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Strategy for Pai Gow Poker

By: CasinoAdvisor.com, Thursday June 12th 2008
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Pai Gow Poker is an interesting game with a few rules. Pai Gow is not only based on cards, but also on the role of the dice. The banker will split the 53 cards into seven card hands. The dice are rolled to see who gets what hand. This is a completely random way of doing things, which means strategies are going to be a little hard to come by. You can't bluff or use any other poker strategies for typical games. In this article we are going to talk about specific hints to help you gain the upper hand on the house edge. Number one when you are the banker you are in a better position. So try to be the banker whenever you can.

In Pai Gow poker you have the joker as a wild card. Our strategy is all about the joker in this article. The wild card can be any card that you need it to be for the best hands. There are a few ways you can use the joker. Let's take a look at those. You have two hands; a five card hand and a two card hand. The five card hand has to rank higher than the two card hand or you foul, meaning the game is over for you.

  • If you have the joker you can use it either in the five card hand or the two card hand. The idea is to use it in the best possible way to win.

  • If you have a pair only in your hand then the joker can be used in the two card hand. For example say the seven cards you have are the joker, ten, ten, five, two, nine, six. In this case the pair is tens which makes the five card hand. Then you could take the nine and make a second pair to win the two card hand.

  • On the other side of that hand you could make a three of a kind, which pays out better than any pair. It would also mean you lose the bet on the two card hand.

If you have this situation there are options, but you should consider the payout instead of the cards at this point. What will make you more money if you win? You have the potential of losing both hands, someone could have a higher pair than you. So having a three of a kind gives you a better edge over the house if all they have is the pair. On the other hand they could have a better hand than you.

For strategy if the three of a kind is possible stick with it. Forget about the other possibilities. You could win or lose both hands if you stick only with pairs. Pairs are about 42 percent common in poker. That means the banker will probably have a hand at the very least. They could have nothing, but why take the chance?

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