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Last Updated: September 5, 2019

Pai Gow Tiles Traditional Way

Introduction

The following pai gow tiles strategy is commonly referred to as the Traditional Way. It is used by virtually all casinos as their base strategy, though many deviate from it slightly by adding more exceptions to it. Note that as a player, this strategy is rather weak, because it increases the house edge 0.75% to 0.76% compared to optimal player strategy.

Pairs

  1. Never split two pairs.
  2. Never split pairs of 4s, 5s, 6s, 10s, or 11s.
  3. Split Gee Joon with 4-6, 5-6, and 6-6.
  4. Split 2s and 12s to make 6/8 or better, and with 9-11.
  5. Split 7s to make 7/9 or better.
  6. Split 8s to make 7/9 or 8/8 or better.
  7. Split 9s to make 9/9 or better.>

Wong, Gong, High Nine

If you can make a Wong, Gong, or High Nine in your high hand, play as follows:

  1. If you can make exactly one of these types in your high hand, play the best high hand you can (i.e. play 12 in the high hand if you have 2 and 12).
  2. If you can make 2 or 3 of these types in your high hand, play High Nine if you can, otherwise play Gong.
Exceptions
  1. Play Wong instead of Gong or High Nine if the fourth tile is an 11.
  2. Play Wong instead of High Nine if the fourth tile is a low 4.
  3. Play Gong instead of High Nine if the fourth tile is a 4.
  4. Play Gong instead of High Nine if the fourth tile is a 5 and the 8 is a low 8.

All Other

Play the best low hand you can make, unless it ranks lower than 3-with-H6 and the best high hand is worth 7 or more points, in which case play the best high hand instead.

Exceptions
  1. If you have two ways to play 8/9, play the best high hand.
  2. If you have a choice between 8/8 and 7/9, play the best high hand if it separates the highest two tiles.
  3. If you have two ways to play 7/8, and your tiles include 2 and 12, play the 12 in the high hand.
  4. If you have two ways to play 6/7, 6/8, 6/9, or 7/9, play the best high hand if it separates the highest two tiles.

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