Pai Gow is a game that is centuries old, but although easy to play still continues to confuse even the most avid gamer. This ancient Chinese game, whose translation is “to make nine,” is played with 32 dominoes (tiles). Although this game is now found in Casinos, Pai Gow has been played for centuries throughout Asia, and what makes this game friendly in casinos is the fact that the odds between the banker and the player are nearly even.
Now what you want to do when playing Pai Gow is create two pairs of dominoes that will give you a total as close to nine as possible, hence the “to make nine” translation of Pai Gow. Of course, your hand is supposed to beat the dealer’s hand in order for you to win. You are given a low hand and a high hand when dealt your two pair of dominoes, so your high hand is going to have to be higher than the banker’s high hand just as your low hand is going to have to be higher than the banker’s low hand. You do want to make sure that your back hand is higher than your front hand or you will create a foul and lose your bet. Sound easy enough? Sure it does. Here is a strategy for you to help you increase your odds of winning:
•At times you may want to weaken your high hand in order to benefit your low hand.
•You always want to keep your pairs together except 6-4, 6-5, or 6-6 with split supreme pair. Split your 2s or 12s to form a 6-8 or higher. You can also split with the numbers 9 and 11. Split your 9s with two of the following numbers: 2, 10, and 12. You can split 8s with two of these numbers: 2,10,11,12 and can split with 9 and 11. Split your 7s with two of these numbers: 2, 10, 11, 12. Finally, you can play 2 or 12 with the numbers 7, 8, or 9. If you have a 2 and a 12, play your 12 in your high hand.
•You can play your high 9 when it is over gong over wong and wong and gong except when the fourth tile shows to be an 11 when you play wong over gong. You also don’t want to play your high 9 over gong over wong and wong and gong if the fourth tile shows you an 11 and you play wong over high 9 or if the fourth tile is showing a 4 or the third as well as the fourth tiles are low 8 and 5 (mixed) when playing gong over high 9.
•You also want to make sure you can make your low hand as high as you possibly can, so you may want to play your high domino in your low hand if the opportunity presents itself.
So there you have it, a strategy to keep in mind when playing Pai Gow. The game involves some terminology that you must remember to be successful at play, but the game is not hard to understand nor is it hard to learn. All you have to do is keep a few basic strategies and rules in mind to come out on top of the house when in play.