Strategy for Two Pair Hands in Pai Gow Poker
In Pai Gow Poker, the hardest type of hand to learn to play well is the two pair hand. If you’re dealt a single pair or worse, then it’s extremely easy to play, and with three of a kind or better, it’s hard to go wrong. With two pair hands, however, there are a lot of opportunities for mistakes to be made. Here we want to show you what goes into these decisions and how to decide how to play those difficult hands well on the fly without making many mistakes.
There are three major factors that go into determining how you should play two pair. The first factor is what your low hand will be if you keep both pairs in your hand. If this is going to be exceptionally low, then you’ll want to lean more towards splitting up your pairs. On the other hand, if you’re going to have a hand as strong as ace-high, then you’ll probably want to lean more towards keeping both pairs together. this is one of the major factors that comes into play, and it’s the first thing you should always look for when you’re dealt two pair.
Next up, you need to consider the value of your pairs. For the low hand, any pair is almost equal in value because you’ll only rarely face another pair. For this reason, it’s the value of your highest pair and how that affects the value of your high hand that matters the most when you’re evaluating your options. What you can do is add up your pairs in terms of their face value with a jack being 11, a queen being 12, a king being 13 and an ace being 14. So if you have 88JJxxx, then you would score your pairs as being worth 19 points. If you end up with 17 points or more for your two pair hand, then you should split the pairs no matter what because they’re going to be strong enough to win on their own most of the time.
If you have a medium number of points, say 12 to 16, then you should only keep the two pair in your high hand if you’re going to be able to have an ace high in your low hand. For 11 points or fewer, you should split unless you’re going to be able to have king high or ace high.
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