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Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pioneering work, June 19, 2003
This review is from: Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow Poker (Paperback)
Wong has charted unexplored territory here in his study of Pai Gow. This is probably the only book in print that exhaustively explains the correct optimal strategy for player and banker in every hand scenario. I can't fault the content, yet there is some additional information I wish Wong had provided to make this book more practical.
1) While the optimal strategy is indeed powerful, it was devised (as Wong explains) to be the best possible response to the best possible pai gow strategies. In other words, the best response to the Wong strategy is to play the Wong Strategy. This is what makes it optimal. However, real casinos do not play the Wong strategy, they play a much simpler strategy known as the house way. (and even this strategy differs from casino to casino) What would be most useful to a reader would be an optimal player strategy to counter the house way. The banker strategy would also need to be refined - once for heads up play against the dealer, and again for play against a full table.
2) To this end, the book would have needed to provide current "house way" policies in Nevada and elsewhere, and updated stats on house edge and bankers edge with the new strategies.
3) I hoped that Wong could have condensed his optimal strategy even further than he does in chapter 4, providing a simple page of rules for the casual player, and then explaining what the house edge is if the player employs the simple condensed strategy.
But these reservations aside, you can't find a better book on pai gow poker. His prose is very readable and straightforward, and you'll surely be impressed by all the research in the book.
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Location: San Diego, CA

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