a mistake in following this technique and it plays an educational role for new Pai Gow Poker players. This is a positive point, since you won't ever miss a good combination; but, on the other hand, for the more seasoned among you, the pleasure that come from personally constructing your own hand will be sacrificed. Generally, there is practically no variation at all in this technique from one online casino to the next, and if there is a difference it will be inconsequential, rest assured.
Card Placement in Pai Gow Poker: Manual Techniques
As you may have surmised, you are under no obligation to follow the casino's automatic strategy. In that case, you will need to be attentive and to intelligently build your hands. If you cannot make a combination, then you will have to leave the two strongest cards in the 5-card hand, for this one has to be superior to the 2-card hand.
In case of a three-of-a-kind, it obviously stays in back, while any other combination like a pair, for example, would be placed in front. It is only in case of three Aces that you could possibly detach a pair in order to place it in back and insert one Ace in the 2-card hand. This would be the same thing as if, by chance, you succeeded in getting in the same draw four Aces plus the Joker, which at that moment counts as an Ace. You could then separate the 5 cards as you would as if you had a three-of-a-kind and a pair of Aces for the 2-card hand.
In the case of a four-of-a-kind, a straight, a straight flush or a royal flush, you will need to let these combinations be formed in the back hand.
When to Split Pairs in Pai Gow Poker
In the case of a pair, it should be placed in the 5-card hand. In the case of two pairs, you can place the weaker of the two in the 2-card hand. They should not both be placed in the back hand, except if they are weak pairs (8s or less) and you can insert in the 2-card hand a King or an Ace. In the case of three pairs in your draw, you can place the strongest in front, since under the rules of Poker two pairs are stronger than one, and so you are still following the rules.
General Pai Gow Poker Tips
When you play Pai Gow Poker online, you can join tables with the fewest possible players. You will then have the chance of being the banker more often, and as such to have more favorable odds. It should be remembered that in the case of identical hands, it's the Bank that will have the edge. Equally, try to master your game and your bankroll so as to take pleasure at Pai Gow Poker. Also, watch out for the 5% commissions that you will have to settle once you stop playing.