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The Denenberg Strategy

The Denenberg Strategy is an improved strategy for playing your tiles.  It was designed by computer exclusively for

If you are an experienced Pai Gow player, the strategy that you use is often called the traditional strategy. It is played, with minor variations, by almost every Pai Gow player and casino.

But the traditional strategy was designed without the aid of computers. The Denenberg Strategy, a computer-formulated strategy for playing Pai Gow, allows you to play your tiles smarter, significantly increasing your expected return. The Denenberg Strategy was designed and confirmed through hundreds of billions of calculations over several years. The Denenberg Strategy is mathematically proven to increase your returns.

How much better is the Denenberg Strategy? When playing the Denenberg Strategy, your expected return is .68% higher than when playing the traditional strategy. Every deal, win lose or push, you are two-thirds of a percent ahead. That's a huge advantage in a gambling game.

You acquire the Denenberg Strategy by joining charges a fee to become a member, and then you forever reap the benefits of the improved strategy. The strategy was conceived and designed by's author, Steven M. Denenberg.

Explore the following questions and answers about the Denenberg Strategy:

Q & A on the Denenberg Strategy



ow do I learn the Denenberg Strategy?

When you become a member of, you gain access to Chapters 11 and 12 of's Tutorials, which explain the strategy in a clear, step-by-step manner. 

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Is the Denenberg Strategy difficult to learn?

No. The Denenberg Strategy is similar to the traditional strategy, but it gives modified rules for when you should maximize the value of your high hand, or when you should maximize the value of your low hand, or when you should split a pair, etc. The Denenberg Strategy is only modestly more difficult to learn and remember than the traditional strategy. If you can read and understand's Tutorial Chapter 5: The Traditional Strategy, then you can certainly learn the Denenberg Strategy.

The breakthrough of the Denenberg Strategy is that it takes the reams of computer output from a complete analysis of the game of Pai Gow, and makes that data useable to you at the Pai Gow table.

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How much will the Denenberg Strategy benefit me?

If you use the traditional strategy, your expected return is negative 1.49%, which means that, on average, you will lose $1.49 for each $100 you wager. Those odds are already quite good for a casino game. The Denenberg strategy cuts the house's advantage over you approximately in half: it improves your expected return by 0.68%.

That increase in expected return means that for every $1000 that you wager, you will be $6.80 ahead if you use the Denenberg Strategy rather than the traditional strategy. You gain that $6.80 on every $1000 wagered, win lose or push, for the rest of your life. It adds up fast. Here is a calculator that you can use to see how much the Denenberg Strategy will benefit you. Enter your own figures in the boxes and then press the "Recalculate" button:

Your average bet: $
Deals played per hour:
Hours played per day:
Days you play per year:
Years you will play Pai Gow:

Total benefit: $

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How else do I benefit from using the Denenberg Strategy, other than monetarily?

You get a new challenge, and a new way to play! Most Pai Gow players know the one traditional strategy, which they play by rote. It's fun to have a new strategy that not only adds spice to your game, it adds to your bottom line.

Playing the Denenberg Strategy, when you have a decision to make, you will play your tiles differently than the traditional strategy plays them 25% of the time. That's quite often for you to be playing a unique strategy. Dealers and other players may tell you that you are playing your tiles wrong, when in fact you are playing much better than they are.

You also learn some fun plays, such as how to alter your playing strategy to your advantage depending on whether you are banking. In fact, when you bank at a full table, your expected return will be at least a positive .53%!

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Can I practice the Denenberg Strategy?

Yes. In fact,'s practice program is crucial in helping you learn and use the Denenberg Strategy. The practice area for the Denenberg Strategy gives you deals to play, shows you if you played them correctly, and shows you the appropriate rule if you need it. You can ask the computer to give you totally random deals, or the program will make certain that the deals you receive expose you to all of the rules of the Denenberg Strategy.

For each practice deal, you also get a link back to the exact page in the Tutorial that describes the rule pertinent to that deal. Having access to the programmed practice area helps you greatly in learning the strategy.

Practice Area 5 provides all of the features described above for the traditional strategy, and it doesn't require membership. Try it out.

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How was the Denenberg Strategy computed?

Through several years of exhaustive calculation and computer analysis, and transforming the results to a strategy that can be remembered and used at the table.'s Tutorial Chapter 9: Designing the Denenberg Strategy gives a detailed account of how some of the calculations were made.

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Do I have to know the entire Denenberg Strategy in order to use it at the table?

No. You can learn the new strategy in pieces, and apply what you know as you learn it. For example, you can learn how the Denenberg Strategy handles deals that contain Wong or Gong. Then, you play according to the Denenberg Strategy when you receive one of those deals, and use your traditional strategy for all other deals.

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Do I have to know the entire Denenberg Strategy to benefit from it?

No. You benefit from any part of the Denenberg Strategy that you use. You increase your expected return more with every piece of the Denenberg Strategy that you incorporate into your game.

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Is it legal to use the Denenberg Strategy?

Yes. Casinos don't require that you play your tiles according to their strategy. Customers are allowed to play their tiles any way they wish. You are not cheating: you are not looking at other players' tiles. You are simply making non-traditional, computer-enhanced decisions on how to play your tiles.

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Can the casino alter its strategy to neutralize my advantage?

No. If the casino changes its strategy, can design a new strategy for you that will give you an even higher expected return.

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