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How to Set Your Hand in Pai Gow

Learn how to set your hand in pai gow in this Howcast video about gambling.


Hey, guys. I wanted to go into how to set your tiles in Pai Gow.

When the deal comes, you get four tiles. You're going to be playing against the dealer. I'll leave the bets off for sake of simplicity here. The dealer will be banking, so you're playing against the dealer. We'll just use this guy as an example. Now this is where you take into account pairs in the game, and then also the other tiles, the individual tiles that can be used to make a hand the way that you want. For any hand in Pai Gow, there are three ways that you can set it. You can either do them this way, or you can do them this way, or this way.

There are three ways that you can set any hand, a lot of times people want to go for balance. Instead of doing one really high and one really low hand, they want to have something that's kind of in the middle, unless it can be avoided. In the case here, see, to set it this way, you've got a four, and then you've got a ten. Which adds up to fourteen, we get rid of the first digit, so this is a four. This hand here, it's a two, and then this is four, alright, this is a twelve, and then four and then makes sixteen. So this makes a six. So right now, you have a hand of four and six, if you were to set it this way. This tile here, makes this six the highest possible six you can make out of any of the hands. This here, this is a pretty strong four, so that makes a pretty good four to play. But, as it turns out here, we actually have a pair. We have a pair, so this is the only way to play this particular hand. You have a pair, and then you have a two. And you have the strongest possible because you have this twelve domino here.

In the case with this hand, you have three ways to set it, like I said. This is a four, because this can be played as a three or a six. So it'd be better to play it as a six, because otherwise this would be a one. So this is the four, because you have, it's the six plus the eight, is fourteen, it becomes a four. Then here, you have a nine and a ten, this makes nineteen, and it just makes it a nine. Which, nines are not bad.

So, that's the way you could play it like that, with a four, and then a nine. But a lot of times people want to makes things a little more balanced. Since this can be a three, or a six, this goes over here, this goes over here. Instead, we have a hand that's a six, because you have the six and then the ten. And then you have an eight and a nine. So this is a six and a seven. The hand here, we have one of these combinations that I was talking about, where you can make a gong, where you have the two or a twelve, and then an eight. Which is better than a nine, but not as good as a pair. Then you have your other hand. A lot of times people will play it this way, just because it's just the easiest way it goes. So this would be three, and then that's a gong. So, you probably won't win, but you probably won't lose, either.

Here, we mentioned that we had a couple of non-identical pairs. This is one of them, the five and the five. So then here, you have thirteen, which goes down to a three. And then you have a pair. Which would all goes against the dealer, who would play his hand the way that he has to play it, and as it turns out, he doesn't have a whole lot going on. He's got a five and a six. Because he's got a four and eleven, and then the six and the ten. In that case here, this player here would win. This player here would push, because he only has a two on the bottom, he's got a pair up top. This would be a push as well, because it would be a three, and then the gong, and then this would be a push, as well, because he has a pair, and then the three.

And that is how to set your tiles in Pai Gow.

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