Last Updated: May 31, 2010

Simple Pai Gow Strategy

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Reason #2 why the Wizard likes Bovada: No-hassle practice games

Most online casinos spend more effort trying to separate you from your money than they do trying to give you a good experience. They have all kinds of popup windows, they usually make you download their software, and if they do offer play-in-browser games then you have to register an account before you can play. And if you register they start sending you emails trying to get you to deposit real money.

But Bovada is different. They have no popup windows at all, and their practice games play right in your browser, with no download, and no registration required. You don't even have to give up your email address. It couldn't be simpler: just one click and you're playing the game.

I wish all online casinos showed this much respect for their players. Other casinos practically ask for your first born child to play for free. Meanwhile Bovada is patient and does not twist anybody's arm to play for real money. You can play as long as you like for free with no obligation. The real-money games are available if that's your preference, but if not, you can play the free practice games for as long as you like without hassle.

Visit Bovada

Play the first rule that applies.

One Way Only

If there is one play that is obviously the best, which will happen about 38% of the time, then play it. This happens when one play is superior to both alternatives in both the high and low.

Pairs

Split pairs as follows:
  • Gee Joon — Split only with 6-4, 6-5, 6-6.
  • Pair of 2's or 12's — Split only with 9-11, or to make 6-8 or better.
  • Pair of 5's — Split to make 7/7.
  • Pair of 6's — Split to make 7/8 or better.
  • Pair of 7's — Split to make 7/7 or better.
  • Pair of 8's — Split to make 8/8 or better, and with 9-11.
  • Pair of 9's — Split to make 9/9 or better.
  • Pair of 4's, 10's, 11's — Never split.

Wong, Gong, and High-9

  • If you have both high-2 and low-2, play the best high hand.
  • Play the best low hand if it is worth 6 or 7 points and the tiles include a low-2 and/or high-8.
  • Play Wong or Gong instead of High Nine if the fourth tile is a 4 or 5.
  • Play High Nine, Gong, or Wong, in that order of preference.

All Others

  • Play the best low hand if it is worth 5, 6, or 7 points.
  • Play the best low hand if the best high hand is worth 5 points or less.
  • Play the best low hand if the best high hand is worth 6 points, but its high tile ranks lower than a high-6.
  • Play the best high hand with all other combinations.

House Edge

House edge banking = 0.0694%.
House edge not banking = 1.8828%.
Combined average = 0.9761%.

Printer Friendly

I also have a printer friendly version of this strategy (PDF 5K).

Acknowledgement

This strategy was created by "JB."

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