In PaiGow the player receives seven cards that he has to divide into two different hands :
1- The first hand of 5 cards.
2- The second hand of 2 cards.
Both hands must be strong enough to beat the dealers.
As soon as the player receives the seven cards from the dealer, he must divide the cards in both hands (5 + 2 cards) and turn them face down.
The only rule to follow to split the cards is:
Value of hands in the PaiGow
In the 5-card hand (backhand):
The strongest five-card hand almost follows the rules of poker. The small exception is that in the PaiGow, the A-2-3-4-5 ladder is the second highest of all, being lower only than AKQJ-10.
In the 2-card hand (front hand):
The best move that can be drawn in the two-card hand is a pair of aces. As in poker, the value of the cards goes from Ace to 2 through the rest. If there is no partner, the highest card is taken into account first, and in the event of a tie, the second card is seen.
The value of the cards: from highest to lowest value
Payments at the PaiGow
After the dealer and the player have both hands separated, it is time to compare them. If there is no tied hand, there are three options:
1st- The player wins both hands, having won the bet.
2nd- Each one wins a hand; in this way, the payment made is returned to the bettor.
3rd- The dealer wins both hands, and the player loses the bet.
The only advantage of the house with respect to the player is the tie since if it occurs, the bank is declared the winner of the round and will keep the money bet by the player.
Combinations at PaiGow
As you have observed the rules of PaiGow are quite simple, having to decide how much to bet and how to divide the seven cards to form the two hands. Despite the ease of the PaiGow rules, the strategy is a little more difficult since you have to know how to divide your hands so as not to offer a greater advantage to the house.
A good PaiGow strategy allows the player to drastically reduce the advantage of the bench, so it is convenient to know how the hands should be separated to optimize the game. Next, we will analyze the possible scenarios:
There is no couple
As there is no pair and it is mandatory that the five-card hand is superior, the highest card must be placed in the said hand, forming the two-card hand with the next two strongest cards.
For Example AKJ-9-8-6-3
5 Card Hand: A-9-8-6-3
2 Card Hand: KJ
The best strategy when you have a pair is to keep it in the five-card hand while the highest two cards that are not paired are placed in the two hands.
Five cards: KK-9-5-3
Two – hand: AJ
This is one of the most difficult hands to play since, in some cases, the best option is to separate the pairs and have one in each hand while at other times, it is convenient to have both pairs in the five-card hand.
To decide the choice, you have to analyze the value of the pairs and even the highest cards that do not form any hand of value.
Below we will see several examples to form such hands:
• Always separate pairs if one of them consists of Aces.
• If the pair with the lowest value is six or higher, separate them.
• If the pairs are small and there are any Ace or King, keep these pairs in the five-card hand and the two highest cards in the two-card hand.
These are just a few examples of all the options that can appear with two pairs, although they do imply the general rule: hold low-value pairs together and separate high card pairs.
Getting three pairs are really difficult, and it’s an extraordinarily strong hand. The general rule is to put the strongest pair in the two-hand while keeping double pairs in the five-card hand.
The trio must always be kept in the five-card hand, except if it is aces. In that case, we would keep a pair in the five-card hand by passing an Ace to the two-card hand.
If the trio is of Kings and there is no other card of high value, it is also convenient to separate the kings.