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Pai Gow Poker Strategies

Bonus Pai Gow Poker is a great game to play. Since each round involves keeping tabs on two hands — one high and one low — there is always something exciting going on. Here are some strategies to help you win at Pai Gow Poker and to enjoy playing the game.

Setting Up Your Pai Gow Poker Hands

To win at Pai Gow Poker, you must beat both of the dealer's poker hands. Therefore, Pai Gow Poker strategy aims at setting up both of your hands so they both have a chance to win. You have to try to get your Low Hand as high as possible, without unduly weakening your High Hand. Keep in mind that High Hand must be higher than your Low Hand.

The Worst Case Scenario: No Poker Hand

The worst case scenario in Pai Gow Poker is when you do not have any winning poker hand. If this happens to you — and it will — the best Pai Gow Poker strategy is to keep your highest card in your High Hand, and put your second and third highest cards in your Low Hand.

One Pair: Keep it in the High Hand

If you have one pair, keep the pair in your High Hand, and put the two highest remaining cards into your Low Hand.

Two Pairs: To Split or Not to Split

Dealing with two pairs is the most difficult aspect of Pai Gow Poker strategy. One approach is to keep both pairs in your High Hand. This will give you a really strong High Hand, but a weak Low Hand. The other approach is to put the lower pair into your Low Hand. This will strengthen your Low Hand, but it could leave your High Hand too weak to win.

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 three-of-a-kind, always keep it in your High Hand and put the two highest remaining cards into your Low Hand. Note that there is an exception for three aces, which should be split into a pair of aces for your High Hand and the remaining ace and next highest card for your Low Hand.

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

If you have a straight, always put the lowest series of cards in the High Hand. For instance, if you have a 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, you should form your High Hand from the 6-10 straight rather than the 7-Jack straight, and put the 3 and Jack into your Low Hand.

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

It's a good strategy to always make the optional Bonus Bet; it's your chance to make some serious money playing Bonus Pai Gow Poker. Here is what you need to know about the Bonus Bet.

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.

Enjoy Playing Bonus Pai Gow Poker Online

You have no control over the cards you are dealt in online Bonus Pai Gow Poker, but you have total control over how you play the cards you are dealt. Following a sound strategy can make a big difference in winning online Pai Gow Poker. One of the advantages of playing Pai Gow Poker online is that you can keep a strategy sheet in front of you as you gradually become accustomed to the game and start to make the right decisions by yourself. And now, start playing — and winning — online Bonus Pai Gow Poker.

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