Pai Gow Poker- Splitting the Two Pairs

Split hands

In Pai Gow game probably the most frequent hand which one has to take into consideration is the two pair. Many casinos use the same house way for splitting two pairs. The house way is a set of rules that dictate how the dealer (in live casinos) splits cards. Nearly all internet casino software follows this set of rules.

The pairs are categorized into three distinct groups

  • Low pairs: 2’s through 6’s
  • Middle pairs: 7’s through 10’s
  • High pairs: Jacks through Aces

Based on those categories, the house way is to always split two pair under the following circumstances:

  • Holding one pair of Aces
  • Holding two high pair
  • Holding one high and one middle pair

In the absence of an Ace, house way rules are to also split two pair under the following circumstances

  • Holding two middle pair
  • Holding one low and one high pair

In the absence of a king or Ace, house way advises splitting two pair if…

  • Holding one low and one middle pair
  • Holding two low pair

Refining The House Way Playing Two Pair

These refinements are based on adding the ranking values of your two pair to calculate a ranking sum. For example, if you’re holding a pair of 6’s and a pair of 8’s, your ranking sum would be 14 (calculated by adding the ranking values 6 and 8). Given that, always split your two pair unless either is true: The ranking sum is fifteen or less, and player holding an Ace and the ranking sum is nine or less, and holding a king or an Ace

It takes practice to memorize the house way and learn the splitting of pairs.

Watch Pai Gow to understand