Chinese Poker is a poker game popular with Asian players and now has a new variant called Open Face Chinese Poker. This card game is simple and not much strategy is required for players that like to play poker.
How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker
You will first have to know poker hand rankings. The objective is to have a better poker ranking hand(s) than the other player(s) at the table which accommodates two to four players. Each player will receive a total of thirteen cards to make 3 poker hands. Points (units) are awarded or the various winning hands. A monetary value per point is established before play begins.
Each player first receives five cards from a standard 52 card deck. A dealer button is used to identify a dealer position. the button rotates to he left after each hand is played. This is important because he player with the button is the last to act. This is known as having “position” on the other players. Starting with the first player to the left of the button, players must flip their cards face up and start setting them into what is known as a Chinese Poker 3-5-5 format. These are three separate poker hands:
- A 3 card hand at the top
- A 5 card hand in the middle
- A 5 card hand at the bottom
Each hand must be progressively stronger starting with the 3 card hand at the top. The middle hand must outrank the top hand and the bottom (back) hand must outrank the middle. If you’re lucky and your initial 5 cards are very strong, such as a full house or a flush, you can use all five at the bottom, and build the middle and top during the draws. Once you initially set the three hands they are cast in stone. You cannot switch cards between the three hands.
Each player is then dealt one card at a time to complete the remaining hands into the proper 3-5-5 format. If a hand is miss-set the player automatically receives a “foul” and loses the hand.For example, having two pair on the bottom hand while setting three of a kind in the middle would be a foul, in that three of a kind outranks two pair, where the bottom is supposed to be the strongest.
A player is awarded one unit for winning two of three hands and six units for winning all three, which is known as “scooping”. In addition, royalty points are awarded for achieving certain hands, such as a bottom would win two units for a straight, and up to twenty for a royal flush. The top hand is one point for a pair of sixes ( lowest qualifying hand) and up to twenty for trip aces. Straights and flushes do not count in the three card hand.
It is very important to pay attention to the dealt cards to determine which ones are alive or dead. (Dead cards are already dealt.) For example, if you’re waiting for a queen to complete a full house and three of them belong to other players, you’re out of luck.