As its name suggests, the Chinese Poker game has its roots in Asia, where it is prevalent among casual players. It has since made its way to many other parts of the world, and while it is certainly not as popular as other poker variants, it has proven to be a favorite title among poker pros during their downtime. Chinese Poker rules differ quite significantly from other popular poker games, and hence it is often not considered to be a true poker game and often played casually. The most notable difference is that it does not involve the use of any chips or betting.
However, it still beats a lot of similarities to other poker games. For instance, whether you are playing Chinese Poker online or offline, the game uses poker hands to determine the winner. In some cases, players can even have a pot that they win if they have the best hands.
Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC Poker)
Open Face Chinese Poker is a variation of the standard or ‘closed-face’ Chinese Poker that has been slowly gaining popularity as a casual pass time all over the world. While the game evolved from regular Chinese Poker, players do not have to worry about knowing the strategies of the traditional game to enjoy the open poker face variant.
The main difference whether you playing Open Face Chinese Poker online or at a land-based casino is the number of cards dealt to the players at the start of the game. While the standard game uses 13 cards that are dealt at once at the beginning of the game, Open Face Chinese Poker begins with the players receiving only 5 cards. More cards are dealt one after the other following the initial set up until each player at the table has a total of 13 cards.
Once all the cards are dealt, each of the players (usually two to four) will have arranged the 13 cards into the “top”, “middle”, and “bottom” hands. These hands are compared to their opponents’ corresponding hands, with the players winning or losing points based on how strong the hands are.
Open Face Chinese Poker is pretty straightforward, which means that it is straightforward to grasp even if you are a newbie. It helps that the game is played face-up, which means that the players and the viewers have the same information. There are also a lot of videos of poker pros playing the game, which makes getting started with it a breeze. You will be able to build some strong hands and even win some games in no time.
How to Play Chinese Poker
In Chinese Poker, the main aim of the game is to arrange the 13 cards that have been dealt into three of the strongest poker hands possible. Once you grasp this, the rest of the Chinese Poker rules will be pretty easy to pick up. For instance, when arranging the 13 cards into hands, it is essential to note that two of the hands will each consist of five cards while the thirds will only have three cards.
Before the cards are dealt, the players need to agree on the stakes. Once that is done, the dealer can then start distributing the cards from the standard 52-card deck. In cases where the maximum of four players are playing, each of the players will get a 13-card hand. If there are three players, the fourth hand is not used. Where there are just two players, the remaining two hands are usually reserved for the next hand.
When ready, the players can then reveal their hands and compare them to the corresponding hands of their opponents. For every hand that they beat, each player receives a single point. Players also lose a point for each of their hands that is beaten. Hands of the same value cancel out, and a point is neither won nor lost.
The rules of the game are pretty simple and straightforward which means you will barely have any trouble with them. A few of the ones that you should be very keen on revolve around scooping and fouled hands.
Scooping implies that a player wins all three hands against their opponents. When this happens, the winning player receives a bonus. A hand gets fouled when a player sorts a hand in a manner that is not allowed by the rules. The opponent automatically scoops all hands in such a scenario.
How to Win
Figuring how to win Chinese Poker is also not very difficult, especially considering all of the strategies that you can integrate. To begin with, we would recommend that you try as much as possible to avoid invalid hands and prevent other players from scooping you.
One of the things that are overlooked is the potential of using mathematical help to figure out the best way to arrange your hands. Calculating the hands that are likely to be in your opponents’ hands could be a real advantage to you.
Moreover, you should also try to mix up your game, just like you would in other popular variants of poker. This will keep other players from making notes about you and trying to use that to predict the moves that you are likely to make. On a similar note, you should also try to read into some of the cues of your fellow players. This might be easier to pull off than in other poker games since the number of players in Chinese poker is pretty small. If you are playing with the same players over and over again, you could get away with figuring out how they play their hands.
Chinese poker scoring varies depending on several different factors. In fact, players can even come up with their own scoring systems. Still, it is essential to note that in all of these cases, players will be exchanging points, which means that the sum of all the points will always be zero. The value of each point also varies and can be determined by the players themselves.
Some of the most common scoring systems for Chinese Poker include the 1-6 rule and the 2-4 rule. In the 1-6 rule, the winning player gets 6 points for a scoop (3-0), and the opponent loses 6 points. The 2-4 rule, on the other hand, is where a 3-0 score is worth 4 points.
As mentioned earlier, out of a single 13-card hand, the players are required to make three Chinese poker hands. Of the three formed hands, the bottom hand needs to be a five-card poker hand. It should also be the best of the three hands.
The middle hand must also be a five-card hand, albeit one that is weaker or worse than the bottom hand. It must, however, be stronger than the top hand, which has to consist of three cards. Also worth noting is the fact the two five-card hands are ranked based on the standard poker rules. The three-card hand does not allow flushers or straights and can thus only consist of a high card, pair, or triples.