Open Faced Chinese Poker Rules: A Comprehensive Guide for Players

Open-faced Chinese , also known as OFC or Open Face Chinese, is an engaging and beginner-friendly card game variant. Originating in Finland during the mid-2000s and later spreading to Russia, this game has attracted professional players like Alex Kravchenko, who is credited with its introduction to the world. Only a basic understanding of poker hand rankings is needed to play this game, making it suitable for novices and experienced players alike.

The game's objective is to create three hands with increasing strength, totaling 13 cards. Each player initially receives five cards, and then one card at a time until their hand is complete. Positioning and card rankings play a significant role in the gameplay, with scoring and royalties shaping the match outcomes. By understanding the basic rules and avoiding common mistakes, players can work toward more advanced gameplay concepts that enhance their overall experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Open-faced Chinese poker is a beginner-friendly card game with origins in Finland and Russia
  • Players create three hands with a total of 13 cards, focusing on increasing strength and positioning
  • Scoring and royalties determine game outcomes, with more advanced strategies available for experienced players

Game Origin

Open-face Chinese poker, also known as OFCP or Open Face Chinese, is a variant of the traditional Chinese poker game. This engaging version of poker originated in Finland during the mid-2000s and later gained popularity in Russia a few years after its inception. The intrepid professional poker player, Alex Kravchenko, played a crucial role in introducing the game to the Russian audience.

Though the game shares some similarities with the classic Chinese poker, Open-face Chinese poker stands out in its structure and gameplay. Players start with five cards and receive one card at a time until each player has a 13 card hand, legal or not. The objective of Open-face Chinese poker is to create three poker hands with increasing rank – two with five cards and one with three cards. Mis-sets or hands not adhering to the increasing rank result in penalties.

Over time, Open-face Chinese poker has spread beyond Russia and Finland, attracting the attention of poker enthusiasts in the United States and other parts of the world. Its captivating nature and beginner-friendly rules make it an exciting alternative to traditional poker games. Competitions like the OFC World Championship have further elevated the game's stature in the international poker scene, piquing the interest of both casual players and seasoned professionals.

The Basic Rules

Open-faced Chinese poker, also known as OFC, is a fun and exciting variant of Chinese poker. The game typically involves two to four players, each aiming to complete a legal hand of 13 cards. The rules are simple, making it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced players alike.

In the beginning, each player receives five cards face-up. Then, they are dealt one card at a time until all players have 13 cards in their possession. Players need to arrange their cards into three separate hands: a three-card hand (the front), a five-card hand (the middle), and another five-card hand (the back). It's essential to ensure that the front hand contains the weakest cards, while the backhand holds the strongest ones. The middle hand should fall between these two in terms of strength.

The game employs a dealer button system, which rotates clockwise after every round. This button determines the order in which players receive their cards and the order in which they act. In each round, players must place their received cards at any of the three available hand positions. Be mindful that once a card is placed, it cannot be moved again.

To score points, Open-faced Chinese poker uses the standard poker hand rankings. Each player's respective hands are compared, and points are awarded accordingly:

  • If a player's front hand outranks their opponents', they get one point.
  • The middle hand is scored similarly; if a player's hand is stronger than their opponents', they receive one point.
  • The back hand also follows the same rule; a stronger hand earns one point.

In some variations of the game, additional bonus points, called “royalties,” can be earned for assembling particularly strong hands in the front, middle, or back positions.

Once all players have completed their 13-card hands and the points have been tallied, the game proceeds with a new round. The dealer button moves to the next player, and the process repeats until a predetermined number of rounds have been played or players decide to stop.

By understanding and adhering to these basic rules, players can enjoy Open-faced Chinese poker and engage in this thrilling card game. Remember to always arrange your hands properly and, most importantly, have fun while playing!

Card Hands and Their Rankings

In Open-Faced Chinese (OFC) Poker, a player is required to form three hands with a total of 13 cards, where each hand is clearly ranked. The top hand consists of three cards and must be the weakest hand, the middle hand with five cards should be stronger than the top hand, and the bottom hand, also with five cards, must be the strongest of all. The poker hand rankings used in OFC are generally the same as other poker variants.

