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Chinese Poker

In terms of gameplay, Chinese Poker is a unique poker variant that differs significantly from other, more prevalent varieties of poker (such as Hold’em, Omaha, or Stud). However, as long as you’re familiar with the typical poker hand rankings, you should be able to handle this intriguing twist of a game just fine!

The Basics of Chinese Poker: Rules and Gameplay

In a nutshell, players must divide their 13 poker beginning cards (yep, 13!) into three poker hands: hands with 5 cards and one hand with 3 cards. For each hand, players try to build the best/highest-ranked holdings (in comparison to how other players have structured their holdings).

Luck vs Skill in Chinese Poker: Finding the Right Balance

Because of the amount of luck involved and you have complete control over how you arrange your cards into various hands, this game is highly thrilling and exciting, even for beginner players.

As a result, you may – to some part – choose your fate in this poker variant by determining the best order in which to arrange your cards!

So, in the end, you don’t need to be a seasoned pro to succeed in this game but make sure you know your poker hand rankings first!

Regulations of Chinese Poker in Poker Games Online

Automatic Win

It is crucial to note that a player who manages to create three flushes or straights in their three hands automatically wins the entire hand, regardless of the other players’ holdings, and receives 3 units from each player who has yet to surrender.


This is an optional regulation that players should agree upon before the game commences. It involves a player deciding to pay a fixed amount, usually between the amount they would lose if they lost 2-3 hands, instead of playing their hand against the other players. Fortunately, they are not required to pay royalties if any are due for that round.>

Mis-Set Hand/Foul

If a player incorrectly arranges their cards in poker games, such as by mixing up the middle and back holdings in terms of hand strength or not having their 5-card hands be of higher value than their 3-card hands, they must pay each player the same amount as if they had lost all three hands to all other players. However, if a player lays their hand incorrectly, they don’t have to pay someone who has resigned. Players should determine beforehand whether the mis-set player will be required to play their hands as usual and score them appropriately or forfeit their writing and pay a penalty of 3 units to each player.

To better understand the rules, let’s move on to the next section, which discusses gameplay and how to play a hand with Chinese Poker.

How to Play Poker – Chinese Poker and Variants

1. Dealing

After each hand, the “dealer” (who rotates clockwise from one player to the next) deals 13 cards to each player, beginning with the person to his left.>

2. Setting:

Each player divides their cards into the three poker hands described above two 5-card hands (“the middle” and “the back”) in which they attempt to produce the highest-ranking poker hands, and one 3-card poker hand (“the front”) in which straights and flushes are ignored.

NOTE: “The back” has to be the best of the three poker hands.

Even if it’s a three-of-a-kind, “the front” must be placed at the front, and the middle and rear hands must have higher values than the three-of-a-kind. Penalties may be imposed if this does not happen.

3. Placing/Exposing Hands

Players then line up their three hands face-down, one in front of the other, on the table in a logical order. The rear hand (strongest hand, 5 cards) should be closest to them, followed by the center in front of that, and finally, the front (3-card-hand), which should be lined up furthest away from the player.

4. Are You Playing Your Hand?

Starting with the person to the dealer’s left, each player announces whether or not they will play their hand.

5. Royalties:

Following that, the players announce their royalties in the same sequence.

6. Revealing of Hands

Players expose their front, middle, and backhands to the table by turning their cards face up.

7. Scoring

The winning hands in poker games online are chosen, and units/monies are exchanged, credited, and counted in this section.

8. Next Hand

The dealer button is moved one space to the left after the hand is finished, the cards are shuffled, and the following hand begins.

Chinese Poker Hands

As previously stated, knowing the standard poker hand rankings is essential to organize your hands from strongest to weakest properly.>

Here’s a chart to remind you of the various poker hand rankings, along with examples:

  1. Royal Flush: 8-7-6-5-4 (all of the same suit)
  2. Straight Flush: 8-7-6-5-4 (all of the same suit)
  3. Four-of-a-Kind: A-4-4-4-4
  4. Full House (Boat): A-A-A-J-J (three of one, two of the other)
  5. Flush: A-J-8-4-2 (all of the same suit)
  6. Straight: 8-7-6-5-4 (of various suits)
  7. Three-of-a-Kind (Set/Trips): A-K-5-5-5
  8. Two Pair: A-A-J-J-2
  9. One Pair: A-A-7-4-2
  10. High Card: A-Q-9-6-3 (different suits, non-connected, unpaired)

All about Rule in Chinese Poker

To clarify what was stated in the “Rule” section, it is critical to note that if a player’s three hands are all straight or all flushes, that player automatically wins the hand! In addition, the hand options for the 3-card hand should be mentioned in this section. They don’t count flushes and straights, and they need more cards to produce very high-ranking hands. As a result, the three-card poker hand can either:

  • Three-of-a-kind
  • One-pair (with a kicker) or
  • A high-card hand.

