y2d2
y2d2
Joined: Jul 10, 2012
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September 23rd, 2016 at 5:26:00 AM permalink
Saw this at the Thunder Valley Casino outside Sacramento.

Dealer hand of exactly ace-high Pai Gow results in a push of all hands (including losing hands like Q-high Pai gow)

Otherwise, dealer's 7 cards are exposed face-up and set house-way first; then the player sets their 7-card hand as normal.

House charges 5% commission on wins, although I saw one Google result of a variant/installation where there is no commission.

Fortune bets were offered, but I didn't pay attention to the pay table since I don't care for it.

In my first dozen hands hands I ran into:

- Dealer AA/JJ vs my 66+22/J8. At any normal Pai Gow table, I would have lost this hand 100 out of 100 times, as I would never play J8 up front. Typical resilt: lose. This time, push

- Dealer 888/Tx vs my A-high flush/T9. Other option was TT/AK which is a gamble I normally like to take. Typical result : push. This time, win.

No more kicking yourself for splitting JJ/TT vs the house way of JJ+TT/Ax when dealer has KK/xx

How often do dealer ace-high Pai gow's result in a push that would have normally resulted in a win? Also considering normally, sometimes you will lose against a-high Pai gow. Turns all winnable hands into sure winners, and potential losers into pushers. Can the house really give up that much with just a push on ace-high???

Also consider the times you have things like JJ234/A9 vs dealer's JJ567/Q9. Simply play JJ239/A4. Push into win.

Or K9876/QJ vs dealer's KT876/QJ. Simply play KQ987/J6. Lose into push.

What's the math on this? Seems too good to be true. No clue on the actual math but feels very beatable with a bankroll. But I know this can't possibly be. Right?
Last edited by: y2d2 on Sep 23, 2016
ams288
ams288
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September 23rd, 2016 at 5:46:02 AM permalink
I would play this in a heartbeat.
The geniuses who thought HRC was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza shop just can't connect the dots on all this trump-Russia stuff....
y2d2
y2d2
Joined: Jul 10, 2012
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September 23rd, 2016 at 5:48:19 AM permalink
Quote: ams288

I would play this in a heartbeat.


I'm itching to go back and play.

I'm kicking myself for leaving a small winner. (Got even here after losing at the regular Pai Gow table.) But I wanted to find out more first.

I mean there's always the chance you run terrible while dealer is on fire, catching 2 large pairs vs your 1 pair every time. But that's what bankrolls are for. How is this not a positive expectation game for the player??
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
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September 23rd, 2016 at 8:10:17 AM permalink
Quote: y2d2

What's the math on this?


That depends on a couple of things.

First, what, exactly, is an "Ace-high Pai Gow"?

Second, what is the house way at Thunder Valley? (I know what "house way" means, but what rules do they use? Best legal 2-card hand?)
Deucekies
Deucekies
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September 23rd, 2016 at 9:16:14 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

First, what, exactly, is an "Ace-high Pai Gow"?



A pai-gow is any hand that does not contain a pair or better. No straights, no flushes, nothing.

Quote:

Second, what is the house way at Thunder Valley? (I know what "house way" means, but what rules do they use? Best legal 2-card hand?)



I imagine the strength of the houseway would be greatly diminished if the player gets to see the dealer's hand set before playing.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
y2d2
y2d2
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September 23rd, 2016 at 9:19:27 AM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

That depends on a couple of things.

First, what, exactly, is an "Ace-high Pai Gow"?

Second, what is the house way at Thunder Valley? (I know what "house way" means, but what rules do they use? Best legal 2-card hand?)



An ace-high hand where no pair or straight/flush is possible. For instance 3468QKA. It would typically be played as A3468/KQ

I only played a couple dozen hands so I'm not sure what the exact rules are, but it seemed the same as a standard Pai Gow house way, not that it matters too much as you have all the card information. I suppose whether they go two pair behind or split with certain high side cards can affect the frequency of wins and causes more pushes potentially?

I would assume they do not break up straight / flush unless 2 pairs are present etc.
Deucekies
Deucekies
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September 23rd, 2016 at 9:22:21 AM permalink
I'm guessing that if the player gets to see the dealer's made hand before setting his own, a savvy houseway would defend the two-card hand as much as possible.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
y2d2
y2d2
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September 23rd, 2016 at 9:27:17 AM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

I'm guessing that if the player gets to see the dealer's made hand before setting his own, a savvy houseway would defend the two-card hand as much as possible.



Even if so... the dealer sets the hand face-up for all to see, and the setting can't be changed. The player sets their hand only after the dealer exposes and sets his.

How is this profitable for the house?

Particularly for the nom-convential kicker plays that would normally result in push or loss turning into a win or push?
Deucekies
Deucekies
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September 23rd, 2016 at 9:31:44 AM permalink
Quote: y2d2

Even if so... the dealer sets the hand face-up for all to see, and the setting can't be changed. The player sets their hand only after the dealer exposes and sets his.

How is this profitable for the house?

Particularly for the nom-convential kicker plays that would normally result in push or loss turning into a win or push?



The house advantage comes from ties being won by the house, and it looks like that rule hasn't changed. Being able to see the dealer's hand won't help you if you have no way to play your cards that won't lose, which is still going to happen enough times since ties go to the house. And remember winning against an Ace-high pai gow is no good for you.

An aggressive approach to the two-card hand will make it impossible for you to set your hand to win more often than otherwise. Of course, as you mentioned, you'll be able to set your hand in a kooky way for a push, but as long as you haven't won the hand, the houseway did its job.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
gordonm888
gordonm888
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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September 23rd, 2016 at 1:13:05 PM permalink
The dealer (or player) will be dealt a 7-card Ace-High Pai-Gow with a frequency of 9.4%. Here is what I calculate for a range of ace-high pai-gow hands with a composition-dependent model that I have.


Hand Win Push Lose EV
A-KQ-J743 0.1446 0.3753 0.4811 -0.340
A-KT-9732 0.1206 0.3177 0.5614 -0.447
A-QJ-T732 0.0911 0.2621 0.6486 -0.562
A-JT-9732 0.0426 0.2053 0.7527 -0.712
A-87-6432 0.000 0.1116 0.8887 -0.889


With an AKQxxxx hand, you are able to put a KQ in front, but your EV is still -0.34. When your Ace-high pai-gow is AQJTxxx, your hand up front drops to a QJ and your EV plummets to about -0.56. And if your 2nd card is a Jack or lower, then God help you.

So, allowing the dealer's hand to automatically push when its an ace-high pai-gow is worth something like 5 - 5.5% in EV. That's an enormous advantage for the dealer that the player needs to overcome by being able to see the dealer's hand and setting his hand optimally.
Last edited by: gordonm888 on Sep 23, 2016

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