Open-face Chinese poker (OFC) evolved from closed-face (“regular”) Chinese poker, but it is not necessary to know the rules or strategies of regular Chinese poker in order to enjoy OFC.
Like other poker games, OFC players take turns drawing cards from a single deck, trying to make the best possible hand, while their competitors do the same. Unlike other poker games, however, there are no bets placed during the rounds of play. Instead, the players agree to play “per point” and the game is scored in points, similar to card games like hearts or gin rummy.
After all card-placement rounds are complete, each player will have arranged 13 cards into three hands, called the “top,” the “middle,” and the “bottom.”
Each player’s top hand is compared to his or her opponents’ top hand, the middle to the middle, and the bottom to the bottom. A player will win or lose points, based on how his or her hand measures up.
The three hands are scored and compared as regular poker hands. The bottom and middle are regular five-card hands. The top only contains three cards, but is scored the same way, thus the best possible hand on top would be three-of-a-kind, while most top hands are high-card hands.
Since each player need 13 cards from the deck, OFC is played with a maximum of four players. Most commonly, the game is played heads-up between just two opponents.
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