Pai Gow Poker Strategy

July 26, 2014

Last updated: Mar 06, 2007

With all poker games, there is no exact science to winning, but there are some tips on how to increase your chances of winning. Because the dealer wins all the ties, the dealer therefore has a slight edge. This is why the following tips are important to swing the odds in the player's favour.

The back consists of a 5 card hand and the front consists of a 2 card hand. When there is no pair, the highest card in the back and the second and third highest cards in the front should be used. When there is one pair, this pair should be placed in the back and the highest 2 other cards in the front.

When there is a "big pair" (2 pairs) consisting of Jacks through to Aces, the smaller pair should be placed in front. With pairs of 7's through 10's, these should both be placed in the back if there is an Ace to put in front. With the smallest pairs of 2's through to 7's, both pairs should be placed at the back if there is a King to place in front - otherwise the pairs should be split. When the player has 3 pairs, the biggest should be placed up front.

With 3 Aces, one Ace and the next highest card should be placed up front. When there are 3 of Kings or below, they should be left in the back with the 2 highest cards in the front.

With a straight, flush, or straight flash with no pairs, the 2 highest cards should be placed in the front with the rest left intact at the back. When there is one pair, the 2 highest cards possible should be placed in front that leaves a complete hand in the back. With 3 of a kind, the complete flush, straight or straight flush should be placed at the back with a pair in front. In the event of a full house, there should be a pair at the front and three at the back.

When there is 4 of a kind, Jacks through Aces should always be split into 2 pairs - front and back. If the 4 of a kind consists of 7's through to 10's, the pairs should be split unless there is an Ace or King to place in front - otherwise it should be kept intact. With 6's and below, it should never be split unless there is a higher card to place up front. When there is a pair involved with the 4 of a kind, the pair should be placed up front. With 3 of a kind, the full house should be placed at the back with a pair in front. When there are 5 Aces, a pair of Aces should be placed up front.

Links to Experts

The same basic pai gow strategy explained in a more straight way by Bill Burton.