Pai Gow Strategy for Advanced Players
Beginners will not take long to learn basic Pai Gow Poker strategies. In fact, one of the first things a poker player beginner will learn is that he/she can considerably reduce the house edge by implementing a few basic strategies.
Both hands are equally important
If players have thoroughly understood the importance of both Pai Gow Poker hands, they are ready to deal with advanced Pai Gow Poker strategies to further bend the odds in their favour.
To put it very simply, players should give equal importance to both hands. Many beginners make the mistake of focusing on creating the best five-card poker hand and neglecting the two-card poker hand although the rules clearly state that both the hands created by players must beat both the hands created by dealers. Players should, therefore, create a strong five-card poker hand and a strong two-card poker hand.
For example, if players have two pairs in the original seven-card hand dealt to them, they should put the higher pair in their five-card hand and the lower pair in their two-card hand.
Pai Gow vs. Bonus Pai Gow
Players should also understand the difference between Pai Gow Poker and Bonus Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow Poker does not offer players any bonuses for getting high-value combinations in their original seven cards. If players want extra bonuses, they must play the Bonus version, not this poker variant.
Learn how to Play Pai Gow Poker using the following video
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Pai Gow Poker for Advanced Players
Advanced players must follow these tips to lower the house edge further and make a nice pile of money. Advanced Pai Gow poker strategies are a bit difficult to understand and players must invest a lot of time to research them. They can even write down these rules on a piece of paper and refer to it whenever they play this poker variant. Alternatively, they can memorize these rules.
- Players who do not get straights, flushes, or pairs in their original seven-card hand, must place the highest card in their five-card hand and reserve the second and third best cards for their two-card hands.
- If players get only one pair, they must keep that pair for their five-card hand and the best two cards among the rest should be used to create the two-card hand.
- Players should split two pairs between the two hands, if they get two pairs. If players get two seven or lower pairs, they must be split if they do not have a king or better too. If players get one seven or better pair and one low pair, they must be split if they do not also have an ace.
- If players get three pairs, the best pair must be used for the two-card hand and the other two pairs should be retained for the five-card hand.
- If players’ first seven cards contain a three of a kind, the combination must be retained in the five-card hand and the best of the rest of the cards must be used for the two-card hand.
- Players who get three aces must keep two aces in their five-card hand and one ace in their two-card hand.
- Players who get a flush must maintain a low flush in their five-card hand and place the rest of the cards in their two-card hand.
- Players who get two pairs and a flush must not take the flush into consideration and split the pairs as mentioned above.
- Players who get a full house must put the pair in their two-card hand and three of a kind in their five-card hand.
- Four of a kind must be treated as two pairs.
- If players get five aces, three must be used in the five-card hand and two in the two-card hand.
Special Splitting Tip
Advanced players would normally place the low pair in their two-card hand and the high pair in their five-card hand. However, players can keep both pairs in their five-card hand if:
- Their total value is lower than ten and players also have a king or an ace
- Their total value is lower than sixteen and players also have an ace.
The total value is obtained by simply adding their face value. For instance, the total value of a four pair and a ten pair would be 14.