Play Pai Gow Poker: Probabilities & Payouts
The house way is defined as the manner in which casinos require dealer’s split their hands. It determines odds for each on-land and online casino game.
Pai Gow Poker Odds: Front & Back Hands
Remember, the five card hand MUST be better than the two card hand, so the general idea is to have the back be good, but not so good that it keeps the front from having a shot at winning.
If there’s no pair, a typical house way will put the highest card in the back, while putting the next two highest in the front.
A pair is similarly simple: the pair goes in the back and the next two highest in the front.
Two pair is where it gets difficult. Some house ways will always put the two pair in the back. Others determine placement based on the strength of the pairs. Two high pairs such as Kings and Jacks may be strong enough to each win individually. In these cases, the house way may split them, putting the Jacks in front and Kings in back.
With three pair, the house way will likely put the highest pair in front and let the strength of the two pair carry the back. Three of a kind almost always stays in back. In rare cases, a casino may break up three aces, putting one in front and two in back. A full house will almost always be put in back, and when there are two pairs in addition to three of a kind, the highest always goes up front.
Flushes, straights, and straight flushes will always be put in the back by the house way unless there is a potential for two pair. In most versions of Pai Gow Poker casino games, two pair will only be played if there is an Ace outside the two pair, or one of the pairs is of aces. Where there is a choice between making a straight flush in the back or a standard straight flush, the decision will depend on whichever leaves a hand of around Jack or higher in the front.
For four of a kind, the general rule is that pairs of 6 or below will be kept together and seven and above will be split.
Understanding the House Way in Pai Gow Poker Odds
** Split two pair unless the sum of the paired cards is 9 or less and you have a king or ace to put in the front
** if the sum of the paired cards is 15 or less and you have an ace to put in the front.