Texas Hold’em or Omaha poker are the most popular variants of poker worldwide. However, there is a new variant in the market open to all poker players who are willing to try something new and exciting. Open Face Chinese poker (OFC), a thrilling variant of Chinese poker that was first sighted in Finland some ten years ago is rapidly gaining popularity and joining the club of online poker.
Interesting game rules, intriguing gameplay, and exciting scoring systems that are variably different from all regular poker games, OFC poker is a breath of fresh air that doesn’t involve betting, rather quick thinking skills in order to become the winner.
Let’s surf through the basics of this game and find some games for this variant today.
Overview of the game
Also known as Pineapple poker, you play Open Face Chinese Poker with a standard 52 card deck with 2-3 players. You can play this variant usually in a sit n go format or cash games. Like all other poker games, you need to invest a certain buy-in. In this new poker variant, players play a certain number of hands in each round and scores reset after the rounds are completed and you can play again. Unlike Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, Open-face Chinese poker is played without chips as it is a complete point-based game.
OFC Poker Rules
All players are dealt with 14 cards out of which one is to be discarded and the remaining 13 needs to be arranged in three rows- top, middle and bottom. As mentioned earlier, you receive points for each row and your overall score is compared to your opponents as per the strength of your hands. The one with maximum points wins the game.
The top row consists of 3 cards and the middle and the bottom pairs need to be arranged with 5 cards each. Hence, you make 5+5+3 which adds up to a total of 13 cards. OFC poker also follows the same hand rankings of poker that’s applicable to all other variants of the game. Here are the primary OFC poker rules.
- The bottom row hand has to be the strongest of all rows
- The middle row hand has to be stronger than the top row.
- The top row is the weakest of both the middle and bottom rows.
If you don’t follow these OFC poker rules, your hand will be declared as a dead hand. So, you end up collecting zero points and also lose your money to your opponents. Please note that in OFC poker, chances of drawing a dead hand are quite likely since you don’t get to see all the 13 cards at once.
When you play Open Face Chinese poker, each row is compared to your opponent’s similar row and your scores are calculated based on the total points received by each player. Each row is worth one point and here’s how you get scored.
- Scoop bonus- If you beat your opponent in all three rows, you get 6 points, also known as a scoop bonus.
- If you beat your opponent in 2 out of 3 rows, you will get 1 point.
- If you lose in 2 out of 3 rows, you will score minus 1 point.
- If you lose in all three rows, you will get minus 6 points.
Players also receive a Royalty bonus for making big hands in all rows. For eg: if you make a flush in the middle row, you get 8 points, and in the bottom row, 4 points. However, if both players make a flush in the same row, the one with a higher flush gets one point and no Royalty points are awarded to anyone. These points are compared in the total score and the player with the maximum points wins.
Fantasy Land is the place to be when you play Open Face Chinese poker. You enter Fantasy Land if you hit a pair of Queens or better in the top row without a foul. If that happens, you get to see all 13 cards and can form your best 13 card hand at once. Your opponent will unfortunately have to stick to the regular format of the game and hence loses the edge!
Also, to continue to be in a fantasy land in the next rounds, you have to score quads or better in the bottom row or trips in the top row. So, there’s no limit to the number of fantasy lands you could enter when you play Open Face Chinese poker.
That’s all there is to know in OFC poker rules and gameplay. Are you ready for some action then? Frankly, there aren’t too many poker sites in India that offer this variant online due to its complicated software. However, we know a poker site that not just offers the game plain and square but also offers three exciting formats!
Play Three Variants of Open Face Chinese Poker on PokerBaazi
You heard that right, folks! Fans of poker can now play Open Face Chinese poker on PokerBaazi in three thrilling variants, regular, progressive, and ultimate. In each variant, a different number of cards are dealt with in the game with distinct criteria of forming hands to enter fantasy land. It’s time to ramp up the excitement, enjoy some new found competition, and bring some bold moves to the tables of OFC. The online poker site also runs various promotions on all poker variants of the game so that players can earn maximum rewards and cash prizes on the tables.
Remember, OFC poker is still relatively a new variant and as such, the competition isn’t that steep. So, if you wish to play and ace this variant, the time is now before the felts get too crowded. With that being said, we conclude that you continue to expand your knowledge and keep learning and playing poker every day.