If you are a seeker of Poker games, you can’t ignore the allure of Chinese Poker. It is quite a popular game played in Hong Kong and across several parts of Southeast Asia. An exquisite variant of the traditional Poker game, it closely resembles games such as Poker Hold’em, Stud and Omaha, especially in gameplay. It is one of the easy Poker games and can be attempted by inexperienced players with ease.
The game is played with 13 cards. These are distributed into three Poker hands. 2 hands containing five cards each and one hand with three cards. The objective is to have the highest-ranked cards for each hand compared to the fellow players’ hands.
The Rules and Payout
Chinese Poker allows up to four players to enjoy the game at the table, although 2-3 players can also play it. The game commences with players being dealt 13 cards each. Subsequently, they arrange their cards into three hand groups that make the best Poker combinations.
At this stage, if a player wants to surrender when their cards have no scope to compete against other players, they can do so while the remaining players continue playing. The other players continue their game, starting from the left.
In the game, the front hand needs to have three cards, while the middle and the backhands are required to have five cards each.
A Chinese Poker player needs to maintain this order of all the three hands to avoid a foul. The respective player will have to pay the penalty in case of a foul. The other players can decide the penalty for the player who has a foul hand which can either be monetary payment or forfeiture of the game for that round.
Then, the players start setting their cards on the game table face down. The players continuing to play will have to reveal their royalties, followed by the revelation of their cards in the following order:
– First, reveal the front hand
– Second, the middle hand
– Third, the backhand is revealed
The scoring takes place after all the hands are revealed to announce the winner of the game. A new game begins with the dealer dealing fresh cards to the players as soon as a winner is determined. At the end of every game, the dealer button- the person sitting to the right of the dealer who plays the last, keeps rotating the left of the initial dealer to allow every player a chance to deal with the cards.
Surrendering and Forfeits
When a player forfeits the game, it is referred to as surrendering. One who surrenders will have to pay a penalty which is usually higher than the amount they have lost. However, the penalty amount is lesser for a player who is playing and lost all three hands and higher than for someone who has lost two hands.
Scoop and Royalties
In the Taiwanese variant of the Chinese Poker game, when a player loses all three hands, they are known to be scooped. When a player scoops all their opponents at the table, they hit a home run.
Royalties are the bonuses that Poker players are entitled to receive upon strongly setting their three hands. Players have to declare their royalties before revealing their cards to the other players seated at the table.
Top Royalty receivers include those with the following hands:
– Royal Flush (A Straight flush with A, K, Q, J, 10)
– Straight Flush or consecutive cards of the same suit
– Four of a kind
– Full house in the middle-hand (Three of a kind+Two of a kind)
– Flush (Same Colour Cards)
– Straight (Consecutive numbers irrespective of suit)
– Three of a kind
It also rewards its players with exceptionally good cards called Naturals.
A player need not set their hands if they have Naturals.
Instances when the Naturals are awarded to players include:
Three straights, three flushes, six pairs in all three hands combined, four-three of a kind in all three hands combined, three straight flushes, when all the 13 cards are unique or when all the cards have one colour, when there are no face cards in either of the hands or when all the cards are face cards.
In Chinese Poker, players can compete with their royalties. A player with the strongest hand combination wins and can take the bonus money.
When two players have straights and flushes, the backhands are compared. In case these happen to be the same, the middle hands are compared. In the case of identical middle hands, the front hands are compared before announcing the winner.
The hands are ranked, and royalties paid are per the standard Poker rules. The highest royalties are being paid to the hand that is a Royal Flush and reducing all the way down to only one high card in a hand.
Variations of Games
Like other card games, Chinese Poker also offers a range of variations that have become popular over time. These include the Open Face Chinese Poker and the Low in the Middle Chinese Poker. The former variant invented in Finland deals with only five cards at a time, followed by the remaining eight cards, which are subsequently dealt with one by one. In this Chinese Poker variant, players have to arrange their cards initially face up and aren’t allowed to change them.
Low in the Middle Chinese Poker variant prompts the players to play the middle hand as a tie to the remaining seven low hands.
Tips to Enhance your Chinese Poker game
– Keep away from a foul as fouling can cost you, leading to losing a game too soon. Ensure that your hands and cards are set as per the game’s rules to avoid any mess up.
– Monitor your opponent’s moves. You can keep a close watch on the cards at the table to gauge the likelihood of you receiving the specific card that can complete your hand. You can also monitor the eliminated cards to calculate the potential opportunities.
– The front hand accounts for 33% of the overall points you wither win or lose. Players who can organise their front hand well can turn their losing sessions into winning ones.
– Chinese Poker involves risks and can lead to unpredictable outcomes. Consider playing low stakes or try a free trial game first before placing big real money bets.
– If you are playing the Open Face or Pineapple variant of Chinese Poker, it would be best to observe your opponent’s gameplay patterns while drawing up your strategy. Now that you are acquainted with the game’s rules, you can try a hand at Chinese Poker at MCW Philippines or any of your favourite online casinos. Playable with real money, you can find a top-rated site to enjoy exclusive bonuses and promos to increase your winning opportunities on your choicest Chinese Poker variant.