A Foul occurs when a player's hand does not follow the proper ranking order, resulting in the loss of all points for that round. Therefore, it's crucial to be aware of the basic poker hand rankings in order to avoid this situation.

Here are the key poker hand rankings in ascending order:

  • High Card: The highest individual card in a hand that has no pair, flush, or straight.
  • Pair: Two cards of the same rank, with the highest pair taking precedence over other pairs.
  • Two Pairs: Two separate pairs of cards with the same rank.
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank.
  • Straight: Five consecutive cards in any suit.
  • Flush: Five non-consecutive cards of the same suit.
  • Full House: A combination of three of a kind and a pair.
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.
  • Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
  • Royal Flush: The highest straight flush, consisting of Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit.

In OFC, it's important to strategically arrange your 13 cards into the required three hands so that they follow the ascending strength order – top hand ( weakest), middle hand, and bottom hand (strongest).

Utilizing these basic poker hand rankings, alongside an understanding of the unique OFC game structure, can help players improve their skills in this exciting card game variant. Remember to always maintain proper hand ranking order to avoid fouling and maximize your chances of winning.

Positioning of Hands

In Open-face Chinese poker, the positioning of hands plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of the game. There are three hands that each player needs to make: the front hand, middle hand, and back hand.

The front hand, also known as the top hand, contains three cards. It is the weakest hand due to its limited options for combination possibilities. In most games, the front hand will only contain high cards or pairs, as it is nearly impossible to create stronger hands like straights or flushes with only three cards.

The middle hand consists of five cards and tends to be stronger than the front hand. Players have more flexibility and creative license to form hands such as flushes and straights. With five cards, it is possible to create powerful combinations that can significantly affect the final score.

Lastly, the back hand, referred to as the bottom-row hand, contains the remaining five cards. It should be the strongest among the three hands. This requirement ensures a natural progression of hand strength from the front to the back, providing smooth and strategic gameplay.

Players need to position these three hands in such a way that every consecutive hand is either of equal strength or stronger. In other words, the front hand must always be the weakest, the middle hand stronger or equal to the front hand, and the back hand stronger or equal to the middle hand.

Failure to maintain this ranking will result in a “foul,” which negatively affects the player's score and potentially leads to losing the round. Therefore, positioning of hands in Open-face Chinese poker requires a delicate balance and strategic decision-making to maximize points and minimize the risk of fouling.')]When arranging their hands, players should be mindful of potential fouls to avoid penalties. Mastering the proper positioning of hands in Open-face Chinese poker requires strategic thinking, a solid understanding of each hand's strengths, and careful decision-making.

Scoring and Royalties

In Open-face Chinese Poker, players aim to accumulate the most points by creating three separate poker hands: the top, middle, and bottom hands. Points are awarded based on hand strength, with stronger hands earning more points. Scoring rules can vary slightly depending on the specific game played, but basic concepts remain consistent throughout.

Points awarded in Open-face Chinese Poker are commonly referred to as “units,” and one unit often corresponds to a predetermined monetary value agreed upon by the players before the game starts. Each player's scores are compared, and winners receive the appropriate number of units from the losing players. If a player manages to accumulate more points overall and wins all three hands against an opponent, this results in a “scoop,” and bonus units are awarded for such a dominant victory.

Royalties come into play in Open-face Chinese Poker as bonus points awarded for extremely strong hands. These royalties are added to a player's overall score and can significantly increase the number of units won in a single game. Examples of royalties include straight flushes, full houses, and quads.

Here are some common royalties in Open-face Chinese Poker:

  • Top Hand royalties: A player can receive royalties in the top hand for having high card combinations such as trips or pairs of high-ranking cards like aces or kings.
  • Middle Hand royalties: Royalties in the middle hand can be awarded for making strong combinations like full houses, flushes, or straights.
  • Bottom Hand royalties: The bottom hand typically requires the strongest combinations for royalties, such as quads, straight flushes, or a royal flush.

