Chinese poker rules

Chinese poker is one of the most popular and unique poker games in the world. Unlike the traditional Hold’em, where the players have 2 cards, the players receive 13 cards. But though it’s not familiar with the other poker variations, you can easily play the game when you are familiar with poker and make exciting twists. It’s quite fun and exciting even for amateur players because it is not heavily reliant on luck, and it gives players maximum control over how they will organize their cards. This game gives you maximum chances of determining your success. So, what is Chinese poker rules, tips, tricks, and how to play it?

4 aces - chinese poker hands

What is Open face Chinese poker?

Open-face Chinese poker is one of the fastest-growing this poker variations in the US. It was started in Finland and became popular in the US in 2011/12. From this time, it has spread to other parts of the world and has become a favorite of both small and bigger wagering players.

This game is a variation of local Chinese poker and is commonly known as OFC. You don’t have to understand Chinese poker rules for you to enjoy this game. It’s similar to other poker variations where players draw their cards from a deck and compete to get the same hand. But there are no bets in OFC during gameplay, but the players decide on the “winning points,” and they struggle to reach this limit.

Deck cards being shuffled

Once each player gets his cards, they will arrange their 13 cards into the top, middle and bottom hands. Then, like regular poker, each hand of the player is compared against those of the competitors. In the end, the players will have different points based on the value of their hands against those of other players.

How to play Chinese poker (Gameplay)?

This poker game involves a dealer who gives each player 13 cards and rotates to every player clockwise for every hand, starting with the one at his left. The player will then organize their cards into two 5-card hands (“the back” and “the middle”). Where they will try to make high-ranking poker hands and a 3-card poker hand also called “the front”. That is where the flushes and straights won’t count against this hand.

Four people playing poker

Always remember that “the back” is the highest in ranking among the three hands. But the front must always remain placed to the front, and the back and middle hands must have higher values than “the front”. If not so, then you might incur penalties. The players will place their three hands on the table systematically with their faces down and with each ball having another one in front of it. First, they should have the backhand closest to them (one with 5 cards). Secondly, the middle card follows. Lastly, “the front” which will be ahead of these cards and, which will be farther away from the player than other cards.

Chinese poker rules

Well, first, let’s learn these Chinese poker rules in brief:

  1. Only a maximum of four players can play Poker at a time. Each player will receive 13 cards, and there are no re-draws. Using the cards, the player will set three chinese poker hands, which are:
    • the front hand of 3 cards;
    • the middle hand of 5 cards (this hand should be better than the front hand);
    • “backhand” which has 5 cards and is better than the previous hand.
  2. The front hand has only three cards, and therefore you have only three possible pairs, high cards and kind combinations. These hands will be facing down, and the player can use them.
Open face chinese poker cards

Scoring in Chinese type of poker

After the players receive their set of hands, the next task is to determine their scores. That is possible by comparing the hands of the individual versus those of other players’ hand by hand. I.e., middle hand versus middle hand and front hand vs. front hand, etc. During this step, the dealer will use the hand values of regular poker to compare the players’ performances. If you have a better hand than your competitor, you will get the point, and if your opponent has a better hand, then he will get the point too. But if your hands are of the same value, then none will get the point.

Therefore, if you have a better front and middle hand than your opponent, you will get two hands. But if you a poor backhand, then you will lose one point, and the result will be a 2-1 where you will win. However, if there is a draw in this situation, then no point will be awarded. Therefore, when the game ends, you will have a possible combination of 1-2, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 0-1 depending on the tied hands.

Poker points: what you should note

Below are some important tips when playing this type of poker:

Person learn how to play chinese poker - rules

Avoid fouling your hand

This is important advice, especially for beginners; when you have a high card, put it on the bottom or middle and apply any strategy so that you cannot foul.

Avoid over-focusing on a row and neglecting others

In this poker game, it’s very exciting to complete the flushes or straights but avoid neglecting the middle and top rows when doing so.

Go for the Fantasyland

Fantasyland is incredible, and you should risk reaching it even if you can become scooped.

Poker cards and chips on the table

Final tip about rules of Chinese poker

Chinese poker is one of the most interesting and fun poker variations to play. Here, the hands are majorly set automatically, and you have 72,072 possible arrangements for your 13 cards in the front, back, and middle hand. However, most of the hands will have one ultimate solution that is most obvious, and the strategy tips are helpful when there are numerous possible building options.

On the final note, the best advice for the players is to observe the 13 cards closely before playing the game. Never leave out the perfect solution as you may find yourself regretting that you set the wrong pair of hands.