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Pai Gow Poker Strategy

Unfortunately, unlike in blackjack, there is no hard and fast basic pai gow poker strategy that is easy to understand and just as easy to memorize. But there is a “basic” understanding of how the hands should be set that will give you the best chance at winning. In the chart below we have laid out how best to set the two hands starting with the worst hand, progressing through to the best hand.

When you understand that it is in your best interest to be the dealer/banker, you will pursue games that allow you to be the dealer/banker as often as possible. In some casinos the same person can bank two games in a row. While in others you can bank two out of three hands. In others still you may not be allowed to be the dealer/banker more than once in every seven hands. Since it is an essential requirement for success to serve as the dealer/banker, you should seek out those casinos or tables where you are permitted to be the dealer/banker as often as possible.

A good pai gow poker strategy is to move amongst the tables to try to find one where most of the players are passing the dealer/banker position. Make sure you don’t let anyone know that you’re looking for this advantage or you’ll be playing by yourself before long.

There are other factors in pai gow poker that must be considered. Casinos can establish rules for setting the casino dealer’s hands that are considered aggressive or passive. When aggressive setting style of play is used it is more difficult to win, but passive setting may play into the hands of the other players who service as dealer/banker, it is very important to be aware of how aggressively they set their hands.

Pai gow poker is a favorable game for the casino player, but it is extremely complicated. However, since it is not a very volatile game, you can learn while playing with a reasonable chance of winning. Since in Pai Gow a significant proportion of the hands end up in a push, you can play for a long time without losing your bankroll. After getting your feet wet with one of the big five games, you should give pai gow poker a try.

 

 

Back Hand

Front Hand

No Pair

Highest Card

Next two highest cards

One Pair

Pair

Next two highest cards

Two Pair (Q - A)

High Pair

Low Pair

Two Pair (6 – J, w/ A or K)

Both Pairs

Ace or King

Two Pair (6 – J, w/o A or K)

High Pair

Low Pair

Two Pair (3 – 5, w/A or K)

Both Pair

Ace or King

Two Pair (3 – 5, w/o A or K)

High Pair

Low Pair

Three Pair

2nd and 3rd highest pair

Highest pair

Three of a kind: Aces

Two Aces

One Ace & next highest card

Three of a kind: All Others

Three of a Kind

Two Highest cards

Two Threes of a kind

Lower three of a kind

Two highest cards

Straight, Flush, Straight Flush w/ no pair

Lowest full hand

Two highest cards

Straight, Flush, Straight Flush w/ One or Two Pair

Full Hand

Two highest cars (pair or not)

Straight, Flush, Straight Flush w/ Three of a kind

Full hand

Pair

Full House

Three of a kind

Pair

Full House w/ Two threes or a kind

Lower three

Highest Two

Four of a kind including: Ace, Kings, or Queens

Pair (split between hands)

Pair

Four of a kind including: Jacks, Tens, Nines (w/ A or K)

Four of a kind

Ace or king

Four of a kind including: Jacks, Tens, or Nines (w/o A or K)

Pair (always split between hands)

Pair

Four of a kind including: Eights, Sevens or Sixes (w/ A or K)

Four of a kind

Ace or King

Four of a kind including: Eights, Sevens or Sixes (w/o A or K)

Pair (always split between hands)

Pair

Four of a kind including: Fives, Fours, Threes, Twos

Four of a kind

Next two highest cards

Five Aces

Three aces

Two aces





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