Self-gating (SG) is a cardiac MRI technique to synchronize data acquisition to the cardiac cycle based upon MR signal triggers as opposed to conventional ECG triggers. Fourteen healthy subjects underwent cardiac MRI scans in four different orientations: two chamber, three chamber, four chamber, and short axis. SG trigger times were computed using two methods, first difference and template matching, and ECG trigger times were also recorded for comparison. The root-mean-square (RMS) error was used to evaluate performance, defined as the variability relative to the mean difference between SG trigger times and ECG trigger times. The mean RMS error was lower for template matching than first difference approach for all scan orientations; the improvement in RMS error was statistically significant for all orientations except short axis. In conclusion, compared to the first difference approach, template matching improved the accuracy of trigger detection for two, three, and four chamber SG cardiac MRI scans.