It's important to remember that while Open-face Chinese Poker is generally a high-scoring game due to the many opportunities for points and royalties, players must be cautious not to overextend themselves and risk having an illegal hand. An illegal hand occurs when the top hand is stronger than the middle hand or when the middle hand is stronger than the bottom hand. In such cases, the player loses automatically and forfeits all points for that round.

In summary, scoring and royalties are essential aspects of Open-face Chinese Poker, offering numerous opportunities for players to accumulate points and units. By understanding these concepts and carefully constructing legal hands, players can develop winning strategies and get the most out of this exciting poker variant.

Variations of Chinese Poker

Chinese poker, a card game based on poker hand rankings, offers a beginner-friendly experience, as only basic knowledge of poker hand rankings is required to get started. Open-face Chinese poker (OFC) is a popular variant that originated in Finland during the mid-2000s. In OFC, players receive five cards to start, and then one card at a time until each player has a 13-card hand, legal or not.

Comparing OFC with regular Chinese poker, one of the key differences is the way hands are constructed. In regular Chinese poker, all 13 cards are dealt simultaneously to each player, allowing them to arrange their hands in secret before revealing them to their opponents. However, in OFC, the hands are built card-by-card, with each player arranging them openly on the table.

Further diversifying the variations of Chinese poker, Pineapple Open Face Chinese poker (POFC) adds another twist to the game. In Pineapple OFC, players receive three cards at a time after the first five, then discard one and place the other two in their hands. This speeds up gameplay and introduces new strategic elements.

Each of these variants adheres to the core objective of creating three poker hands of increasing rank: two with five cards and one with three cards. It is essential that the hands follow the increasing rank requirement, as any mis-set hands can be deemed dead, resulting in penalties.

In summary, Chinese poker's different variants, such as Open-face Chinese poker and Pineapple OFC, offer distinctive gameplay styles and strategic elements. By understanding the nuances between these versions, players can choose the one that best suits their preferences and skill levels.

Advanced Gameplay Concepts

In Open-face Chinese poker (OFC), there are several advanced gameplay concepts that players should understand to improve their . One crucial aspect is fouling. Fouling occurs when a player's hand doesn't follow the required ranking order: top hand weakest, middle hand stronger, and bottom hand strongest. If a player fouls their hand, they lose the round and have to pay a penalty.

Fantasyland is a special scoring bonus in OFC that rewards players for making an exceptional top hand, such as a pair of queens or better. When a player achieves Fantasyland, they receive 13 cards at once in the next round, and they can set their hand in private. This advantage helps players create a strong hand and potentially earn more units.

The concept of a scoop refers to winning all three hands against an opponent in a single round. Scooping brings additional bonus points and can significantly affect the overall scoring. Moreover, players often aim for a scoop to put pressure on their opponents and make them fold or foul their hands.

In OFC, units measure players' winnings and losses. The objective is to win as many units as possible from your opponents. Scoring in OFC involves comparing each hand against the corresponding hand of opponents. Winning a hand earns one unit, whereas scooping an opponent awards multiple bonus units. These units typically have a monetary value decided before the game begins.

The primary objective of Open-face Chinese poker is to create a legal 13-card hand with three hands of increasing strength. However, advanced players focus on maximizing their scoring potential through fouls, scoops, and achieving Fantasyland. A solid understanding of these concepts enhances a player's ability to make strategic decisions and increase their chances of winning.

By grasping these advanced gameplay concepts, players can develop effective strategies and gain an edge in Open-face Chinese poker. Remember to be mindful of fouling, strive for Fantasyland, and maximize units earned through scoops and hand comparisons. With practice and experience, players can confidently tackle the challenges of this exciting poker variant.

