I’m in Las Vegas on business. Of course, all work and no play isn’t a good thing and almost an impossible thing in this town. Naturally I found myself sitting down for a few hands of Pai Gow Poker. I can hear the serious gamblers out there moaning because it’s a slow-paced, uncomplicated game (unlike business!) but it’s also extremely social. Most real gamblers don’t like the pace, the lack of a lot of “action” and are annoyed by conversations that go longer than “hit me” or “$10 behind the 6”.
Simply, the dealer gives you seven cards and you need to make a five-card poker hand and a two card hand out of them. To win, both your hands have to beat the dealer’s two hands. The interesting thing about Pai Gow is that there are times when you’re hoping not to lose more than you’re expecting or even trying to win and have to play your cards accordingly. What actually happens is that you win one hand and lose one hand. My traveling companion, who is just learning the game, said it well – you’re playing for the push. I, of course, immediately said “blog post” and here’s why. Continue reading