Pai Gow Poker, also called Double Hand Poker, is a poker variant in which players use cards instead of Chinese dominoes. In a nutshell, it’s played with a standard 52-card deck in addition to a Joker, which is wild since it counts as an Ace and can complete a flush or a straight.
(Note: The highest is Ace-K-Q-J-10 followed by Ace-2-3-4-5 straight.)
With this poker variant, the goal is to make the best hand of five or “high hand” and the best hand of two. Additionally, in a hand, the dealer and players are dealt seven cards each, and the high hand should be higher than the low hand.
When we say “best” hand, we refer to the standard poker hand ratings.
Once the players have their high hand and two-card low hand, the dealer then sets up his hands, and the rest of the hands are compared. The winning player must have a better high hand and a better two-card hand to win his bet.
But if the dealer has one better hand and one weaker hand, it’s a push. Remember that any results, including ties, automatically go to the dealer.
Now that we’ve explained the basics of Pai Gow Poker, continue reading below to learn its winning strategies. Keep in mind that while it’s so easy to learn, mastering the game is an entirely different story.
Winning Strategies involved in Pai Gow Poker
Make sure that you split pairs if you have two high pairs (JJ to AA), AA with any other pair, or a high pair matched with a medium pair (7s to 10s).
Leave your highest ranking card in the back and place your two second highest-ranking ones in the front if you’re dealt no made hand (like a pair or better).
When you have a Joker, always split five Aces, except when you have a pair of Kings to put in front.
If you have Quad 6s or lower, keep them in the back and play whatever best hand you have in the front.
Unless you have an Ace, try to split a combination of a high pair and a low pair (22 to 66) or two medium pairs. But if you have an Ace, play Ace-high in the front and two pairs in the back.
Always split Quads that are JJ+ in two pairs.
Unless you have a King or an Ace, always split a medium and low pair combo or two medium pairs. If you have any of these combinations, make sure you play King-high or Ace in the front with two pairs in the back.
Split full houses into Trips + a pair combo except when you have an extra pair to match it. In this scenario, you must play the higher of the pairs in the low hand.
Unless you have an Ace to play in the front, always split Quad 77 with TT to come up with two pairs.
Pai Gow Poker Strategies
Pai Gow is a fun and easy-to-learn casino game that generally rewards players who lean more toward aggressive strategies but still make side bets to keep some money rolling in.
If you’re looking for a venue to test your newly found Pai Gow strategies, why not visit Capital Casino, which is the number one Poker Room in Sacramento known for its fit-for-the-king-and-queen service, exciting table games, cool crowd, happy hours, and cafe and restaurant that serves delectable food.
If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] or call us at 916.446.0700.