Legend Players

In the world of Open-face Chinese Poker (OFC), several players have made a name for themselves due to their skill, prowess, and accomplishments. One of these players is Alex Kravchenko, who is often credited with introducing the game to Russia in the mid-2000s after its inception in Finland. Kravchenko is an experienced poker player with multiple World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes under his belt.

is another exceptional player in the realm of OFC and poker as a whole. Mercier is a renowned American poker professional with a strong presence at the WSOP. His impressive accomplishments include winning five WSOP bracelets and reaching numerous final tables. Mercier's skills in Open-face Chinese Poker have earned him the admiration of his peers and solidified his position as a legend within the game.

Shaun Deeb is a well-known American poker pro who has excelled in both regular poker and Open-face Chinese Poker. Over the years, Deeb has acquired four WSOP bracelets, showcasing his remarkable abilities across various poker formats. His performance in the 2018 WSOP was particularly notable, as he managed to win two bracelets and secure the title of the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year.

In addition to the WSOP, various tournaments serve as platforms for legendary OFC players to showcase their abilities. The Carnivale of Poker is one such event that has attracted top talent from around the world, giving participants the opportunity to demonstrate their skill in a variety of poker games, including Open-face Chinese Poker.

When discussing legendary OFC players, it's crucial to remember that the game is a relatively recent addition to the diverse world of poker. However, within a short span of time, players such as Alex Kravchenko, Jason Mercier, and Shaun Deeb have contributed to the game's popularity and helped it achieve a well-deserved place in the competitive poker landscape.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When playing Open-face Chinese poker (OFC), it is essential to avoid common mistakes to increase your chances of winning. One of the critical aspects of the game is to create a legal hand, which consists of three rows: the top row with three cards, the middle row with five cards, and the bottom row, also with five cards. The top row must contain the weakest hand, the middle row a stronger hand, and the bottom row the strongest hand.

A common mistake in OFC is creating a fouled hand. A fouled hand occurs when the rows' strength does not follow the required order: weakest to strongest from top to bottom. Fouling leads to losing all the points in the particular round, so it's vital to avoid this error.

Another important aspect to consider while playing is the concept of blockers. Blockers are cards that your opponent potentially needs to make their optimal hand but are already in your possession. Paying attention to the cards you hold and the ones that are already played can give you valuable information about your opponent's potential moves. This knowledge can help you make more informed decisions in building your legal hand.

In OFC, a rare but rewarding strategy is shooting the moon. This term refers to the player attempting to make an extremely strong trio of hands, aiming for the maximum possible points in a single round. However, achieving this feat requires the perfect combination of cards and extremely accurate calculations. It can be risky, as attempting to shoot the moon can lead to fouling if not executed correctly.

Another essential factor in OFC is the qualifying hand. A qualifying hand is a hand that meets the minimum requirements for ranking in a game. Ensuring you have a qualifying hand reduces the chances of your hand being beaten by other players' hands. Focusing on developing a hand strong enough to qualify and avoiding the temptation to create a powerhouse can lead to a more consistent winning strategy in the long run.

To summarize, avoiding common mistakes in Open-face Chinese poker requires understanding the crucial elements such as legal hands, fouled hands, blockers, shooting the moon, and qualifying hands. Careful handling of all these aspects significantly enhances the possibility of a successful game.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is scoring done in Open Face Chinese Poker?

Scoring in Open Face Chinese Poker (OFCP) is calculated using a point system, which typically involves a combination of comparing the players' hands as well as distributing bonus points for certain hand combinations. In general, players earn points by winning two or more hands against their opponent. Additionally, players can earn royalties or bonus points for possessing strong hands. It's important to know that the scoring system may vary depending on the specific rules or player agreements in a given game.

What are the hand rankings in Open Face Chinese Poker?

The hand rankings in Open Face Chinese Poker follow typical poker hand rankings, such as high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, and royal flush. In OFCP, players arrange their cards into three separate hands: a top (3-card), middle (5-card), and bottom (5-card) hand, with the bottom hand being the strongest and the top hand being the weakest.

What is the Pineapple variation of Open Face Chinese Poker?

