The game of Pai Go poker can be explained literally in a few words: you need to win against the dealer by two combinations, consisting of five and two cards, by dividing them yourself (the highest hand must be stronger). But the strategy of forming combinations requires careful study. Let’s figure out step by step how to play pai go poker correctly.
Optimal strategy for playing Pai Gow Poker
You can find very detailed tables of the basic strategy on specialized foreign sites dedicated to pai go poker, and forums where fans of the game communicat. We will give you simplified rules, following which you will significantly reduce the advantage of the casino. To begin with, the whole strategy of playing at Pai Gow Poker can be reduced to one rule: you must form the maximum combination of two cards that is possible with a stronger hand of five cards.
Very often it will look like this: a fairly significant pair in the high combination and one or two big cards in the low one. Believe me, in this seemingly unfortunate scenario, you will often win on two hands at once.
Also, you will have to get used to the idea that large combinations (four of a kind, royal flush, straight flush) do not bring additional payments, so they often need to be separated.
Now let’s analyze various typical situations.
There are no pairs and combinations higher than
you should. You should select the second and third most powerful cards in the lowest combination, and leave the strongest in the high hand. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare and hardly affect the house edge.
In cards, one pair o
Pair must be left in the high hand, and two high cards from the remaining ones must be taken into the low combination. There are no exceptions. The above two examples will appear in more than sixty percent of the hands of pai go poker. So these rules need to be learned by heart.
There are two pairs in the cards
This is perhaps the most difficult case in which you have to make different decisions, depending on the circumstances. After all, a player can leave two pairs in five cards or split one pair for each hand. As a rule, the older one of the pairs, the more often they have to be put into the junior combination.
Here are some basic guidelines for playing two pairs.
- Always send a pair of aces to the lowest hand. No matter which cards form the other pair.
- Send a pair of kings to the lowest combination if the second pair is sevens or higher.
- If you have an ace with a weak card, split the kings with a pair of threes or better; ladies with a pair of fives and above; jacks and ten with a pair of nines and eights.
- Always keep two pair in the highest combination, if an ace with any picture can be taken into the low one. But separate the two pairs from the pictures if the lowest one does not have an ace-king.
- Never separate small pairs (sixes and below).
- In all other cases, keep pairs with an ace and any card. If there is no ace, split pairs into two hands.
There are three pair in the cards.
Everything is simple and without variations: you need to bring the top pair to the lower hand.
In cards, one or two tris
- Trises are played differently:
- Tris of queens and less powerful cards should always be kept in high hand.
- Three aces should always be split, leaving a pair of five cards and separating one ace from the highest card.
- The three kings must be split in the same way if the highest card is jack or lower.
- If there are two tris, you need to select a pair from the senior to the junior combination.
In straight and / or flush cards (straight flush, royal flush)
- Straights, flushes and straight flushes also need to be played according to the situation:
- If there are only flush or straight cards in the cards, we leave the combination, and put the remaining cards in the lower hand.
- If the cards have two such combinations at once (flushes, straights or flush and straight), you need to save one of them, allocating the maximum possible cards to the lower hand. For example, if you have seven cards in order, you need to separate the two older ones. Likewise, the flush should be sacrificed in favor of the straight if the lower hand is so strong.
- When you have a straight or flush with one pair, the card from which is included in the combination, you need to act according to the situation. If you can leave a pair of pictures and bring an ace with a picture to the lowest hand, do so, forgetting about a straight or a flush, in which only a queen or a weaker card can be separated.
- If a straight or flush comes across with two pair, then you need to act according to the recommendations for playing two pairs, and ignore the straight and flush.
- Play three-pair straight and flush on the three-pair recommendations, regardless of five-card hands.
- Straight and flush with tris do not need to be broken. Separate a pair or even an ace from them.
- Straight flushes and royal flushes in all cases are played as straight and flush.
In Full House Cards
Usually, in a full house, the tris is left in the high hand, and the pair is taken to the low. However, if the pair is very small and the side cards are very strong (ace with a picture), then the full house can be left.
In four of four cards, four of a kind almost always needs to be split into two pairs, if the other cards do not have a pair or high cards (for example, an ace). We will not focus on rare cases with a square.
As you can see, even a simplified strategy for playing at Pai Gow Poker looks not so simple. You may come across recommendations that differ from ours on some points. Differences are especially common in tips for playing two pair or straights with flushes.
This suggests that there have been many attempts to simplify the complex optimal strategy for pai go poker. Unusual nuances of the rules (side bets and so on) can also be taken into account. And disputes over some of the nuances still do not subside. In any case, the differences in the effectiveness of different versions are negligible. Even if the basics are followed, the house edge will drop to around 2.7%.