Poker Corner: online Poker Rules, News, Learning Poker Corner: online Poker Rules, News, Learning

Chinese Poker

Chinese poker is a little different from the other poker games you're probably used to playing. It's still based on the ranking poker hands, but instead of a pot you're playing for points that are worth cash, and you have three hands to contend with. It can be played by 2 to 4 players, and ' as always ' the objective is to have a higher hand than your opponents.

Each player is dealt 13 cards, which are then divided into three different poker-based hands: two five-card hands and one three-card hand. These are known as the Front, Middle, and Back hands, which are then played against your opponents' hands. There no hard and fast rules about how your hands must be organized, except that the Front hand must be the lowest of the three and the Back hand the highest. The sticky part here is that, since the Front hand can use only three cards it can't make a true flush or a straight poker hand, so you have to go for pairs and trips.

Once the hands are all organized you add up the points as compared to your opponents'. This is where things start to get a little tricky: in a four-player Chinese poker game, for example, player 1 compares their hands to the hands of player 2, player 3 and player 4; then player 2 compares their hands to player 3 and player 4; and then player 3 compares their hands to player 4's hands. The winner of each individual comparison wins a certain number of points.

Depending on the scoring system used (1-4, 2-4, or 1-6), differing amounts of points are awarded. We'll use 2-4 scoring as an example, since it's the most common type. If one player beats another player by two out of the three hands, they win 2 points; if they win all three of the hands, the win 4 points. The player with the highest back hand wins an additional point; the highest middle hand wins an additional point, and the same goes for the front hand. The player with the highest total points wins another 'Overall' point. If there are any bonus points to be added, these are done too. Bonus points are usually given out for exceptional hands (for example, if a player has a three of a kind in the Front hand that's three bonus points; a straight flush in the Middle and Back hands are worth four points).

If you don't think you're going to win anything, players do have the option to surrender their hands and pay the other players penalty points, which amount to 2 points each in a 2-4 game and 3 points in a 1-6 game.

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