The Pineapple variation of Open Face Chinese Poker is a faster and more dynamic version of the game. The primary difference between the traditional and Pineapple versions lies in the dealing process. In Pineapple, players receive three cards per round instead of just one, allowing them to use two of the three cards to build their hands and discard the remaining card. This accelerates the game and introduces more strategic choices for players.

How do you play Open Face Chinese Poker online?

Playing Open Face Chinese Poker online can be done through various platforms and mobile apps. Many of these platforms are designed specifically for OFCP, offering a convenient way to play while ensuring the game's rules are correctly enforced. To play, simply sign up, choose a table or tournament, set a stake, and start forming your hands against opponents around the world.

What are some common strategies for Open Face Chinese Poker?

In Open Face Chinese Poker, players should focus on building strong and balanced hands for each row, ensuring consistent point accumulation. Key strategies include:

  • Pay attention to your opponent's board to predict their moves
  • Place cards in the middle and bottom hand while maintaining the top hand strength
  • Minimize the chances of fouling your hand
  • Aim for royalty bonuses without compromising overall hand strength
  • Be cautious with risky plays and transitions

What is the 2-7 rule in Open Face Chinese Poker?

The 2-7 rule is a special scoring condition in some Open Face Chinese Poker games where players receive additional bonus points for having a hand in the middle row called a 2-7 lowball hand. A 2-7 lowball hand consists of five unpaired cards with different suits, and the hand must include a 2, a 7, and no card higher than a 7. If a player fulfills this condition, they are awarded extra points, making the 2-7 rule an interesting strategic factor in the game.

Scoring in Open Face Chinese Poker (OFCP) is calculated using a point system, which typically involves a combination of comparing the players' hands as well as distributing bonus points for certain hand combinations. In general, players earn points by winning two or more hands against their opponent. Additionally, players can earn royalties or bonus points for possessing strong hands. It's important to know that the scoring system may vary depending on the specific rules or player agreements in a given game.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are the hand rankings in Open Face Chinese Poker?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The hand rankings in Open Face Chinese Poker follow typical poker hand rankings, such as high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush, and royal flush. In OFCP, players arrange their cards into three separate hands: a top (3-card), middle (5-card), and bottom (5-card) hand, with the bottom hand being the strongest and the top hand being the weakest.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the Pineapple variation of Open Face Chinese Poker?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The Pineapple variation of Open Face Chinese Poker is a faster and more dynamic version of the game. The primary difference between the traditional and Pineapple versions lies in the dealing process. In Pineapple, players receive three cards per round instead of just one, allowing them to use two of the three cards to build their hands and discard the remaining card. This accelerates the game and introduces more strategic choices for players.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How do you play Open Face Chinese Poker online?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Playing Open Face Chinese Poker online can be done through various platforms and mobile apps. Many of these platforms are designed specifically for OFCP, offering a convenient way to play while ensuring the game's rules are correctly enforced. To play, simply sign up, choose a table or tournament, set a stake, and start forming your hands against opponents around the world.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some common strategies for Open Face Chinese Poker?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

In Open Face Chinese Poker, players should focus on building strong and balanced hands for each row, ensuring consistent point accumulation. Key strategies include:

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  • Pay attention to your opponent's board to predict their moves
  • \n

  • Place cards in the middle and bottom hand while maintaining the top hand strength
  • \n

  • Minimize the chances of fouling your hand
  • \n

  • Aim for royalty bonuses without compromising overall hand strength
  • \n

  • Be cautious with risky plays and transitions
  • \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the 2-7 rule in Open Face Chinese Poker?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The 2-7 rule is a special scoring condition in some Open Face Chinese Poker games where players receive additional bonus points for having a hand in the middle row called a 2-7 lowball hand. A 2-7 lowball hand consists of five unpaired cards with different suits, and the hand must include a 2, a 7, and no card higher than a 7. If a player fulfills this condition, they are awarded extra points, making the 2-7 rule an interesting strategic factor in the game.

"}}]}