What is Open Face Chinese Poker and how do you play it?
Table of content:
- What is Open Face Chinese Poker?
- How to Play OFC Poker?
- How does Scoring work in OFC Poker?
- Variations in OFC Poker
OFC Poker is a variant of Chinese Poker. One of the key differences between OFC Poker and Chinese Poker is the way the hands are dealt with Chinese Poker dealers dealing all 13 cards in one go to each player, whereas, OFC Poker dealers dealing 5 cards in one go, and then the rest of the cards until all 13 cards have been dealt to all the players. OFC Poker was invented in Finland in the mid-2000s and spread like a virus in Russia, courtesy of Alex Kravchenko. This game was introduced in the United States of America in the year 2012 and has since become a very popular game in the high stakes industry.
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The game of OFC Poker is played between 2 to 4 players. Each player is dealt 13 cards and is supposed to play with three hands- Front, Middle and Back. The front hand consists of 3 cards, the middle hand consists of 5 cards and the back hand consists of 5 cards.
Among these three hands, the back hand is supposed to be stronger or should have equal strength as compared to the middle hand and middle hand is supposed to be stronger or should have equal strength as compared to the front hand. Due to the number of cards in each hand, the front card can only make hand combinations with the 3 allowed cards, whereas, the middle and the back hands can make hand combinations with the 5 allowed cards.
Due to the restricted number of cards in the first hand- 3, the best front hand is AAA, three aces. A Straight, a Flush and a Straight Flush are not considered as hand combinations in the front hand. The goal of the game is to win as many points as possible from the other players and increase the bonus points without fouling.
Fouling is a term for when an illegal hand combination is made on one of the hands. For example, Straights, Flushes and Straight Flushes are considered to be illegal hand combinations for the front hand. So, if a player makes either of these three hand combinations on his front hand, a fouling penalty is put on the player. In an event like this, the player who has fouled will lose 6 points to every non-fouling player sitting on the table. The opponents, in this case, win any royalties coming their way in addition to the 6 points they win from the fouling player. If multiple players foul, then there is a tie amongst them and no points are lost. Fouling is a very serious offence in OFC Poker and players can lose a lot of points over this.
The process of the dealing of cards in OFC Poker is very different from the process of the dealing of cards in standard Chinese poker. In standard Chinese poker, all 13 cards are dealt to the players at once. In OFC Poker, the players get dealt with only 5 cards in the beginning. The rest of the cards are dealt one by one, starting from the left of the dealer. The players can set the cards in different rows, front, middle and back at their own discretion. This process needs to happen before the game begins and once the cards are set in a particular row, the arrangement cannot be changed.
There is a special bonus award in the game of OFC Poker. This is called Fantasyland. This bonus is only awarded to players who have QQ or higher in their front hand, provided their front row hand combination does not foul. In Fantasyland, the player who achieves it gets all 13 cards dealt to them at the same time and have the option of keeping them face down on the table until it is their turn to play. A player can achieve the Fantasyland bonus while they are already in Fantasyland. To achieve this, they need to meet one or more of the Fantasyland conditions. These conditions are:
Multiple players can achieve the Fantasyland bonus in one game while playing online.
If a player is found to have a J-High in his back row hand combination, they win 20 points or units from all the other players, provided their back row hand combination does not foul. This bonus is called Shooting the moon.
In the game of OFC Poker, bets and wagers are not made with money. They are made with points or units. The monetary value of these points and units is decided before the game begins. When it comes to scoring in the game of OFC Poker, players that win a round i.e. players whose front, middle or back hand combinations are better than their opponents, get to take one unit each from their opponent. Unlike traditional poker games, in this variant, the players who come in second also win some money. Thanks to the head to head nature of OFC Poker, players can play for stakes that are comfortable for them. There doesn’t have to be a common monetary value per point or unit that every player has to abide by. For example: two players can play for Rs.100 per point or unit, whereas, two other players can play for Rs.10 per point or unit.
The 1-6 method is another way of scoring in OFC Poker involving a scoop. Winning all three hands against another player is known as the scoop. In this type of scoring, if a player will receive 1 unit for each hand they win against their opponent and 3 bonus units on top of the 3 units they already won if they win all 3 hands against their opponent. Similarly, players will lose 1 unit to every hand they lose to their opponent and 3 bonus units on top of the 3 units they already lost to the opponent if they lose all three hands.
In the game of OFC Poker, the winner’s points keep increasing and the loser’s points keep decreasing. In the case of there being more than 2 players playing the game, each player will gain a point from their opponent for winning a hand against them and, similarly, each player will lose a point to the opponent for losing a hand against them.
The bonus awarded to each player at times is also known as a royalty. These are bonus points awarded to players with exceptionally strong hand combinations. Below is the table including the hand combinations and the royalties that go with them.
OFC Poker is not just available in its standard form, but also in two other variations. These variations make the game more engaging and fun. Read about the two variants of this game below:
Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker
In this variation of OFC Poker, a maximum of only 3 players can play. 5 cards are dealt to each player. In this variant, instead of each player being dealt one card at a time, each player is dealt 3 cards at a time. The players are supposed to set 2 cards and discard 1 of the cards from their hand until 13 card combinations can be made. On the achievement of Fantasyland, the player gets 14 new cards and can discard 1 of them. The rules of Fantasyland are the same as the rules of the standard OFC Poker. For a player to stat in Fantasyland, they require either three of a kind on top or four of a kind or better on the bottom. Full house in the middle is exempted in this variant.
Double Deck Open Face Chinese Poker
In this variant, to allow more people to stay, 2 decks of cards are shuffled and stacked together to distribute. With these two decks of playing cards, shuffled, players can also opt to play Double Deck Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker. The rules for Double Deck Open Face Chinese Poker are the same as the rules for standard OFC Poker. Due to the shuffling of 2 decks together, players sometimes get 5 of a kind. This hand is given the same royalty as the Straight Flush.
With this information, you are all set to play and win in OFC Poker. Download the GetMega Poker app now to play and win!