Chinese Poker Rules: How to Play Chinese Poker

The game can be played simply as described above, or, players could add another two features to increase payouts on certain hands. Some full 13-card hands allow you to automatically take the win. If playing with special hands, this should be agreed upon prior to arranging cards. The game is easy to learn and intuitive to play (don’t be scared by the table of bonuses), and like any good poker game, a beginner can win right away. Even better, unlike hearts, gin rummy, or even Texas hold’em (without the hole-card camera), you can learn the game by watching top players play.

A popular variation of Chinese Poker is what is known as "Open Face" Chinese Poker. In Open Face Chinese Poker you are still making three separate poker hand (Front, Middle and Back) but the way the cards are dealt and placed in the hands is different. With this scoring system if a player wins two out of three hands against an opponent he or she receives 2 points (instead of 1). If he wins all three hands he receives 4 points (instead of 3 in the standard scoring system). Standard poker hand rankings are used to determine high and low hands but straights and flushes are ignored for the front (3-card) hand. Any player that manages to win all three hands against a single player will be paid out an additional 3 units, for a total of 6 per player. A player that wins against all other opponents in a 4-player game would receive 18 units.

  • Common mistakes include not paying attention to your opponents’ hands or not properly setting your own hands.
  • These variations add a twist to the traditional game and make it more interesting.
  • Professional players often have years of experience and have developed their own unique playing style.
  • Small full houses are also possible candidates not to be built if breaking them up strengthens front and middle hand.
  • I explore the topic of when to surrender in much more detail further below.

Some royalties award points for putting a strong hand in a certain position, while others give points for certain conditions of your 13-card hand overall. By rule, you must put the three hands in order of strongest to weakest according to poker hand rankings. The players systematically place their three hands on the table in this stage. All the cards are lined up face down, one after the other; the backhand should be the hand closer to them. A dealer is a person who commences the game by rotating from one player to the next player after each hand.

This can give you valuable information on their hand and help you make better decisions on how to play your own cards. As you dive into mastering various tactics, you’ll discover the nuances of Chinese poker that will keep you coming back for more. It’s important to Playzilla Casino set a budget before you start playing and stick to it. This will help you avoid losing more than you can afford and keep you in the game longer. You should always put your best pair in the middle, the 2nd best in the top, and the two “worst” pairs in the bottom.

After all you have to handle 13 cards without making it too obvious to your opponent what you’re doing, possibly in a narrow flight seat or on a shaky bus. Good players often use a scoring system that simulates the mathematically correct play and then adjust for the tendencies of the opponent. All you need to do is take into account all possible hands that your opponent can hold and find the hand that scores as high as possible on average against all these hands. Because one does not know their full hand from the start, royalties are a little different in Chinese Poker.

Most commonly, the game is played heads-up between just two opponents. In a Taiwanese variant, When a player loses all three hands to a certain player, it is considered scooped (打槍; Dǎqiāng) and is paid double of the base points. If a player scoops all three players, it is considered home-run (全壘打; Quánlěidǎ) and the payment is further doubled. However, calling a natural hand exempts it from scooping and thus scored separately. In the 1–6 method the player receives 1 unit for each of the three hands they win, and 3 bonus units (on top of the three for the hands) if they win all three hands. Scoring in OFC is similar to Chinese Poker in that a point is typically won for every hand that you beat of your opponents. Royalties are also awarded for making particular hands and there are bonuses for scooping.

The discards are only seen by the player that drew the card, which can be used as an advantage to deny your opponent of high-scoring cards that they’re looking for. In this stage, all the players announce their royalties in the same order they have placed their bet. According to the players’ scores, they will receive royalties from the dealer. You have to understand these facts before you play Chinese poker.

Chinese Poker Rules – Special Hands

You can improve your gameplay and enjoy the experience more by staying patient and focused during each hand. One effective bluffing technique is to play your hand aggressively, even if you don’t have a strong hand. This can intimidate your opponents and make them think that you have a better hand than you actually do.

How to Split Pairs

This table basically shows how often each hand wins on average against an opponent who sets his hands game theoretically optimal. If you manage to set trips in the middle hand you can expect to win at least two-thirds of the time on average. For two pair and one pair combinations, the quality of the top (or single) pair is of paramount importance. Kickers or the lower pair (when holding two pair) are irrelevant though. House rules vary, but it’s also common for the Fantasyland player to set the hand face-down, and not change it before the other players start their round. At the start, players get five cards to play in turn, playing each card top, middle, or bottom. The cards are arranged face-up on the table, hence “open-face” Chinese poker.

Avoid Invalid Hands

Once a player arranges the cards and indicates that his or her turn is complete, the next player flips over all five cards and starts their own arrangement. Sometimes players agree to award special hands with extra points. Chinese Poker is one of the more popular poker variations you’ll find as a side game in both live card rooms and home games. It’s a particular favorite of poker pros who like a little gamble to break up the stress of playing long tournament hours.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Chinese Poker

The three kind hands must be placed in the middle and the backhands of the highest value. These scoring methods can make a big difference in your final score, so it’s important to pay attention to the different combinations and how they relate to the scoring system. If you have a flush in your middle hand, you can earn four points. Scoring systems in Open-Face Chinese Poker can vary, but a common method is to assign one point for winning each row and a bonus point for winning all three rows.

It’s important to start with small goals and gradually increase the difficulty as you progress. For instance, you can start by aiming to win a certain number of hands in a game, then move on to winning a certain number of games in a row. By setting goals, you’ll be more motivated to practice regularly and track your progress, which will help you become a better player over time. The player in Fantasyland has a big advantage because he or she is dealt all 13 cards at once, instead of the starting five and then one at a time. The player then sets the cards face down in turn, and then waits for his opponents to play their hands according to standard OFC rules. If you have read this far, and are familiar with the basics of poker hands (a flush beats a straight, quads beat a full house, etc.), then you are ready to play OFC.

Chinese Poker Strategy, Tips and Tricks

For example, if all players agree that a single unit is $5, and a player wins with a hand worth 3 units of payout, then that player will receive $15. Royalties usually pay higher in Open Face, as it’s much harder to make strong hands because you don’t know which cards are coming. While your back and middle hands aren’t as strong in this configuration, both are still good enough to best your opponent. Your front hand wins in this scenario as well, as you have a better one-pair hand than your opponent.

If a player achieves this, they receive a bonus point and also all other players must pay them double the amount of their regular points for that round. To scoop, a player must have strong hands in all three positions and be lucky enough to avoid fouling. Lastly, there are special hands that can also earn bonus points. For example, a player with a straight or higher in their bottom hand receives an extra point. Similarly, a player with a flush or higher in their middle hand receives an extra point. These special hands can make a difference, especially if the game is close and every point counts. Setting achievable goals is another key aspect of practicing regularly.