Pai Gow Poker Tips

Pai Gow Poker Tips

3 Tips to Increase Your Odds of Winning in Pai Gow Poker

If you are looking for a casino game with a slow-paced but thrilling betting action and a fairly low house edge, look no further than pai gow poker. Your objective when playing the game is to make the best card combination out of your cards and beat the dealer. To do so, you must know how to play smart and split your cards strategically. Here are several easy-to-follow pai gow poker tips to help you make the most out of your game.

1| Know Your Way Around the Game

The rule of the thumb to maximize your online betting experience is to know the game you are playing. By doing so, you can understand how the game works and play it with ease. In Pai Gow poker, you split your cards into two hands – the back hand or the five-poker hand and the lower hand or the two-card hand. The former is ranked the same way as standard poker, but instead of K-Q-J-10-9, the wheel or the 5-4-3-2-A combo is the second highest straight or straight flush, next to A-K-Q-J-10.

To familiarize yourself with pai gow poker’s gameplay without placing real-money bets, consider playing on betting sites that have Free Play modes.

2| Learn Pai Gow Poker Strategies

To win in pai gow poker, you must beat the dealer with the hands you are holding. Both of your hands must have high values. When you are splitting cards, the value or rank of the back hand must always be higher than that of your lower hand. Otherwise, you will have a foul hand which disqualifies you from the round. For detailed tips in setting your cards efficiently, check out these essential pai gow poker strategies.

Dealing with Pairs

If you are dealing with a no-pair hand, or if you do not have any pair, straight, flush, or any poker hand combination, you should put your highest card in your five-card hand. Then, place your next highest pair in the low-card hand.


There are also cases in which you might deal with one or more pairs. If your hand contains a pair, you should place it in your five-card hand. At the same time, your two highest cards must be placed in your low-card hand. So if you get K-K-Q-7-6-5-4, your left hand must contain K-K-6-5-4 while your right hand should have Q-7.

When you are dealing with two different pairs, you must use the two-pair rule. Always split your two pairs if you have:

  • Two low pairs (2 through 6) and no Kings or Aces
  • One low pair and one middle pair (7 through 10) and no Kings or Aces
  • Two middle pairs and no Aces
  • One low pair and one high pair (Jacks through Aces) with no Aces
  • One of the pairs is doubles Aces
  • Two high pairs
  • One high pair and one middle pair

Lastly, if you get a three-pair hand, which is a strong hand, you should put your highest pair in your two-card hand and place the remaining pairs in your five-card hand. So if you get an A-A-K-K-10-10-3 combo, your five-card hand must have K-K-10-10-3, while your two-card hand holds A-A.

Dealing with Three-of-a-Kind Hand

You should include your three-of-a-kind hand in your five-card combination. But if you have three Aces, then split them into each of your hand. A pair of Aces will be in the five-card-hand, while the remaining Ace and the other card with the next-highest ranking will be in your other hand. Aces have the highest value in Pai Gow poker so when you split your three aces, you will have a high-ranked front hand and a strong back hand as well.

Dealing with a Straight or Flush

If you have a straight or a flush, keep it in your five-card hand. But if you have a 6-card straight, or 6-card flush, and a pair, you should split your flush or straight hand. Have the pair in your front hand and put the remaining cards in your back hand.

For instance, you have a six-card straight consisting of 4 of Hearts (4♥), 4 of Spades (4♠), 5 of Hearts (5♥), 6 of Spades (6♠), 7 of Clubs (7♣), 8 of Diamonds (8♦), and 9 of Clubs (9♣). Your five-card hand must consist of 9♣-8♦-7♣-6♠-5♥, while your two-card hand should have 4♥, and 4♠.

Splitting your cards into two hands may be tricky. But it all boils down to the simple principle–whatever hand you are dealing with, you must give your front hand the highest possible value without outranking your back hand. If not, try to win at least one of your hands to break even with the dealer, to put the game result to a push, or to tie.

3| Avoid Bonus Side Bet

Some pai gow poker games offer a side bet – the bonus side bet. To win this side bet, you must have a qualifying poker hand among your seven cards. If your hand qualifies, you win. Otherwise, you lose all your bet. What makes the wager a riveting choice for bettors is that it offers a very high payout. For instance, a 7-card hand without a Joker offers a staggering payout of up to 8,000 times your original wager. The catch is this side bet features a high house edge that ranges from 4% to 10%. The odds of hitting a combination are high as well. In the given example, the odds of getting a 7-card straight flush are about 5,000,000 to 1.

Simply put, fortune side bet can be a sucker bet. So unless you are a high roller that prefers elusive odds, you should veer away from this bet. By opting for a fortune side bet, you are placing two bets per round, one for your standard bet and one for the side bet. If you have a limited bankroll, you may bleed your funds dry in just a few rounds.

With these easy tips, you can confidently kick-start your pai gow poker experience. Play a round or two today and win big prizes. If you are looking for more gaming tips, guides, and tutorials, visit HappiStar Tips–your go-to online learning hub for online casino games.

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