Setting Up Your Pai Gow Poker Hands
The Worst Case Scenario: No Poker Hand
One Pair: Keep it in the High Hand
Two Pairs: To Split or Not to Split
Neither approach is the correct strategy at all times and under all circumstances. Rather, the correct strategy in any given situation will depend on the values of your two pairs and the value of your highest remaining card. The optimal two-pair strategy can be summed up as follows:
Always split the two pairs into your two hands, unless:
1. The sum of the two pairs is 9 or less, and you have a king or ace left over, or
2. The sum of the two pairs is 15 or less, and you have an ace left over.
In this context, the sum of the two pairs means, for example, that a pair of 9s and a pair of 5s would have a sum of 9+5=14. Also, jacks, queens, kings, and aces are valued at 11, 12, 13, and 14, respectively, for this calculation.
Three-of-a-Kind and Full-House Strategies
If you have a full house, you should put the three-of-a-kind into your High Hand and the pair into your Low Hand.
Pai Gow Poker Strategies for Straights and Flushes
Finally, for flushes, just like straights, set the lowest series of flush cards into the High Hand. The reason for both of these Pai Gow Poker strategy recommendations is that any straight or flush will almost always win the High Hand, so your primary concern is to make your Low Hand as strong as possible.
The Bonus Bet in Bonus Pai Gow Poker
1. The Bonus Bet is distinct from and independent of your regular Pai Gow Poker bet. It can be higher, lower, or the same as the amount of your regular bet.
2. For purposes of the Bonus Bet, your cards are considered as one 7-card hand; they are not split into a high hand and a low hand.
3. Your Bonus Bet hand is not played against the dealer; it is simply judged against the Bonus Bet Payout schedule. If your hand qualifies, you receive the Bonus Bet Payout regardless of what the dealer has.
4. If you get the right cards, the Bonus Bet will reward you with a large real-money payout. The Bonus Bet pays out 2-to-1 for a straight, 3-to-1 for three of a kind, and 4-to-1 for a flush. The payouts keep getting higher for the better poker hands like a full house, four of a kind, and a straight flush, and go all the way up to 8,000-to-1 for a seven-card straight flush.