In Open Face Chinese Poker each player receives 13 cards and needs to arrange these cards into 3 different poker hands.
The hand “Bottom” hand should be a 5 card poker hand and should be the strongest of your 3 hands.
The “Middle” hand should also be a 5 card poker hand and should be weaker than your “Bottom” hand.
The “Top” hand should be a 3-card poker hand and should be the weakest of the 3 hands.
Rules of Open Face Chinese Poker
Hand Ranking for OFC
The ranking for the 5 card hands is the same as for regular poker. Namely the ranks from lowest to highest are: High card, Pair, 2 Pair, Trips, Straight, Flush, Full House, Straight Flush, Royal Flush.
The ranking for the 3 card hand is simply: High Card, Pair, Trips. In other words with the 3 card hand you can’t play things like straights and flushes as they are too easy to make. The best hand is AAA.
Ordering these hands correctly in descending strength (bottom to top) is a crucial part of the game of Chinese Poker. For example if you put trips as your “Top” hand and just 2-pair as your “Middle” hand, then your entire 3 hands will be declared dead. In other words the overall hand is said to be “FOULED” or “MISSET”.
The game can be played with 2, 3, or 4 players and is played using a points system. You also use a dealers button similar to other poker games.
Cards get dealt out starting with the player on the dealer’s left. At the first stage each player places their first 5 cards. Once these cards are placed then you cannot rearrange them at a later point so be careful with where you put them.
After this stage the players receive a single card at a time and must decide in which of the 3 hands to place the card. Again remember that it cannot be moved once you decide, so try to be clear in your mind what you’re aiming for in each hand, and constantly revise this as more cards are placed down.
When it gets down to the final few cards is where the real excitement starts, because you are often sweating draws, or sweating the possibilty of fouling your hand.
Scoring Points in Open-Faced Chinese
The scoring in Open-Faced Chinese is done part on winning one or more of the 3 hands, and part on a Royalty system for good hands. You receive 1 point for beating your oppenent’s corresponding hand (eg Bottom hand vs Bottom hand), and a 3 point bonus for scooping (winning all 3). Sometimes this is also refered to as sweeping. So if you win 2 hands and lose 1 you net gain is 1 point. But if you win all 3 (or lose all 3) then your net gain (or loss) is 6 points.
Of crucial importance you don’t receive any points at all if you foul your hand, but you still must pay out all points to other valid hands, including all Royalties.
After a round is completed all the scores are combined and we move on to the next round.
Official Standard Royalties:
Points for Bottom hands:
20 for a Royal Flush
10 for Straight Flush
8 for Quads
6 for a Full House
4 for a Flush
2 for a Straight
Points for Middle hands:
40 for Royal Flush
20 for Straight Flush
16 for Quads
12 for a Full House
8 for a Flush
4 for a Straight
2 for Three of a Kind
Points for Top hands (the 3 card hand):
Any three of a Kind: 20 points
Pair of Aces: 9 points
Pair of Kings: 8 points
Pair of Queens: 7 points
Pair of Jacks: 6 points
Pair of Tens: 5 points
Pair of Nines: 4 points
Pair of Eights: 3 points
Pair of Sevens: 2 points
Paid of Sixes: 1 point