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A Comprehensive Guide to Chinese Poker

Guide to Chinese Poker

A Comprehensive Guide to Poker can help people learn how to play a card game called Chinese Poker. You can play this entertaining game with loved ones and pals. This post explains all the rules and strategies in a way that’s easy to understand, making it perfect for beginners. So, if you want to have a great time playing cards and want to learn, this guide is an ideal place to start!

Understanding the Basics of Chinese Poker

Understanding the Basics of Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker is a card game that’s different from traditional Poker. 2-4 players usually play it, and the goal is to form three poker hands out of your 13 cards: pair five-card hands and one three-card hand.

Here are the key points:

Dealing: Each player gets 13 cards from a standard 52-card deck.

Setting Hands: You need to place your cards into three hands:

  • The “Back” hand: 5 cards, which should be the highest-ranking hand.
  • The “Middle” hand: 5 cards, which should be lower in rank than the Backhand.
  • The “Front” hand: 3 cards, the lowest-ranking hand.

Scoring: The goal is to win points from your opponents. You score points based on hand rankings. For example, if your Backhand is more potent than your opponent’s, you win points. The same goes for the Middle and Front hands.

Winning the Round: To win the round, you need to beat your opponents in at least two out of the three hands. If you win all three, it’s called a “scoop” and earns you extra points.

Royalties: You can earn extra points for unique hands, like flushes, straights, or pairs. These are called royalties.

Fantasyland: If you have a firm Front hand, you can go to “Fantasyland” in the next round, where you get all 13 cards simultaneously. It is a significant advantage.

Winning the Game: Chinese Poker is often completed in rounds, with the winner being the person with the highest points at the agreed-upon rounds who wins the game.

How to Set Up a Chinese Poker Game

How to Set Up a Chinese Poker Game

Setting up a Chinese Poker game is relatively simple. Here are the steps in easy-to-understand words:

  • Gather Players: You’ll need at least two players, but Chinese Poker can accommodate more. Ensure everyone knows the basic rules.
  • Deck of Cards: Use a standard 52-card deck. Remove any Jokers.
  • Card Ranking: Understand the hand rankings: High Card, Straight, Flush, Full House, Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind, A quartet, a straight flush, and Royal Flush.
  • Initial Deal: Each player receives 13 cards face down.
  • Setting Hands: Players arrange their cards into three separate hands – two containing five cards each (known as “the middle” and “the front”) and one with three cards (known as “the back”). The back hand must be the weakest.
  • Comparison: Compare your hands with your opponents’. The goal is to have stronger hands in the middle, front, and back than your opponents.
  • Scoring: Assign points for the strength of each hand. A typical scoring method is 1 point for each hand won and bonuses for unique hands like Flushes or better.
  • Winning: After all players have set their hands, compare hands and award points. The player with the most points wins.
  • Payment: Players can agree on the payment system before the game. Commonly, players settle debts based on points or use chips for betting.
  • Next Round: Shuffle and deal again for the next round. Continue until you decide to end the game.

Scoring in Chinese Poker

Scoring in Chinese Poker

After all players have arranged their cards, they reveal their hands. Points are given according to the contrast of hands with opponents. Here’s how points are typically scored:

  • Winning All Three Hands (Scoop): If a player wins all three hands against an opponent, they achieve a bonus point called a scoop.
  • Winning Two Out of Three Hands: If a player wins two out of three hands against an opponent, they score one point.
  • Winning All Three Hands Against Two Opponents (Dragon): If a player wins all three hands against both opponents, they score two bonus points.
  • Fouled Hand: If a player’s hands are not correctly ranked (e.g., the top hand is stronger than the middle hand), they degrade, and their opponent(s) scores one point.
  • No Winner: If all three hands are of equal strength, no points are awarded.

Chinese Poker Variations to Explore

Chinese Poker Variations to Explore

Open-Face Chinese Poker (OFCP)

In OFCP, players receive cards face up and must arrange them into three hands: a 5-card “back” hand, a 5-card “middle” hand, and a 3-card “front” hand. The goal is to create the best possible hands while following specific rules for card placement.

Pineapple Chinese Poker

Pineapple Chinese Poker is similar to OFCP but with a twist. Players receive three cards at a time and must discard one to create their hands. It gives the game a more strategic and unpredictable element.

Crazy Pineapple Chinese Poker

This variation is a combination of Pineapple and traditional Chinese Poker. Players receive three cards, discard one, and create three hands. The “crazy” part is that the discarded cards face up, allowing opponents to see them.

Turbo Chinese Poker

Turbo Chinese Poker is a faster-paced version. Players receive all their cards at once and must quickly arrange their hands. This variation is often played for several rounds, and the player with the best overall hands wins.

Russian Chinese Poker

In this variation, players are dealt 13 cards at once, and they must arrange them into three hands. The rules are similar to regular Chinese Poker. Russian Chinese Poker is known for its strategic depth.

Six-Plus Chinese Poker

Six-Plus, also known as Short Deck Poker, uses a reduced deck with cards 2 to 5 removed. It creates a more action-packed game with stronger hands.

Double-Hand Chinese Poker

In Double-Hand Chinese Poker, players receive 13 cards and must create two separate hands: a 5-card high hand and an 8-card low hand. The soft hand must be stronger than the high hand, following specific rules.

Strategies for Winning at Chinese Poker

Strategies for Winning at Chinese Poker

Here are some basic strategies to improve your chances of winning:

Starting Hands

Begin with a strong hand, preferably with an excellent top row (the highest-ranking hand). It gives you an advantage right from the start.

Balance Your Hands

Balance the strength of your top, middle, and bottom hands. Focus only on some of your strong cards in one row; distribute them strategically.

Keep an Eye on Opponents

Pay attention to the cards your opponents play. It can help you decide which cards to place in your rows.

Aim for Royalties

Royalties are particular bonus points for solid hands (e.g., straight flush, four-of-a-kind). Set up your rows in a way that can earn you royalties.

Don’t Foul

 A foul occurs when one of your rows is stronger than the row above it. Avoid fouling, as it results in a significant penalty.

Defend Against Fouls

Be mindful of your own rows’ strength to avoid fouling, but also try to set up your cards so that your opponents are more likely to foul.

Position Matters

The order in which you set your rows is crucial. The top row is dealt first, followed by the middle and bottom. Plan your rows accordingly.

Don’t Rush

Take your time to plan each move. Rushing can lead to mistakes and fouls.

Adapt to Opponents

Adjust your strategy based on the skill level and tendencies of your opponents. More aggressive players may require a different approach than more conservative ones.

Practice and Learn

The more you play Chinese Poker, the better you’ll become. Over time, hone your tactics and learn from your blunders.


Thirteen cards are dealt to each player to set up the game. There might be variations, but this is the typical configuration.

Yes, there are unique combinations like the “Royalties” and “Fantasyland” rules that can significantly affect gameplay and scoring.

Yes, there are many online platforms and mobile apps that offer Chinese Poker games for players to enjoy.

Popular variations include Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC) and Pineapple Chinese Poker, each with its unique rules and scoring systems.

Chinese Poker is primarily skill-based, as players must make strategic decisions in arranging their hands and managing their cards.


In conclusion, if you’re looking to learn about Chinese Poker and have some fun, the Dafawin casino website is a great place to start. They offer a variety of games and a user-friendly experience, making it easy for beginners to get in on the action. So, give it a try and enjoy the exciting world of Chinese Poker at Dafawin today!

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