Pai Gow Poker Betting Strategy

One of the most popular casino games both online and in live casinos is Pai Gow Poker. Also known as Doubled-handed Poker, this game gives the player a rare opportunity to act as the bank, increasing their odds of winning. In this game the bank holds a 1.3% edge over the player during a hand, so acting as the bank is something that you want to do as much as the game you’re playing will permit.

Splitting Strategy

Another small edge that will increase your chances to win at Pai Gow is to use a simple two-pair splitting strategy that most casinos do not suggest. By remembering two simple splitting rules you can lower the house edge by 0.04%. First, two pair should always be split unless the total sum of the pair (4+4 for example) is 9 or less and you have a single ace or king. Second, two pair should always be split unless the total sum of the pair is 15 or less and you have a single ace card.

Pai Gow Bet Sizes

  • There are a few betting strategies for Pai Gow that will increase your odds of winning. The biggest way to impact your odds will be the difference in the size of the bets you make when you’re acting as the bank compared to the bet sizes you make when you’re acting as the player.
  • Pai Gow Poker is played with a fifty-two-card deck, plus a joker. Each player receives seven cards, and they must make both a five-card and two-card hand. The goal is to beat the dealer with both of your hands and win your bet. Your five-card hand must rank higher than the two-card hand.

It is a surprisingly enjoyable combination of the Chinese game Pai Gow, and poker. Although the house edge is not as low as blackjack (which is probably my favorite casino game), nor is it as low as craps or Baccarat, the house edge in Pai Gow Poker is still a somewhat respectable 2.84% (approximate) against you. (Several other popular casino.

There are a few betting strategies for Pai Gow that will increase your odds of winning. The biggest way to impact your odds will be the difference in the size of the bets you make when you’re acting as the bank compared to the bet sizes you make when you’re acting as the player. The bigger your bet sizes when acting as the bank the better your odds will be to win at Pai Gow.

How much to bet when you’re the bank is up to you when playing pai gow. Betting the table maximum when acting as the bank, and the table minimum when you’re in a player position, would be the best mathematical way to maximize your odds. It’s not very practical to have that much disparity in your bets, so you don’t have to bet the table maximum, any amount that you’re comfortable with will be fine.

The idea is to increase the action when your chances of winning are higher. Increasing your bet in these two situations will give you a chance to get ahead of the game if the action goes your way. Any other player positions will give the 1.3% edge to the house and are best played with smaller bet amounts.


The only exception would be when you’re in a player position just before you get your chance to bank. Betting a bigger amount in this position will force the dealer to put up a bigger bet in the next hand when you bank (the dealer must match your bet from the previous hand every time you bank).

Bonus Bet in Pai Gow

Pai Gow Poker Betting Strategy Rules

Pai Gow isn’t a game that you can sit down and kill for a fast profit. With all the ties that occur the action is pushed a lot, so a good profit usually takes a while to accumulate. One way to speed up the profits in Pai Gow is the bonus bet. This option offers bigger odds on high-ranked hands, straights or higher. Depending on the hand you have different odds are paid out. A seven-card straight flush can make it a big day at the Pai Gow table at any stakes, and can pay as high as 8000/1.

Playing the bonus bet will give the house a bigger edge over you, but you can’t hit a big odds payout if you don’t play it. Playing the bet all the time will be a losing proposition over the long term, but if you can reduce the number of times you play it, and you manage to get lucky, it can be the difference between a mediocre or big day at the tables.

Some players try to keep track of hands that would have paid out bonus odds and then opt for the bonus bet after a string of hands that would not have paid. The probability of one hand having a bonus hand in it over any other is the same, but this method at least limits the amount of times you make the wager while still giving you a periodic chance to hit a bonus.

Pai Gow Poker is not your typical game of poker as it combines both poker and Chinese dominoes in the way that it is structured. In order to win at this poker variant, a poker player will have to lower the house edge. Many in the poker community believe that it is essential that the player have some mathematical skills and be able to calculate the house edge and win at Pai Gow Poker.

Here are some tips to win at Pai Gow Poker.

Pai Gow Poker Betting System

Understand The Rules And Betting Patterns –This is a standard tip for any poker game, and even more so with Pai Gow Poker. Players must known how the game works and have knowledge of the basics so that they do not struggle during game play.

Play Bank Whenever You Can – Position is an important factor in a game of Pai Gow Poker, and players must try and use the position of the Bank whenever possible, but need to be very careful at the same time. This is because the Banker is required to cover the best of all the other players at the table; however, the odds for the Banker to win are more favourable than for any other player. Remember that you will have to have a good bankroll to keep this position. You can also try and find a table that lets two players share the banker position to help you with this.

Watch the Ratio Between Banker to Player Bets – When playing as the Banker, a player should try and bet big if he feels he has a good chance of winning with his hand. When the player is not in the Banker position he should avoid placing large bets as he does not hold the advantage. When the ratio between the Banker bets and Player is great, then the odds are better for the Banker.

Be Careful How You Split Your Two Pairs – If you have a 2 pair hand, you will need to break it into two very well thought out hands as this will cut down the house edge in your favour. There are different ways of doing this and players should try out a few strategies in free play to see what suits their style of gaming before venturing on to one that they can use for real money play.

Here is a great video tutorial on how to play Pai Gow Poker

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Focus on 5 Card Hand and 2 Card Hand –Players will need to create a 5 card hand and a 2 card hand to win this game. Most players concentrate on the 5 card hand and forget the 2 card hand or vice versa. A good player will try to balance both hands and keep this strategy in mind while betting. It is advisable to learn all the possible hand rankings before sitting down to a game of Pai Gow Poker.

Break da bank again free play. Do Not Play a Full House As the Upper Hand – Unlike other poker games, Pai Gow Poker is one type of poker variant that does not favour a full house. Players who draw a full house or see the possibility of acquiring such a hand with the cards they have been dealt, should ideally avoid this hand. This is because although it will secure you a good 5 card hand, it will not leave you much room for creating a forward hand.

Pai Gow Poker Betting Strategy Poker

Use The House Way If You Need Guidance – Pai Gow Poker is not a simple game of poker and requires mathematical planning when you arrange your cards. For those players who suddenly get confused and do not know how to make the best out of their hand when they are confronted by a difficult arrangement, they can opt for the House Way. This is a method of automatically arranging your hand based on a fixed system of how the dealer arranges his own hand. Since this system varies from casino to casino, players should look it up and find out how it works before playing Pai Gow Poker at that particular online poker room or brick and mortar casino.

Pai Gow Poker Betting Strategy Against

Play the Top Hand in A Three Pair – If you are lucky enough to secure a hand with a three pair, use the largest pair of that hand in front. This is a standard strategy and all good Pai Gow Poker players use it. However, if a player has three pair hand and nothing else, then he should play it at the back and put high cards in the front.