Chinese Poker Rules, How to Play & Hand Rankings

The maximum number of players is 4 because each player will receive 13 cards at the start of each round of gameplay. However, gaming with two or three individuals is quite fine and permitted. Chinese Poker, the quick poker game for in between, has long been a popular variation of poker. This article provides a list of many strategy tips and tricks for Chinese Poker.

  • For the purpose of the following tips and tricks I assume you don’t play with royalties.
  • It’s important to remember that the back hand must be the strongest and the front hand must be the weakest.
  • Chinese Poker is played using the standard 52-card Anglo-American deck.
  • The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with each player receiving 13 cards.
  • To avoid fouling, it’s important to double-check your hand before revealing it to the other players.

As such, the player must form the best possible three hands they can if they are to win any payout. All cards in the hand are either 8 and above, or 8 and below. The name refers to the fact that this natural can at most have 12 face cards, the total number in a deck. Naturals are combos that pay out regardless of other players’ hands, even if other players have a higher-ranking natural or a higher set of hands. It will be followed by the middle in front of that and will be placed in the front end of the row. This rule of the game is optional and will be decided among the players before the gameplay begins. In this game, the player will play the predetermined amount.

The quality of a full house in the backhand is decided only by the strength of the trips. Accordingly, you should always assign the lowest available pair to it. There have been no Chinese Poker events at the World Series of Poker since 1996.

He also holds a Bachelor in History, resulting in his content being extremely well-researched and comprehensive. Chinese Poker’s rules are relatively simple, although there is a large number of rules themselves. Remembering all of the different melds may be difficult, but with the cheat sheet provided above a player will always be able to check the meld hierarchy in a casual game.

There are also variations of Chinese poker where bonuses are awarded for certain hands, such as a flush or a straight in the three-card hand. Now that you understand the scoring system and variations of Chinese poker, it’s time to learn different strategies to improve your gameplay and increase your chances of winning. As such, it’s important to develop a strong strategy that takes into account the cards you are dealt. The players have to arrange their cards in the combination of the three poker hands shown above.

You’re in for a treat if you’re looking to learn how to play Chinese Poker! This classic card game has been around for over a century and is still popular today. It’s a great game to play with friends or family that requires both strategy and luck. Mahjong style variations and differences in scoring systems are popular in various regions of the world when it comes to Chinese poker. These variations add a twist to the traditional game and make it more interesting.

Setting Hands

Avoiding putting down invalid hands may sound evident, and it should be. Nevertheless it’s a common mistake and a costly one since it awards each of your opponents a scoop against you. Even if you have the second-best hand in a round, you can still win money and control your fate (to some extent) by how you arrange your cards. Open-Faced Chinese Poker and a game called Pineapple are the two basic varieties of the game of Chinese Poker.

In addition to the +1/-1 points per row, there are a myriad of scoring bonuses that can be worth a lot more than one point. In OFC, as in bowling, if you hand has fouled (failed to qualify), then you get a zero for the frame. There is no fine and no penalty box, but your top, middle, and bottom are all marked as zero. As long as your opponent makes a qualifying hand, he or she will beat your top, middle, and bottom.

Chinese Poker game variations

Once all players have set their hand, the showdown occurs and all players put down their three hands face down in front of them. As Chinese Poker utilizes a single Anglo-American 52-card deck, it is actually not possible to form bombs. This version is confused with another Chinese card game called Guandan. The Clean Dragon is a natural hand, meaning it is dealt without the hand being set in any way. The Clean Dragon is 13 cards with no duplicates in Rank and all of the same Suit. In this way, the player has one weak hand, one strong hand, and one very strong hand, rather than two weak hands and one very strong hand.

Sample Chinese Poker Hands

If breaking up a small flush allows room for significantly stronger hands in the middle and front, this should usually be done. The better the lower of the two pairs is, the better it is to set it into the front hand. The reason for this is that high pairs in the front hand are very valuable, but two pairs in the middle hand are only of average quality. Since the front hand consists of only three cards, the possible combinations are reduced to three of a kind, a pair, and high card. The hands are then placed face down in order in front of the player.

Open-Face Chinese Poker

Another key to success in Chinese Poker is mastering bluffing techniques. Bluffing is an art, and it requires careful observation of your opponents’ tendencies, as well as a deep understanding of the game’s rules and scoring system. Additionally, players may earn bonus points for certain hands, such as a royal flush or four of a kind. Finally, Six-Plus Hold’em is a popular variation that has become increasingly popular in recent years. In this game, all cards from 2-5 are removed from the deck, leaving only 36 cards in play. Pineapple Chinese Poker is another variation that adds a bit of excitement to the game.

Splitting Pairs

You should only surrender hands that are in the bottom 7% of all Chinese Poker hands. Those are hands where the combined probability of winning at least one hand (front, middle or back) is below 40%. The strength of 4-pair hands is determined by the strength of the 2nd highest pair. You only have a realistic chance to win the front hand as one pair in the middle and two (low) pair in the back are almost always too weak to win a hand. There are several hand types that occur very frequently when playing Chinese Poker and many of them have one and only one optimal solution. In this section, I’ll provide tips and tricks on how to play certain hand types.

When surrendered, a player is not required to pay any royalties to their opponents. In this variation the Middle hand is played low, meaning the lowest ranking poker hand Nitro Casino wins (much like Razz or 2-7 Lowball). Aces are high and straights and flushes count against the low hand. Players in Chinese Poker are always dealt 13 cards per hand.

Setting Up 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.