Chinese Poker Explained – What’s the Best Way to Play It?


Posted: November 24, 2020

Updated: November 24, 2020

  • Decide on the version you want to play first
  • Try to keep your opponents confused
  • Know how to split your hands right
  • Practice before you start playing for real money

If you never played Chinese poker, here is our Chinese poker explained guide for you!

Unlike other poker games, Chinese poker is not much similar to other poker variations that are more common at online casinos in China. That mostly refers to the way you play it. Nevertheless, if you have a basic understanding of how to play poker, you will finely manage to play Chinese poker as well. Especially, if you also have some poker winning tips in your gambling arsenal. 

What is great about Chinese poker – it can be a lot of fun and excitement for both expert players and newbies in gambling. 

The game can be a great tester of how lucky you are which is actually the reason that makes it exciting. But in the end, it’s poker – you will need to analyze the game as well if you want to win.

In a nutshell, you do not necessarily need to have a lot of practice in the game, thus, just enjoy it! And make sure you are familiar with poker hand rankings before you start. 

Chinese Poker Explained –Open Face vs. Standard Version

Now we will talk about the two variations of Chinese poker – Open Face vs Standard Chinese poker. Though in this Chinese poker explained guide we will mainly focus on the Standard version, we’ll talk about the Open Face version a bit as well. The number of cards you get at the start of the game defines the type of Chinese poker. 

In the Standard version of the game, you are dealing with 13 cards while in an Open Face you only have 5 cards. Thus, in the Standard version, 13 cards are all dealt at once, while in an Open Face version only 5 cards are dealt at the beginning. The cards in an Open Face are faced up and every player is later dealt with cards one after another. The next set the cards in a row and get the next card then. The game goes in this manner until all players have 13 cards.     

How to Play?

Just as we said, this Chinese Poker explained guide will focus on the standard version of the game. 

So, the maximum number of players can be 4. Though it’s the most common form, you are free to play 2 or 3 people as well. There are no restrictions over that. 

Once the players have their cards, they can choose whether to “surrender” or to keep on playing with their hands. The players who stayed in a game then start revealing their hands in a clockwise direction. After, the scoring starts.

Shortly, after the players get their 13 cards, they need to split them up into three hands. 2 hands having 5 cards each and 1 hand with 3 cards. It’s important to make the highest holdings for each hand to win. 

Chinese poker explained
Are you ready?

Chinese Poker Strategies

Any poker game requires a strategy to be more successful in a game, so does Chinese Poker. So, let’s view the Chinese Poker strategies that can help you win. 

Math can be the solution. Poker is always a game of skill, thus, you can think of the best strategy to play and win by calculations. If you calculate all the potential hand variations that your opponents might have, you can then find the hand that keeps the higher score. 

Think of the opponent’s hand. You can think of the hand that your opponent might have preferred and then benefit from that knowledge.

Be attentive to the mistakes in a game.  You might not be surprised, but people still manage to make mistakes in a game even if their hand is in the correct order. Be attentive and try not to make mistakes as your opponent gets the scores from you. That might heavily affect the final result of the game. 

Place the pairs right. As you are playing with 13 cards, the chance of getting 4 pairs is very high. Thus, it will be better for you to place the 2nd best pair of yours in the top. Then, your 2 bottom pairs are better to place in the bottom and the best should be in the middle. This is one of the best variations to scoop all three. 

Split. Let’s say you have a flush with two pairs. If it happens so, you should decide how to place those 2 pairs. Most Chinese Poker explained guides will tell you that it’s better to split them. That’s because if you have a strong pair at the top and 2 relatively weaker pairs in the middle hand may be risky. You can eventually lose both hands. 

Chinese poker explained
Good luck!

Chinese Poker Tips

Confuse the players. Any Poker just as this Chinese Poker explained guide will suggest you try to keep your opponents confused. It’s better when they cannot guess what you are. For this, try to alter your play occasionally. 

Make notes about opponents. It’s always better to take notes of the game when you are playing poker. You cannot memorize every small detail about the way the opponents play, therefore, notes can greatly help you. When you are playing at any of the online gambling sites in China make notes so that you can refer to them later. The world is tiny and you can play against these opponents next. Thus, if you have notes about them, it will be easier for you to beat them in the next plays. 

Play free versions to learn the game better. It’s always better to get some practice before you rush into a real-money game. Many gambling sites, including Omni Slots, offer great online gambling bonuses in China

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