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What Is Open Face Chinese Poker?

Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC) is a new and popular poker variation that has gained popularity recently and has even been seen in high-profile poker competitions. This is a skill-based game that can be played with two to three people using a set of 52-card deck.

This variant 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 2012 and has since become very popular in the high-stakes industry.

In this variation of poker, also referred to as pineapple poker, players must arrange their 13 cards into three distinct rows in order to form the best hand possible. To do this, participants must form three distinct hands: a middle hand of five cards, a bottom hand of five cards, and a top hand of three cards.

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How To Play OFC Poker?

This variant of traditional poker has gained popularity in recent years. Let’s look at the basic guide on how to play OFC Poker:

  • Setup: OFC is typically played by 2-4 players. Each player is dealt a certain number of cards from a standard 52-card deck, usually 5 cards to start.
  • Card Distribution: After the initial deal, players take turns drawing cards one at a time from the remaining deck and placing them face-up on their respective hands in one of three rows: the "bottom" (consisting of 5 cards), the "middle" (consisting of 5 cards), and the "top" (consisting of 3 cards).
  • Hand Formation: The goal is to make three poker hands out of the dealt cards, one for each row, following traditional poker hand rankings. However, there's a rule that the bottom hand must be the strongest, followed by the middle hand, and the top hand must be the weakest. Failure to maintain this order results in a "foul" and the player loses to all opponents who did not foul.
  • Scoring: Points are awarded based on the strength of the hands made in each row compared to the corresponding hands of each opponent. Points are tallied after each round.
  • Bonus Points: Bonus points can also be awarded for certain premium hands, such as making a straight flush in the bottom row, a four of a kind in the middle row, or a full house in the top row.
  • Fantasyland: If a player makes a qualifying hand of three of a kind or better in the top row without fouling, they enter "Fantasyland" on the next hand. In Fantasyland, the player is dealt all 13 cards at once, giving them a significant advantage for that hand.
  • End of Round: After all players have set their hands, players reveal their cards, and points are scored. The deal then passes to the next player clockwise, and a new hand begins.
  • End of Game: The game typically continues for a predetermined number of rounds, or until a player reaches a certain point threshold.

Face cards in a standard deck of playing cards typically refer to the Jack, Queen, and King cards in each suit. These cards often feature illustrations of historical or mythological figures and are valued higher than numbered cards in most card games.

How Does Scoring Work In OFC Poker?

In OFC Poker, scoring is based on comparing the strength of the hands formed by each player's three rows against the corresponding hands of their opponents. 

  • Illustration of three rows and their strengths

Row

Strength

Front

Three of a Kind

Middle

Full House or Higher

Back

Four of a Kind or Higher

Here’s how scoring works in OFC Poker.

  • Comparing Hands: After all players have set their hands, the bottom, middle, and top rows of each player are compared to those of their opponents.
  • Scoring Points: Points are awarded based on the outcome of each comparison. If a player has a stronger hand in a particular row than their opponent, they win points. Conversely, if their hand is weaker, they lose points to that opponent.
  • Scoring System: The specific scoring system can vary, but a common method is to award 1 point for each winning row. Bonus points may also be awarded for premium hands, such as straights, flushes, and premium combinations like a full house or four of a kind.
  • Fouls: If a player sets their hand incorrectly (e.g., placing a weaker hand in a row above a stronger one), it results in a foul. In this case, the player loses to all opponents who did not foul and must pay a penalty.

Example:

Let's say there are three players: Alice, Bob, and Carol. After setting their hands, the comparisons are made:

  • Bottom Row: Alice has a straight, Bob has three of a kind, and Carol has a flush. Alice beats Bob but loses to Carol. Bob loses to both Alice and Carol. Carol wins against both Alice and Bob. So, Carol gets 2 points (1 point each from Alice and Bob), Alice gets 1 point from Bob, and Bob gets no points.
  • Middle Row: Alice has two pairs, Bob has a flush, and Carol has a straight. Alice loses to both Bob and Carol. Bob wins against Alice but loses to Carol. Carol wins against both Alice and Bob. So, Carol gets 2 points (1 point each from Alice and Bob), Bob gets 1 point from Alice, and Alice gets no points.
  • Top Row: Alice has a pair, Bob has a straight, and Carol has three of a kind. Alice beats Bob but loses to Carol. Bob loses to both Alice and Carol. Carol wins against both Alice and Bob. So, Carol gets 2 points (1 point each from Alice and Bob), Alice gets 1 point from Bob, and Bob gets no points.

After tallying points from all rows, the scores for each player are calculated, and the game proceeds to the next hand.

Short deck poker, also known as six-plus hold'em, is a variation of traditional Texas Hold'em where cards 2 through 5 are removed from the deck. This creates a smaller deck of 36 cards and alters hand rankings due to the increased likelihood of making strong hands.

Variations In OFC Poker

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 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 play Double Deck Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker. Double Deck Open Face Chinese Poker rules are the same as those 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

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 play Double Deck Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker. Double Deck Open Face Chinese Poker rules are the same as those 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.

