Pai Gow Poker sounds like a difficult game to play. Playing any new table game at the casino for the first time can be intimidating. Knowing how to play your cards as well as knowing the rules of the table is a lot the first time. This is when Pai Gow Poker Tips come in handy.
The emotional feeling of being embarrassed in front of other players is enough to go play the nearest slot instead. Even though there is that intimidation factor in playing any new table game, Pai Gow isn’t necessarily one of them.
Last year I made a resolution to play new games. So far, I have learned Pai Gow, 3 Card Poker and continues playing Craps. Here are my personal suggestions that helped me dig into that resolution and DO it!
Related posts: 7 Beginner’s Tips for Pai Gow Poker and Resources for Gambling Part 3 – Pai Gow Poker
1) Prepare before playing at the casino.
Practice, using an app for your smart phone and (I can’t say this enough) visit the Wizard of Odds website. Once there, you can learn the basics of the game, and learn strategy with the training game, all for free.
2) Play in the early morning
I enjoy playing early when I have the casino to myself. This is an opportune time to ease into play. When I played at first at Borgata last year, I was very lucky to find an empty table just waiting for me. The dealer and the pit boss both taught my first live lesson. I had my own personal table, complete with professional tutors!
3) Things you can only learn at the table.
There are just some things you can’t learn on an app, like:
- With the use of a shuffle master, you have to wait for the green button to go off before picking up your cards. You have to wait to be sure the deal is good.
- There is a commission on each hand. It equals $1.25 on a $5 winning bet.
- The Fortune bonus side bet is available. Dealers and players will help you.
- The house has certain rules to set both hands, and the player can always ask to have the hands done by house rules as well as asking other players.
- The numbers on the table refer to the random number chosen to start dealing the hands.
4) Final considerations
- Over 60% of the hands played will end in a push
- The Strategy is not hard to learn
- Pai Gow has a very low house edge, which makes it a good game to play to lengthen your session.
- because of the low house edge, comps are harder to come by because rewards points are often slower to accrue.
While I didn’t last that long (being the only player at the table will do that) at Borgata, it was a great experience. I have since played at MGM Springfield, Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino, with varying results. But, I find it fun, slow for those times you want to spend more time, and usually a friendly game.
It’s Story Time
Here is one last story. While I was attending Zorkfest, Las Vegas, I decided to go next door to the Mirage to play some Pai Gow. I never played side bets because I always thought they had too much of a house edge for me to play them. According to the Wizard of Odds website, “Fortune” is a side bet in Pai Gow Poker pays based on the value of the player’s seven cards. It doesn’t not matter how the player sets his hand. In addition, you will get an “Envy Bonus.” if another player has a four of a kind or better and played the Fortune bet At every table I have seen there is a $5 minimum and the Envy Bonus is a fixed amount.
Like I said, I never play the side bet. But, On this night, however, one player at the table had 5 Aces (there is one joker that can be the value of an ace). At 400 to 1, his $5 bet won $2000.00. Everyone else at the table was paid the envy bonus of $250, except one – ME!
Needless to say, I almost always play the Fortune Bonus.