How to play OFC (Open Face Chinese Poker)
The game is usually played with all the standard 52 cards. The players in the game are dealt with thirteen hole cards, and they have to fill three cards in the front hand, five cards each in the middle hand and back hand.
The game begins with the left of the dealer, in clockwise direction. The players must also keep in mind the following:
- The back hand must be stronger or equal to the middle hand
- The middle hand must be stronger or equal to the front hand.
- The front hand should be the weakest among the other two hands.
Firstly, the dealer distributes five cards face up to each of the players. The players then have to fill the five cards in the empty boxes according to the proper order, so as to gain more points. After which, the players are then dealt three cards each face down where they get to make use of only two cards laid face up on the table and discard the other one card face down. The game continues until thirteen hands are made.
The main goal of the game is to achieve more units/points than your opponent by winning more hands/rows by collecting royalties on premium hands without fouling. Also, if you get to win more than 222+ points in your top hand, you get 17 cards in the Fantasy land, which gives you more chances of winning.
The minimum possible hand to get into fantasy land is QQ. Subsequently, the combination of KK will give you 15 cards and the combination of AA will give you 16 cards.
Fantasy land is more of a ‘bonus’ to the game. If you get to hit the Fantasy Land, you are dealt all fourteen cards at once, and you set your cards face down. This is a big disadvantage for the other players as they are dealt in normal hand without being able to see your cards.
In order to stay in the Fantasy Land one must score 10-point royalty or higher in any sub-hand.
When a player makes a wrong hand, the player will not get any points. i.e,
- If the front hand is stronger than the other two hands.
- If the back hand is weaker than the front hand or the middle hand, or both.
- If the middle hand is weaker than the front hand.
In such cases, the hand is forfeited and as a result, it is termed as dead hand/fouling. In this case, the player losses 6 points in total i.e, 1 point per row and 3 points for scoop bonus. Players who fouled can also lose additional units if the players with legal hands achieve royalties. Also, the players who fouled, loses all the royalties in his hand and no units are counted.
It is very much important for the players to keep in mind the basic rules of the game: to keep the back hand the strongest, the middle hand slightly weaker than the back hand and the front hand the weakest. Points are added to the winner and subtracted from the loser.
Rules for scoring in OFCP
The scores are calculated by comparing the hands of the players, based on row. In certain cases where both the players have the same hands, none of the players get any units.
- The player gets 1 unit/point for every hand they win.
- If the player wins 2 hands out of 3 hands, they get additional 1 point.
- If the player wins all 3 hands, also known as ‘scoop’, they get additional 6 points.
- If the player makes a combination of wrong hands, they lose 6 points.
Apart from the regular scoring, the players can also get royalties, which are given to the players for making certain combinations. The points are given as a result of the combination of the hands given below:
|Bottom Row Royalties|
|Quads (four of a kind)||10|
|Middle Row Royalties|
|Three of a kind||2|
|Quads (four of a kind)||20|
|Front Row Royalties|
|10 10 10||18|
Tips to play OFCP
Open Face Chinese Poker is a highly addictive and exciting game. In OFCP, the rules are quite different from that of Texas Hold’em. Here are some few tips on how to play Open Face Chinese Poker:
- You should always plan your potential moves from the start.
- Learn the point system and try to make stronger hands accordingly, if you want to earn more points.
- Know your position, as it plays a very important role in this game, if you get to act after your opponent, you know what you have to beat and in which hand. Evidently, as the hand develops, you’ll have an idea about what the other player is likely to have by the end of the hand even if you’re out of position.
- Keep your eyes on the blockers and see what’s out of the deck so that you don’t chase cards that are already dead.
- The most Big wins come from Fantasy Land.
- You can get great royalties with strong middle hands. But that’s because it’s so difficult to do anything better than trips or two pairs when you still have to beat that hand with your bottom hand.
- Lastly, but not the least try to avoid having better hands at the top, from the very beginning because you might end up fouling. Usually, you’re better off filling up the front row before the last draw, mainly if you don’t have a very strong hand in the middle.
Variations of OFCP:
Pineapple Open Face
In Pineapple Open Face, the game is played by two to three players. The players are dealt with five cards each, and they have to place it anywhere in the three rows. After which, they are dealt three cards at a time. In each round you keep two cards and discard the third face down. The match lasts only one hand and can be extended only if the players get to hit the Fantasy Land.
Turbo Chinese Poker
The Turbo Open Face Chinese Poker is a higher speed variant of OFC. The scoring and gameplay are the same as the regular OFC, but here, the players are dealt four cards at a time in the second and third round. Initially, the players are dealt with five cards each at the beginning of the play, just as on regular OFCP.