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5 Ways Playing Pai Gow Poker Can Improve Your Skills

1,042 Views Comments on 22/5/20

Some of the skills you can pick up if you were to play pai gow poker online will help you enormously as an improving player

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Pai gow poker is a fun game played against the house. Its slow-paced nature gives players a chance to enjoy gambling without feeling they are being rushed.

There are also parallels to real life poker. Some of the skills you can pick up if you were to play pai gow poker online at will help you enormously as an improving player.

Here are five ways in which playing pai gow poker can improve your poker skills.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is a crucial skill for any gambler. This applies to both wagers that can expect the possibility of an edge, or even casino games where the house maintains a very small edge.

For casino games with an edge you want to make sure you get as much value for your money as possible. This translates into the maximum amount of playing time for your investment.

As a poker player you can never have long-term success with treating your bankroll with some respect. Even stars of the game have gone broke over the years and been forced to go cap in hand to fellow high-stakes pros in order to get back in the game.

Don’t make that mistake. Learn correct bankroll management through a game such as pai gow poker.


As with any kind of game, there is a correct strategy and then all the rest. Card players have long wrangled with this fact as long as there have been card games going on.

Poker players often learn a strategy that they know to be very good, if not the perfect way to play. The problem is that dynamics such as game flow cause emotional turmoil which in turn leads them onto playing a sub-standard strategy.

Pai gow poker is a great way to observe your emotions while playing a strategically simple game. You will be able to take note of what causes negative emotions and the tipping point where your self-discipline breaks down causing bad play.

Implementing Strategy

While a relatively simple game, pai gow poker still has strategic concepts to learn for best play. As a poker player you must be fully prepared to optimise your learning process as to how new strategies are implemented into your game.

This is no easy task. What pai gow poker can do for you is instill good learning and playing habits into how you introduce new strategies into your everyday game.

Trying to do everything at once in real poker is a recipe for disaster. You will play in a confused state well below your potential level.

The simple strategy of pai gow poker keeps things easy enough where you won’t have any difficulty introducing the concepts at regular intervals, just like you should in a game such as NL hold’em.

Responsible Aggressive Play

In pai gow poker there is what is known as the “house way”. This is the way the house dealer is forced to break up there two hands.

For beginners this is the recommended way while getting to grips with the rules. In fact, the dealer will even educate you on this during play if you so wish, both in a live casino and online.

Once you are fully up to speed you can start to learn new ways to try and reduce the house edge. This is analogous to learning how to be more aggressive in real poker.

Untamed aggression in real poker is a sure way to lose money. It will also lead to an emotional rollercoaster when things are running badly.

Understanding when your strategy is aggressive and when it isn’t will give you a good feeling when you are playing NL Hold’em and must tempo your aggression up and down depending on game flow.


Pai gow poker comes in a few different forms. Many games will allow you to act as the banker, in effect playing against all the other players and removing the house edge against you.

While playing your own hands you are able to observe the other players and check for any glaring errors they might be making. If they are playing terribly you can take full advantage of playing as the banker and pick up an edge against them.

This kind of observation teaches real poker players the art of finding out where your edge is. Most poker profit comes from the weakest players and being able to quickly find out who they are is how you can quickly rise up the stakes.



Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes before the end of 2019.


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