Scoring in Chinese Poker

Units are the stakes in Chinese poker: a set amount of money agreed upon before the game begins. According to basic scoring regulations, a player receives one unit from each opponent whose front, middle, or backhand is beaten by their own. As a result, unlike other poker games, coming in second place at the table is sufficient to win money. In some variations, if a player wins two or three hands, they are paid an additional unit. Players in other variations only gain an extra unit if they win all three hands (known as a scoop). Furthermore, because the comparisons are head-to-head, it is feasible for different players to play for various stakes.

Scoring Systems in Chinese Poker: 2-4 vs 1-6

The 2–4 scoring method and the 1–6 scoring method are the two most popular scoring systems in Chinese poker.

The player earns one unit for each of the three hands they win in the 2–4 system, and one unit called the overall unit is handed to the player who wins two or all of the three hands when you play poker online. If one of the hands is tied, no money is exchanged for that hand. If a player wins the remaining two hands, they receive three units (1 for each hand, and 1 overall). No units are traded if they each win one hand (each wins 1 unit, and there is no overall).

In the 1–6 method, the player receives 1 unit for each of the three hands they win, and 3 bonus units (on top of the three for the hands) if they win all three hands.

Chinese Poker Strategy and Tips

1. Be Sure Not to Foul

Fouling (or “mids-setting,” as we originally phrased it) is a costly mistake that can cost you a game and build up quickly, especially in the basic form of Chinese Poker. Make sure your cards are in the appropriate positions and that you don’t make any mistakes!

2. Note Your Opponents’ Face-Up Cards (In Open-Face)

Seeing the other cards on the table can help you determine which cards are still in the deck and how likely you’ll acquire the specific card you need to complete your hand. Pay attention to the cards that have been removed to assess your outs and odds better.

3. Don’t Treat Your Front Hand Like a Discard Pile

In each round, the front hand still accounts for 33% of the total points you’ll score (win or lose). As a result, don’t focus solely on developing powerful hands in the rear and centre hands while neglecting the smallest of the three hands. If you keep focused on how you can arrange your cards the best all-around, especially in your front hand, it can help you turn your losing sessions into winning ones.

4. Play Small Stakes:

Play smaller stakes than you think you’d feel comfortable with because of the variance and swings associated with Chinese Poker. Especially when royalties are factored in; consider how much money you could lose if someone binks that royal flush, regardless of how expertly or wonderfully you play or arrange your cards from round to round! >

5. Consider any notable opponent’s tendencies when formulating your overall strategy:

If you’re a player who’s always trying to make that more-often-than-likely-to-make-hand, then you should play it safe. Allow your opponent to burn himself to oblivion by either fouling or never being able to make moderately strong hands because they’re continually going for absurdly high-ranked cards.

FAQs on Chinese Poker

How many cards do you start with in Chinese poker?

13 cards

In Chinese Poker, each player is dealt 13 cards. Three cards must be placed in front, five in the middle, and five in the back of the hand. In poker ranking, the rear hand must beat or equal the middle five cards, and the middle five must beat the front three.

How do you win in Chinese poker?

Chinese poker strategy tips:

  • Make sure your poker hand is good.
  • Put less emphasis on one row over the others.
  • Remember about the top row.
  • Remember to take a peek at your opponents’ cards as well.
  • Feel free to go to Fantasyland.

What are 13 unique identical suits in Chinese poker?

You will receive 13 points if you collect 13 different cards. When you acquire 13 identical cards of the same suit, you will receive points, which are the most in the game, and you will win poker.

Is Pusoy a Chinese Poker?

In the US, it is commonly referred to as Chinese Poker or Russian Poker; however, some individuals also use the term Chinese Poker to refer to the climbing game Big Two. It’s known as Pepito in Hawaii. It is known as Pusoy in the Philippines, not to be confused with Pusoy Dos, the Big Two.