OFC Poker Rules

The Open Face Chinese poker rules/OFC poker rules are significantly similar to Chinese poker rules. The basic rules one must follow in the game are:

  • Ensure all the players have settled and agreed on a common point value.
  • Must follow the rule of playing in turns and not interrogate and interrupt a player while in the game.
  • Once the cards are placed, there’s no option to change them repeatedly.
  • The game commences once the dealer gives a heads-up

Additional Rules

In Open Face Chinese (OFC) Poker, Royalty Points are additional points awarded for making specific strong hands in each row (top, middle, and bottom). These hands typically include combinations like straights, flushes, full houses, and higher. Here are the basic rules for Royalty Points:

  • Royalty Points: Royalty Points are awarded for making certain premium hands. These points are added to the overall score of the hand, in addition to the regular scoring points.
  • Top Row: Typically, the top row earns 2 Royalty Points for a qualifying hand. A qualifying hand usually starts at three of a kind or higher.
  • Middle Row: The middle row usually earns 4 Royalty Points for a qualifying hand. This typically starts at a full house or higher.
  • Bottom Row: The bottom row earns the most Royalty Points, usually 6, for a qualifying hand. This generally starts at a straight or higher.

Here's a chart showing the number of Royalty Points players can earn for each poker hand they make in the top, middle, and bottom row:

Hand

Top Row

Middle Row

Bottom Row

Three of a Kind (or higher)

3

6

8

Straight

2

4

5

Flush

4

8

10

Full House

6

12

15

Four of a Kind

10

20

25

Straight Flush

0

0

20

Royal Flush

0

0

25

French face cards typically refer to the court cards (king, queen, and jack) in a standard French deck of playing cards. These cards feature elaborate designs and are usually depicted with historical or mythical figures. In a French deck, the face cards often have specific names associated with them, such as the King of Hearts being "Charles" and the Queen of Spades being "Pallas."

Open Face Chinese Poker Apps

Below is the list of best online OFC Apps available for free:

a. ABC Open Face Chinese Poker with Pineapple for iPhone, iPad and PC: The app was discovered in 2013, but the conditions applied are that you need to pay $5 to get full access.

b. Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC) for iPhone and iPad: This app was discovered in 2016 and is amazing for those with prior knowledge of OFC.

c. DH Pineapple Poker OFC for Android: It was discovered in 2017, and the thing which makes it unique is that you shall be able to play privately with your buddies using the private room feature.

d. Chinese Poker 3 – Multiplayer for Android and iPhone: This is the most recently developed app created in 2018.

e. Tonybet for Android and iPhone: a conventional website yet an appreciable market app.

f. Pokamaax for Android and iPhone: You can play on all the listed apps via this single application.

g. Poker for Android and iPhone: It is one of the most renowned apps and has captured a huge market share because of the innovation it brings with it

With this information, you can play and win in OFC Poker. Download the GetMega Poker app now to play and win!

Strategies For Success

Hand Management

One of the fundamental aspects of OFC Poker is hand management. Players must carefully consider which cards to place in each hand, aiming to maximize the strength of their bottom hand while ensuring their top and middle hands remain viable.

Positioning

Positioning plays a crucial role in OFC Poker, much like in other poker variants. Players who act later in each round have the advantage of observing their opponents' moves before making their own, allowing for more informed decision-making.

Risk Assessment

Assessing risk is paramount in OFC Poker, particularly when deciding which cards to place in each hand. Players must weigh the potential rewards of building a strong bottom hand against the risks of fouling, which occurs when their hands do not adhere to the game's hierarchy rules.

Fantasyland

Fantasyland is a coveted bonus feature in OFC Poker, earned by forming a qualifying hand in the top without fouling. Players in Fantasyland receive all 14 cards at once in the following round, providing them with a significant advantage over their opponents.

FAQ's

What is Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC)?

  • Open Face Chinese Poker is a variation of traditional Chinese Poker in which players are dealt cards face up and progressively form three distinct hands: top, middle, and bottom. The game is distinguished by its strategic complexity and lack of betting rounds.

How are cards dealt in OFC Poker?

  • In OFC Poker, each player is dealt five cards to begin. They lay these cards in one of three hands: top (3 cards), middle (5 cards), or bottom (5 cards). In subsequent rounds, players draw one card at a time and place it face up until all hands are completed.

What is the scoring system for OFC poker?

  • OFC Poker utilises a point-based scoring system. Players receive points by winning individual hands against their opponents. Scoring is determined by certain hand combinations and bonuses, including scooping (winning all three hands), royalty (special card combos), and fouls (invalid hand placements).

What is the Pineapple variant of OFC Poker?

  • Pineapple OFC Poker is a popular version in which players are handed more cards (often three) and must discard one card after the first round of drawing. This adds another dimension of strategy, as players must carefully organise their hands before discarding a card.

How does Fantasyland work in OFC poker?

  • Fantasyland is a unique element of OFC Poker. If a player achieves a good enough hand at the top without fouling, they will enter Fantasyland on their next turn. In Fantasyland, the player receives all 13 cards at once, giving them a considerable advantage for the round.

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