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Top 5 Tips for Playing Pai Gow Poker

First thing is first. Pai Gow Poker is not the easiest game to play in the casino – but it is definitely not the hardest either. Some of you may also know it as the Americanized ‘Double Hand Poker’, but it still takes some getting used to. Pai Gow, which has deep Chinese roots, is made much easier if you are good at looking at numbers, making split decisions, and working out the game itself.

But let’s get things rolling without spending a lot of time reading up on the facts and figures. Have a look at our 5 simple tips when playing Pai Gow Poker and let’s get dealing and earning some money!


Understand the Game


When we say ‘understand the game’, we mean to research more than just the basic facts of Pai Gow Poker – we all know that it is a 53-card deck game. Instead, find out what ‘banking’ means, the difference between the five-card high hand, and the two-card low hand, and what it means to have a semi-wild joker in the deck. For new players, have a look at the introductory video courtesy of WinStar Casino in the end of the article.

Rely on Skill, not Luck


The chances of getting a two pair occurs 22% of the time, but compared to getting three of a kind which is 5%, and then a full house, which is a even less than 2%, it all comes down to you making the right choice at the right time. For example, if you’re running up 17 or more points, it is always a good decision to split the two pair between your high hand, and low hand.

Play the Banker

Most casinos in America offer you to bank every seven hands. Take the banking role up as much as possible as this can often completely turn the game around. Think of it as an advantage that simply cannot be turned down. But then there is the flip side…

Know When to Let Others Take the Gamble

We all know that casinos love money – otherwise we would not be there! But did you know that the house actually earns more through risky bonus bets than the actual commission it charges to play Pai Gow? If you are feeling a lucky streak coming on, then know what your limits are in this game and when to just sit back and let the others take the gamble.

Beat the Highest and the Second Highest Hand

In order to win the game, you have to beat the dealer’s highest hand as well as his second highest hand, but if you only beat one then it results in a tie. A hand with an Ace/Hearts-Joker-Queen/Hearts-Queen/Diamonds-9/Clubs (Two Pairs) is going to be one of the strongest hands in game, whilst a hand with five aces (A-A-A-Joker) is what dreams are made of. Make sure you always put straights and flushes in the five-card hand.

Now that you have a couple of tips and tricks up your sleeve, why not go and practice out in a casino near you – or even better – online? Don’t let the other guys take your hard earned cash away from you. Read our tips again and become a seasoned pro in no time. Just make sure you don’t get a high hand confused with a high five…

And for the number crunchers and the die-hard fans out there, here is our detailed strategy guide.

Good luck!

About Catherine

Catherine is a professional copywriter and has a masters degree in Law of the New York University. While she was working in the Penguin Group USA for seven years, Catherine gained an experience in the proofreading and writing quality articles. She always does a proper research before writing an article, thanks to 10 years of professional gambling. And, of course, law background helps her to give correct explanations in the questions which are considering law.

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