How to play Chinese poker?

How to play Chinese poker?

Table of content:

What is Chinese poker?

Chinese poker is a variation of poker. This ultimate objective in this game is to compare hands. The player with the better hand combination wins. This game is a little different from standard poker. In Chinese poker, a player is dealt 13 cards instead of 2 or 3 or 5. This variation also has a lot of bonus points or royalties and even the player who comes in second gets a monetary compensation.

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How to play Chinese Poker?

The rules for Chinese Poker are a little different from standard poker. In this game, the dealer deals 13 cards to every Chinese poker player starting from the player sitting to their left. Due to the reason that 13 cards are dealt to every Chinese poker player, a maximum of 4 players can play this game at a given point in time. After being dealt the cards, each Chinese poker player is supposed to divide their cards in three hands, the front hand, the middle hand and the back hand. The front hand is supposed to have 3 cards and the middle and the back hands are supposed to have 5 cards each. Each of these hands needs to be made very carefully as the rules of this game indicate that the back hand needs to be the hand with the highest hand combination and the middle hand needs to be the hand with the lowest hand combination.

If a Chinese poker player does not set all of their three hands according to the rules, they have a Mis-Set Hand or a Foul. In this case, the Chinese poker player who has a mis-set hand or a foul is supposed to pay each of the other Chinese poker players a small sum of money as a monetary penalty for mis-setting their hand. Chinese Poker also allows players to decide the penalty for a player who has mis-set their cards. They can either just pay the monetary penalty or they may also forfeit the game for that round.

After this is done, the players are supposed to set their cards on the table face down and voice their decision to either continue with the game or surrender. There is a certain order that needs to be followed by every Chinese poker player who is setting down their cards, first the back hand needs to be placed in front of the Chinese poker player, followed by the middle hand and lastly, the front hand.

All three hands are supposed to be placed face down. If the players decide to continue with the game, they have to reveal their royalties and then reveal their cards. If a Chinese poker player decides to surrender, then they do not continue with the game. Just like setting the cards down had a certain order, the revelation of the cards has a certain order as well.

First, the front hand will be revealed, followed by the middle hand and lastly, the back hand is revealed. After all the hands are revealed, scoring takes place to determine the winner of the game. Once the winner is determined, a new game begins with the dealer dealing cards to the players again.

At the end of every game, the dealer button moves to the Chinese poker player to the left of the initial dealer. This rotation of the dealer button happens at the end of every game so that all the players have the dealer button at least once.

Surrendering

Surrendering is the Chinese poker version of folding a player’s cards or forfeiting a game. if a player surrenders their hand, they have to pay an amount as a penalty to the other players which is higher than the amount lost when losing 2 hands to a player but less than the amount lost when losing all 3 hands to a player.

Scoop or Home Run

This term comes up in the Taiwanese variant of Chinese poker. In a game where a player loses all of their 3 hands to a certain player, they are known to be scooped. If a player scoops all 3 of their opponents, that player is known to hit a home run.

Royalties

Royalties are bonuses awarded to players who set their three hands in such a way that all 3 hands of theirs are very strong. The players are supposed to announce their royalties before revealing their cards to every other player sitting on the Chinese poker table. The most common hands to receive these royalties are-

o   Straight Flush

o   Four of a Kind

o   Full house in the middle hand or better

o   Three of a Kind in the front hand.

There is a subset of royalties that are awarded to players who have exceptionally good cards. These royalties are called Naturals and are awarded to these players the moment they announce them and do not have to set their hand. These are:

o   Three Straights

o   Three Flushes

o   Six Pairs in all three hands combined

o   Four Three of a Kind in all three hands combined

o   Three Straight flushes

o   All 13 cards are unique, and none are repeated

o   All Cards on one color

o   No face cards in either of the hands

o   All face cards

Players compete with royalties as well. The player with the strongest Natural hand combinations wins and takes the bonus money. If 2 players have straights and flushes, then the back hands are compared. If they are the same, then the middle hands are compared. If the middle hands are identical as well, then the front hands are compared, determining the winner. Multiple players who have six pairs and are competing for each other for the bonus money are judged by the highest six pair.

