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How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker

Get an edge with these quick tips and basic strategies

Played with 13 cards, this version of Chinese Poker is the new "hottest" game in the poker community.

Open Face Chinese Poker is a variation of Chinese Poker, with a touch of the unknown. Try it out online at Tonybet Poker.

Invented in the Baltic countries in the not-too-distant past, this individual hand poker game has proven to carry enough "gamble" to pique the interest of many famous high stakes poker players.

Open Face Chinese Poker
Game ComplexityAdvanced
TypeChinese Poker

Gameplay of Open Face Chinese Poker

  • Setting Up

    Setting Up

    • Just grab a deck of cards. No blinds, no antes, no buttons needed.
    • Betting structure is on a per-point basis. Payouts occur after each hand.
  • Action


    • 3 hands (back, middle and top) are set for each player (similar to Chinese Poker).
    • The back hand has 5 cards, the middle hand has 5 cards and the top hand has 3 cards.
    • The back hand must be better than the middle hand and the middle hand must be better than the top hand.
    • If the back hand is not your strongest hand and your middle hand your second strongest, you have a fouled hand.
    • The first 5 cards are dealt to each player face down and set into any of the 3 hands.
    • Once all cards are set, each hand is revealed.
    • Each player then receives 1 card until 13 cards are in each hand. Each card is set in a hand once received.
  • Who's the Winner?

    Determining a Winner

    • Similar hands are compared to determine a winner (Back vs Back, Middle vs Middle, Top vs Top).
    • If you win 2 of 3 hands, you win 1 point. If you sweep all 3 hands, you win 6 points.
    • A fouled hand is worth 6 points to your opponent.

Hand Examples

If you are more visual than textual, take a look at some photos of Open Face Chinese Poker hand examples.

Initially Set Starting Hand

This photo shows what a hand looks like after the first 5 cards are received and set.

Initially Set Open Face Chinese Poker Hand

Completed Hand

This is what an an Open Face Chinese Poker hand looks like once all 13 cards are received. After your first 5 cards are received and set, you will receive one card at a time to set.

Final Open Face Chinese Poker Hand

Fouled Hand

This is an example of a fouled hand in Open Face Chinese Poker. Notice the middle hand is stronger than the bottom hand.

Fouled Open Face Chinese Poker Hand


When Open Face Chinese Poker is played with 'royalties', bonus points are awarded when certain hands are made. Royalties are not awarded if you foul your hand.

  • Back Hand Royalties

    Straight 2
    Flush 4
    Full House 6
    Quads 8
    Straight Flush 10
    Royal Flush 20
  • Middle Hand Royalties

    Straight 4
    Flush 8
    Full House 12
    Quads 16
    Straight Flush 20
    Royal Flush 40
  • Top Hand Royalties

    Pair of 6s 1 Point
    Pair of 7s 2
    Pair of 8s 3
    Pair of 9s 4
    Pair of 10s 5
    Pair of Jacks 6
    Pair of Queens 7
    Pair of Kings 8
    Pair of Aces 9
    Trip 2s 10
    Trip 3s 11
    Trip 4s 12
    Trip 5s 13
    Trip 6s 14
    Trip 7s 15
    Trip 8s 16
    Trip 9s 17
    Trip 10s 18
    Trip Jacks 19
    Trip Queens 20
    Trip Kings 21
    Trip Aces 22


When you have a pair of queens or better in the top hand you enter what is called "fantasyland" (think NBA Jams 'on fire!'). When in fantasyland you receive all 13 cards at once and set your hand like a normal Chinese Poker hand. Receiving all of your cards and not having to guess what's coming next is a massive advantage. Players may stay in fantasyland for multiple hands as long as queens or better are achieved in the top hand.

Basic Strategies of Open Face Chinese Poker

  • It is often correct to risk fouling your hand and go for royalty hands.
  • Once you have a royalty, be sure to not foul your hand.
  • When royalties are not possible, concentrate on not fouling your hand.
  • Watch the outs that appear in your opponents hands to determine where to place your next card.

Open Face Chinese Poker 2-7 Pineapple

OFC 2-7 Pineapple is the latest variant to be launched at Tonybet Poker. Itself a variant of regular Pineapple (learn more about that here), deuce to seven Pineapple is a lowball version with a few strategic differences.

Tonybet team pro Pedro Marte explains the rules of OFC 2-7 Pineapple in the video above.

Famous Open Face Chinese Poker Hands

  • Open Face Chinese Poker: Learn How to Play the Game

    Shaun Deeb teaches Kristy Arnett how to play Open Face Chinese.

    This Video Contains:

    1. Shaun Deeb
    2. Kristy Arnett
    3. Learn the basics of Open Face Chinese Poker
  • Open Face Chinese Poker: The First Ever Live Tournament

    The 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure hosts the first ever live tournament.

    This Video Contains:  

    1. Daniel Negreanu
    2. Victor Ramdin

Where Can I Play Open Face Chinese Poker Online?

Play OFC at Tonybet Poker.