You won’t find it spread at too many casinos but for a fun, action packed and highly entertaining game to play with your friends it’s hard to beat Chinese Poker.
This simple, easy to learn game has long been popular across Asia but is also a favorite side game among poker players and gamblers in the West who aren’t afraid to splash the cash and love the fact that it moves along quickly.
It is also a game that relies somewhat on the luck of the draw, so even if you are new to the game there is no reason you can’t do well against more experienced players. The only requirement is a basic knowledge of poker hand rankings.
So how does it work? Chinese Poker can be played by two, three or four players with each player being dealt 13 cards from a standard 52 card deck. Each player then sorts their cards into three poker hands based on hand rankings – the “back” hand which is a five-card hand and should be the strongest possible hand you can make, the “middle” hand which is another five card hand and the “front” hand which is a three card hand. Straights and flushes don’t count in the front hand unless you can make a straight or flush with all three hands in which case you automatically scoop the pot.
Betting is based on prior agreed units – each unit could be any amount from $1 to $1,000 or even more if you’ve got plenty of money – and the general rule is that the winning player of each of the three hands collects one unit from each opponent. For example, let’s say there are four players and Player A has the best back hand and the best front hand, but Player C has the best middle hand. Player A would therefore collect two units from each opponent for winning two hands for a total of six units, and Player C would collect one unit from each opponent for winning the middle hand.
The end result of this would be Player A being up five units, Player C being up one unit and Players B and D both down three units. Of course, there are variations that can be thrown in to the scoring but that’s a whole other story.
Next time you feel like a game of cards but want to ensure plenty of action, why not try Chinese Poker? You won’t be disappointed!