We prefer to play on a crowded table, whether it's our friends or just people. It seems as if the more players at the table, the better the odds are for the player since more cards are in play before the dealer gets their cards. Because of that we have two slightly different strategies.
If the table is less than half full, we'll typically only play hands where we have at least a Queen and Ten. The third card doesn’t matter. This is a little more conservative than optimal strategy and not looking at the third card still leaves a little surprise when our cards are turned over. Outside of Vegas, we'll sometimes play two hands with a less full table. The Vegas casinos don't allow us to play more than one hand at a time.
If the table is close to full, we play with more confidence and don't necessarily look at our cards. This allows for plenty of surprises, which makes the game really fun. If everyone else plays, we're confident that the table has all of the good cards and we'll play 95% of the time without looking. Because of wide range and possible large payouts, the surprise leads to lots of screams and high fives!
And I thought the Pair Plus was "where the money is at."
That's certainly what numerous dealers have told me... and that now includes all the bonus / progressive bets too.
I must admit, of course, that if I'm going to play a -EV carnival game like that, I'm usually going to play the PP to at least have a shot at a 30 or 40 (or more) to 1 hit.
Last time I played that game, I saw a sweet older lady next to me hit a straight flush, and then 3 aces not more than 5 minutes later. I was just shaking my head but I was happy for her.
The strangest one (besides the OP) was a table that was actively cheering for the dealer to not qualify on every single hand.