
Pai Gow Poker strategy
In this section we will discuss Pai Gow Poker strategy. There are
two key factors that determine the optimal Pai Gow Poker strategy.
The first and most important is being the banker as much as possible.
The second factor is splitting your cards up optimally between the
five and the two card hand. For the sake of simplicity we assume
that the optimal way for splitting your cards equals 'the house
way', being the fixed set of rules that govern the way the banker
has to split up his or her cards. These rules can vary slightly
from casino to casino, but it is safe to assume the banker will
not split cards according to a strategy that is far off from being
optimal.
Tip: The best Pai Gow Poker bets (with the lowest house edge) are
offered by Boss Media casinos, because
of the option to bank.
Being the banker as often as possible
The house edge for being the banker is much lower than for being the player.
In fact when you are the banker, you may expect to almost break even. This
is true for two reasons. First, the banker wins all copy hands, where the
player's twocard hand or the player's fivecard hand or both, matches the
banker's corresponding hands. Second, the 5% commission that has to be paid
on winning bets by the banker, is charged after losses are settled against
winnings. Therefore we advise you to:

Never pass when it is your turn to be the banker. 

Find tables to bank where the total amount of bets by
the other players equals 6 to 14 times the minimum bet you make as a
player. 
The house edge for Pai Gow Poker is 2.54% when being a player, and 0% when
being a banker. So if you were able to bank every other hand the overall house
edge would be 1.27%. Please note that often the option to bank is *not* offered
at online casinos, except Boss Media casinos.
Splitting your cards up 'the house way'
In this section we will describe the rules most casinos use to split cards
between twocard hand and fivecard hand. These rules are also called 'the
house way'. Nothing stops you from applying these rules to your own split
decisions, and thus playing just as optimal as the house itself. Please note
that these rules are a simplification of optimal strategy.
Player's hand before split 
Player's hand
after split 
twocard hand 
fivecard hand 
No Pair 
Second & third highest cards 
Highest card 
1 Pair 
Two highest cards 
Pair 
2 Pair 
Lower Pair 
Higher Pair 
3 Pair 
Highest Pair 
Other Pairs 
Straight 
Highest two cards 
Straight 
Flush 
Highest two cards 
Flush 
Full House 
(Highest) Pair 
3 of a Kind 
There are two exceptions to this table. First, if you have a Straight or a
Flush and 2 Pair you should split your cards like you were holding only 2
Pair. Second, if you have 2 Pair and one ace, you should use the 2 Pair in
the fivecard hand and the ace in the twocard hand.

