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Why not show the table your cards in Pai Gow poker?

It seems to me, that since you are only playing against the dealer, everybody should flip their cards up at the table. Seeing the other players’ hands will let you know what the deal DOESN’T have and increase your odds of winning. Yet, nobody does that. Why?
I should add that any time I’ve played at a casino, I’ve been able to show my cards to my buddy and ask him for advice, or show them to the dealer. Anybody been stopped from showing their cards at a casino?

Question asked by: AskBrian

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3 Responses to “Why not show the table your cards in Pai Gow poker?”

  1. Mac13eth Says:

    People that count cards would have the advantage of narrowing down what the dealer has. This knowledge can sometimes be used to decide how to play your hand. Casinos make it against the rules to show your cards to prevent this. It isn’t just a style of play.

  2. kuma1 Says:

    Wierd. I don’t think I’ve ever played Pai Gow in a casino that didn’t allow you to show everyone your cards and ask advice on how to arrange them.

    I don’t think card counting works in this situation, as all card counting does is let you know the lower or higher probability that the next card is going to be a face value or not.

    I would assume you put them face down so that you don’t try to rearrange your cards at the last second to beat the dealer (or at least tie).

  3. C_O_R_E Says:

    You’re obviously correct that it would increase your chances of winning. A hand that could be set in a balanced (agressive) way or in an imbalanced (drawish/defensive) way could be guaranteed the best possible chances if you knew what 11 cards were remaining for the dealer (7 in the hand + 4 burned cards on a full table in pai gow). The house rules for this game always include that a player must keep their cards concealed from other players for precisely the reasons you describe. I’m not sure why groups of players have never tried more advanced electronic systems to ‘beat’ this game. Perhaps they have. The vulnerability is still more pronounced in the traditional pai gow ’tile’ game. Even so, veteran dealers and floor supervisors are trained to spot such inconsistent play- and regard it with suspicion. Sharing the information of who has what cards, either obviously or clandestinely, would certainly benefit the players- but only for the short time it would take them to be escorted to the front door by security.

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