Greetings from beautiful Las Vegas!
Yesterday, when Jess was in meetings I decided to go play some pai gow.Â For those that don’t know, pai gow is a pretty simple and very fun game.Â The basic premise is each player and the dealer is dealt 7 cards, and your job is to make the best 2 poker hands you can, a 5 card hand and a 2 card hand.Â The only rule is that your 5 card hand must beat your 2 card hand. (full wiki here).Â To win, both of your hands must beat the dealers 2 hands.Â To lose, both must be lower than the dealers.Â If you split, you push and get your money back.Â Very simple.
Anyway, yesterday I played for about 2 hours and did pretty well.Â I ended up about 40 bucks and got a couple of beers out of the deal.Â I was up almost $100 at one point, but hit a cold streak before I picked up.
This morning, I went back to the same $10 minimum pai gow table in the New York, New York.Â I love that place and that was the first place I could find a $10 table.Â I parked myself in the #1 slot and started playing.
Basically, I was just hotter than hell today.Â I sat down at 10:30ish with a hundred bucks in chips.Â After pushing the first 2 hands, I started winning.Â I was never below $100.Â I pretty much had an epic run of wins and pushes.Â In the two and a half hours I played, I might have outright lost 6 or 7 hands total.Â Bear in mind, that the average hand lasts about 2.5 minutes each (depending on how many players) so, I might have played upwards of 100 hands.Â I stuck with $10 bets almost exclusively and even doing this, I managed to come out quite well.
I turned $100 into $258.
Probably my best run ever in pai gow. I know that is not huge money or anything.Â I’m not that delusional.Â But, when playing a measly $10 a hand, that is impressive.Â Even when I would get dealt complete crap, I would some how have just enough to eek out a push from the dealer.Â I had very few “pai gow” which means ‘nothing’… as in, no pairs or anything higher.Â In fact, I got dealt a pair or better probably 70 to 80% of the time.Â I had multiple times where I was dealt 3 pairs, or full houses.Â Getting cards like that makes it easy to win.Â Actually, I pushed for most of the final 30 minutes I was playing, so I got all that profit in 2 hours.Â I was meeting Jess at 2pm so I had to pack it in.
Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I should have probably up-ed my bet, but I was content to keep grinding it out and making money.Â The table I was on also offered “bonus” bets, where you could put a $5 chip (or more) and if you were dealt a 3 of a kind, it paid 2-1… then for each hand better than that the payouts went up.Â If you got a royal straight flush it paid 250-1 or 5 aces (with the joker) it paid 1000-1.Â All the other people at the table were chasing the big money by betting these.Â Of course, they sometimes won 2 or 3 to 1 payouts, but more often than not, they lost that bet.Â I had to wonder if my not playing that sucker bet was a contributing factor in me being the only one to increase their stack of chips…Â Everyone else at the table had fewer chips when I left than when they started.
The funny thing is, this table was not 2o feet from the exact spot of my worst pai gow destruction 2 years ago.Â I was absolutely killed.Â (read it here) Just goes to show, the cards are finicky.Â Sometimes they like you, sometimes they don’t.
Today they did.
Jess is here now, we’re off to have some fun.