The player with the highest six pair is the winner, if both the players tie, then no bonus money is given. The point structure these Chinese poker royalties are:

Front Hand

Middle Hand

Back Hand

Hand

Points

Hand

Points

Hand

Points

Three of a Kind

3

Full House

1

Four of a Kind

2

 

 

Four of a Kind

3

Straight Flush

3

 

 

Straight Flush

4

 

 

The point structure for the Natural royalties are:

Hand

Criteria

Points

Clean Dragon

All 13 cards should be unique, none should be repeated. In the Clean Dragon, all these cards should be of the same suit.

108

Dragon

All 13 cards should be unique, none should be repeated.

36

12 Royalties or All Broadways

All 13 cards should only consist of face cards and Aces.

32

Three Straight Flushes

All three hand combinations should form straight flushes.

24

Three quads

A total of 3 Four of a Kinds should be formed with one extra card.

20

All Lows or highs

All 13 cards should consist of cards with the rank or either 8 and below or 8 and higher.

12

Full-Colored

All 13 cards should be of the same color, either black or red.

10

Four Triples

A total of 4 Three of a Kinds should be formed with one extra card.

8

Six and a Half Pairs

A total of 6 pairs should be formed with one extra card.

6

Three Straights

All three hands should form the straight hand combination.

4

Three Flushes

All three hands should form the flush hand combination.

3

No Broadway Cards

There should be no face cards in the either of the hands of the player.

3

Scoring

In Chinese poker, unlike standard poker, the stakes are known as units. The monetary value of every unit is decided before the game begins by all the players. If a player wins over another player for any hand, they collect one unit from the player they won over. In this game, a player who comes second also wins money, unlike standard poker where there is only one player and no other player gets any monetary compensation. There are two types of scoring systems that come in use in Chinese poker, the 2-4 system and the 1-6 system. In the 2-4 system, a player who wins 2 out of 3 hands or all 3 hands receives one unit from the players they won over. In the event of a tie, no money is exchanged between any of the players. In the 1-6 system, a player who wins even one hand from their opponent, gets a unit from the player they won over.

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Hand Combination Ranking in Chinese Poker

There are different types for hand combination rankings for the front hand and the middle and the back hands. The reason for this is that the front hand has only 3 cards whereas the middle and the back hands have 5 cards each. The hand combinations hierarchy for the middle and the back hands-

Royal Flush-

This is the highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand combination consists of the Ace (A), the King (K), the Queen (Q), the Jack (J) and the card with the rank of 10 (10). All these cards are of the same suit.

Straight Flush-

This is the second highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards in a numerical order. All these cards are of the same suit

4 of a Kind-

This is the third highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which 4 cards are of the same rank. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

Full House-

This is the fourth highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which three cards are of the same rank, forming a three of a kind and the other two cards are of the same rank, forming a pair. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

Flush-

This is the fifth highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards of the same suit.

Straight-

This is the sixth highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards in a numerical order. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

3 of a Kind-

This is the seventh highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which three cards are of the same rank. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

Two Pair-

This is the eight highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which two different pairs are formed, leaving one card as extra. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

One Pair-

This is the ninth highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which two cards are of the same rank. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

High Card-

This is the lowest ranking hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of no significant hand combination, but a high card. This card may by anything but needs to be the highest ranking card in the hand. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

Hand combination hierarchy for the front hand are:

Three of a kind-

This is the seventh highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which three cards are of the same rank. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

One Pair-

This is the ninth highest hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of 5 cards out of which two cards are of the same rank. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

High Card-

This is the lowest ranking hand combination in Chinese poker. This hand consists of no significant hand combination, but a high card. This card may by anything but needs to be the highest ranking card in the hand. The suit does not matter in this hand combination.

Variations in Chinese Poker

Like every other card game, even Chinese poker has a lot of variations. These variations are invented in different places, adapting the needs and wants of their people. Some of the most famous variations of Chinese poker are:

·         Open Face Chinese Poker- This variation of Chinese poker was invented in Finland. In this variation of Chinese poker, instead of the dealer dealing all 13 cards at the same time to all the players, 5 cards are dealt at the same time followed by the remaining 8 which are dealt one by one. The players are supposed to arrange their cards face up in the beginning. This arrangement cannot be changed again.

·         Low in the middle- In this variation of Chinese poker, the players are supposed to play the middle hand as a deuce to seven low hands.

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