Chinese Poker stands as a unique poker variation that doesn’t much resemble the other poker Variants like Hold’em, Omaha, or Stud, in terms of gameplay. However, if you’re acquainted with the traditional poker hand rankings, you’ll find your footing easily in this captivating and innovative game at Betbarter.
In essence, participants are dealt a starting set of 13 poker cards (yes, a total of 13!). Their task is to distribute these cards across three distinct poker hands: two hands composed of 5 cards each and one hand consisting of 3 cards. The objective is to create the most superior and highest-ranking combinations for each hand when compared to the arrangements made by other players.
This game thrives on its exhilarating and entertaining nature, even for those who are relatively new to poker. The element of luck interwoven with the complete autonomy you possess in arranging your cards into the distinct hands adds to the excitement.
Consequently, to a certain degree, you wield the power to shape your destiny in this Live poker variant by strategically determining the optimal sequence for organizing your cards. This means that you need not be a seasoned expert to excel in this game; just ensure you’re well-versed in the hierarchy of poker hand rankings before you embark on your journey!
Rules of Chinese Poker
In the game of Chinese Poker whether it is live or in online casino, each player is dealt 13 cards at the start of every round. The standard configuration is for four players, but variations involving two or three players are also acceptable.
Once players have arranged their cards into different sets, they have the option to “surrender” (explained below) or proceed to play their hand. The remaining players then reveal their hands in a clockwise manner, starting from the dealer’s left. Subsequently, the scoring phase begins, with more details provided in the “Scoring” section later on.
Several specific rules and game options require attention:
- Winning Outright: It’s important to note that if any player manages to create three flushes or straights across their three hands, they automatically win the entire hand, regardless of the other players’ holdings. This results in the player collecting 3 units from each opponent who has not surrendered.
- Surrendering: While optional, surrendering is a commonly employed rule and should be agreed upon by players before the game begins. This involves a player paying a predetermined amount, typically somewhere between the potential loss of 2-3 hands (e.g., 2 to 2.5 “units”), to abstain from playing their hand against opponents. However, they are also exempt from paying royalties (explained later) for that round if applicable.
- Mis-Set Hand/Foul: If a player arranges their cards incorrectly—such as mixing up the strengths of middle and back holdings or failing to make their 5-card hands stronger than their 3-card hand—they incur a penalty. This penalty entails paying each player the equivalent of losing all three hands against all opponents. Notably, a player who mis-sets their hand does not owe payment to someone who has already surrendered. Beforehand, players should determine whether the mis-set player must still play their hand as usual and have it scored accordingly, or if their hand will be forfeited and the penalty of paying 3 units to each player will suffice.
To provide a clearer understanding of the rules, let’s delve into the subsequent section, which outlines gameplay and how to navigate a hand of Chinese Poker.
Chinese Poker Gameplay Guide
- Dealing: The role of the “dealer” rotates clockwise among players after each hand. The dealer distributes 13 cards to each player, starting from the player on their immediate left.
- Arrangement: Each player organizes their cards into three distinct poker hands: two 5-card hands known as “the middle” and “the back,” where the goal is to form high-ranking poker hands, and one 3-card poker hand called “the front.” Notably, straights and flushes do not affect the value of the front hand.
- Placement and Exposure: Players systematically place their three hands face-down on the table, arranged one after the other. The back hand should be closest to the player (comprising the strongest 5-card hand), followed by the middle hand, and finally, the front hand (3-card hand) farthest from the player.
- Initiating Play: Players take turns declaring whether they will play their hand, starting from the player to the dealer’s left. At this point, a player might choose to “surrender,” if applicable, as mentioned earlier.
- Royalties: In the same order, players then declare their royalties. More information about this can be found in the “Scoring” section.
- Revealing Hands: Players flip their cards over, revealing their front, middle, and back hands to the table.
- Scoring: This phase determines the winning hands and involves the exchange, crediting, or tallying of units/money.
- Proceeding to the Next Hand: Once all points have been awarded for the current hand, the dealer button shifts to the left, cards are shuffled, and the subsequent hand commences.
Chinese Poker Hand Rankings
Familiarizing yourself with the conventional poker hand rankings is essential for effectively arranging your hands from strongest to weakest in Chinese Poker.
Refer to this table for a quick reminder of the different poker hand rankings, complete with illustrative examples:
- Royal Flush: 8-7-6-5-4 (all of the same suit)
- Straight Flush: 8-7-6-5-4 (all of the same suit)
- Four-of-a-Kind: A-4-4-4-4
- Full House (Boat): A-A-A-J-J (three of one, two of the other)
- Flush: A-J-8-4-2 (all of the same suit)
- Straight: 8-7-6-5-4 (of various suits)
- Three-of-a-Kind (Set/Trips): A-K-5-5-5
- Two Pair: A-A-J-J-2
- One Pair: A-A-7-4-2
- High Card: A-Q-9-6-3 (different suits, non-connected, unpaired)
As emphasized in the “Rules” section, it’s crucial to recall that if a player’s three hands all form either straights or flushes, that player automatically wins the entire hand!
Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge that for the 3-card hand, the available hand possibilities are limited. Flushes and straights are not applicable due to the limited number of cards, which prevents the formation of highly ranked hands.
Therefore, the 3-card hand can only comprise of:
Chinese Poker Scoring System
In contrast to other poker games that employ blind or ante structures for stakes, Chinese Poker employs a system of units. Units are pre-determined monetary values that players agree upon before the game commences.
Unlike traditional poker games that involve poker chips, scores are managed using a basic pen and paper setup. This negates the need for players to settle debts after every hand, as they can simply reconcile their scores at the conclusion of their gaming session.
Chinese Poker Scoring Mechanism
Concerning scoring and the distribution of units, each player collects one unit from every opponent whose hand they outperform. This procedure applies separately to the front, middle, and back hands.
To illustrate, consider the subsequent ranking order for the back hand. Next to each player’s name is the number of units they have either won or lost for that hand, along with an explanation in the section below detailing how these figures were determined:
Awarding of Points
- Player 1 accumulates units from each of the other players, as their back hand surpasses the back hands of every opponent (+3 units in total).
- Player 2 surrenders one unit to Player 1 for being defeated by them, but gathers units from Players 3 and 4 for triumphing over their hands (+1 unit overall).
- Player 3 offers one unit each to Players 1 and 2 for being defeated by them, but acquires one unit from Player 4 for emerging victorious against them (-1 unit overall).
- Player 4 presents one unit each to Players 1, 2, and 3, as their back hand is outperformed by all three opponents (-3 units overall).
This process is repeated for the middle and front hands after the back hand scoring is completed.
Additional “bonus” units can also be awarded (agreed upon beforehand) if a player triumphs in a certain combination of multiple hands (front, middle, or back) within the same round of play:
- In certain versions of the game, players gain one additional unit from each opponent if they win 2 out of the 3 hands.
- In alternate versions, this bonus unit is only granted if a player emerges victorious in all 3 hands.
Two standard game methods exist for awarding these “bonus” units. It’s important to determine and agree upon which method to employ (if any) before beginning the game:
- 1–6 method: Only if a player conquers all three hands are they bestowed with 3 bonus units from each adversary. However, no bonus points are given if a player solely triumphs in 2 out of the 3 hands.
- 2-4 method: If a player prevails in the majority of hands (either 2 or 3), they earn 1 “overall winner” bonus unit from each other player.
Especially with multiple participants, the most efficient approach to tracking scores is by recording each player’s scores against the others separately. Initiate by recording wins/losses starting from the player to the left of the dealer.
Compare their hands individually to the players on their left. Proceed with the player to their left and compare hands to the remaining uncounted players, concluding with the score between the dealer and the player 3 to their left (or immediate right) if there are 4 players.
Points of Interest Regarding Chinese Poker Scoring
- It’s worth observing how in this variant of poker, it’s possible to hold the second-best hand and still secure winnings since your hand might be superior to some of the other participants. This dynamic sets it apart from other types of high-hand poker games where only a single winner (or money-recipient) emerges from each hand (except in cases of a tie).
- Since each hand is directly compared to a specific opponent’s hand, individual units can be assigned distinct values between chosen players without influencing others at the table. For instance, a “unit” exchanged between two particular players could be valued at $50, even though all other awarded units in the game are pegged at $10. This facet adds yet another layer of distinctiveness to the gameplay when contrasted with more traditional poker formats.
Chinese Poker Strategy and Pointers
Online Chinese Poker Experience
Although not achieving the same level of popularity as Hold’em or Omaha, Chinese Poker boasts a dedicated group of enthusiasts. This variant finds its virtual home on specific online platforms, often accommodating games among 3-4 players.
For those seeking improvement, there’s a valuable resource in the form of Primedope, a free website. Here, players can receive 13 cards, rearrange them according to their preference, and subsequently receive an analysis highlighting the optimal card arrangements they could have made.
Chinese Poker presents an enthralling experience catering to both poker enthusiasts and those seeking excitement! The game offers the unique dynamics of collecting royalties, earning bonuses, outplaying friends, and accommodating diverse stakes among players in a single game. Notably, even the second-best hand in a round can bring you winnings, and the arrangement of your hands empowers you to exert some influence over your destiny. With its amalgamation of elements, Chinese Poker unquestionably delivers heaps of enjoyment for poker aficionados!