What is There to Like About Pai Gow Poker?
This game can be fun and beneficial to your ADT (Average Daily Theoretical). Why do I like the game?
- The strategy doesn’t take a rocket scientist to learn.
- If you have a question, you can ask for “House Way,” and the dealer will set your hand for you according to the same rules they must set their hand.
- The pace is slower. One deck is automatically shuffled, and all seven hands are dealt, whether the spots are used or not.
- Wagering higher than normal for your bankroll is easier because of that slow play and a high percentage of pushes.
- The overall house edge of Pai Gow Poker ranges from 1.46% to 2.84%, on the lowest end without the side bets.
- There are usually side bets, and a progressive side bet as well.
The slower play, the strategy, and the relaxed atmosphere at the Pai Gow Poker table are a real plus. How can you screw this up? Twin River Casino and Hotel has. So, why is playing Pai Gow Poker at TwinRiver so awful?
How Did Twin River Get Table Games
In 2013, table games were approved for Twin River Casino to compete with both Connecticut casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. They succeeded with fairly low limits in a variety of the expected games.
But much like other areas of this expansive property, maintenance has not seemed to be a priority.
Why Does Twin River Have The Worst Pai Gow Poker
First of all, the felt on the table had grey, worn places for your wager. The felt should have been replaced by the casino a long time ago. Not a priority, I guess. I wonder if other tables were similar in maintenance.
The Dealers Were Horrible
Both dealers were amazingly slow. I MEAN SLOWER THAN PAI GOW POKER SLOW! Not only did the two dealers I had run the table at a snail’s pace, but they also had no interest in making the table fun.
Dealer #1, a young dealer, had troubles from the get-go.
- Two mistakes paying winning hands
- I had to ask the pit boss (who also cared less) about house way when the cheat sheet was on the table to the side. His response was he had just awakened. But, the table opened with him at 1:00? Hmm…
- Once, he turned over his cards before all players had set theirs. More stoppage – pit boss called over again, and mistake is taken care of. The pit boss asked him not to call him again!
- Grande Finale before his break – play is stopped. He asks help from the pit so he can blow his nose – towards the players! Thank goodness for masks and plexiglass. Then more disinfecting before he left.
Dealer #2, older dealer,
The next dealer continued the table’s sloth-like pace—no player interaction. Lurch from the Addams Family could have done a better job. Who gave the impression of wanting to be anywhere but with the three players in front of him.
To Tip or Not Tip – That is the Question
I enjoy playing a “bet” for the dealers since Pai Gow dealers’ tips are less than other table games. Two bets were made for each dealer. Afterward, not even a thank you or acknowledgment of my effort.
The Pit Boss
Slow play is great for reasons mentioned previously, but the pit still needs to check your action. For an hour, the pit boss barely checked our bets for an accurate rating. When asked as I left, I was rate lower than expected, without asking dealers for input. Not the best-run business, not great hospitality.
Gambling Side Bets
The Fortune is the typical side bet for Pai Gow poker. But many other casinos offer other ways to increase the house edge but add a little excitement to the game. Foxwoods offers a wheel bet for dealers with a low hand of King high. Many casinos include a progressive for only $5. Twin River? Just the Fortune bet.
NETimeGambling included an informal poll in two New England Facebook communities for Pai Gow Poker players. We asked where in New England they played. Six New England casinos have Pai Gow Poker. 47% admitted to playing at Mohegan Sun, 47% admitted to playing at Foxwoods, and 6% admitted to playing at MGM Springfield. None at Encore, which was surprising. None at Twin River & Tiverton – not surprising considering my experience.
I guess just having table games isn’t enough. In this casino competition, maybe staff personality, table maintenance, and table rules are important.