September 24th, 2016 at 10:27:00 AM
The principle advantages of seeing the dealer's cards should be in two categories of player hands:
- 2-pair hands, for obvious reasons
- high one-pair hands, for less obvious reasons. Particularly AA/A-Jok with 5 singletons, which I estimate to have an average EV improvement of 0.13.
When you have an AA hand such as AA-xxxxx, the front hand, by definition, cannot have an ace and thus is weaker than usual. The AAxxx back hand will win some 70% of the time, but the dividing line between positive EV and negative EV for a one-pair AA hand is actually AA - QJ743. Weaker kickers than QJ743 result in a negative EV and stronger kickers result in a positive EV.
In face-up pai gow, when player sees that the dealer's back hand is better than AA, the player should split the Aces like this: AJ/AQ743 and have a front hand, AJ, that can beat a lot more hands than QJ. The improvement in EV for this specific hand will be about +0.12.
But there is another angle. When you have a One Pair A-A hand (or A-Joker) how often will the dealer show up with an AA-xxx in the backhand ?
- when you hold AA-xxxxx, dealer will play AA-xxx or A-Jok-xxx in the backhand 4.0% of the time
- when you hold AJok-xxxxx, dealer will play AA-xxx in the backhand 4.7% of the time.
Whenever these situations occur, you can improve the strength of your hand by splitting your aces, as mentioned earlier. But when dealer has another pair in the front hand or two unbeatable singletons, you can strengthen your backhand by playing your two weakest kickers in the front.
Example: Dealer: KQ/ AA-T93
If you have A-Jok- J7642 you would normally lose this hand, but can push by playing it as 42/A-Jok-J76.
I think this tactic will add another 0.011 in EV to an AA-xxxxx hand. So overall, I would expect that a face-up dealers hand will improve the average EV of a One Pair AA hand by about 0.12 + 0.01=0.13.
September 24th, 2016 at 12:02:10 PM
Why do people think seeing the dealer's hand in Pai Gow is such an advantage?
The occurrences in which you would set your a hand a different way then you would without having seen the dealers hand, and win is so minimal.
My general experience with casinos seems to be that Indian casinos are stingier than average, with worse odds, comps, promos, etc than "normal" casinos. So it comes as no surprise to see that they tacked on a commission, and/or just about anything they think they can get away with.
Goes all the way to drink orders: you have to pay for your drink at the time of order, because they dint trust you to not go broke between the time yiu order it and the time it arrives. Absolutely hilarious.
I would expect a commission-free game to be at a Horseshoe establishment or similar.
Everyone must realize that after the novelty wears off, the rule change makes this a NO DECISION game. If you are not able to set your hand properly after the dealer exposes his, then you do not belong in a casino. I know I would try it, and likely tire of it quickly.
During tonight's 6+ hour session, it felt like I was getting more help from dealer card info than ace-high non-wins. Many 2pair hands that I would NEVER play unconventionally, but got saved from. Even one-pair was helped multiple times, namely splitting aces once (for a win) and a pair of queens (for a push). Seemed a lot more frequent than dealer ace high on my small sample size.
I've played Pai Gow for around 15 years, and each day I've played, feels like having dealer's card information would have noticeably impacted the day's results.