All About Chinese Poker
Chinese poker, sometimes referred to as Russian poker or Pusoy in the Philippines (but different from the popular Pusoy Dos), is a card game that has been played for several years not only in Asian countries but in other countries as well. It quickly became popular in other parts of the world because it has all the "exciting" characteristics of a good gambling game. Some of its features are listed below:
- Chinese poker is easy to learn. After a few minutes of instructions, one who has the knowledge of poker hand rankings can quickly follow.
- Playing the game involves a lot of luck. A new player may win the game against experienced opponents believing that victory often comes from a set of lucky cards. On the contrary, it is common for poor players not to get discouraged when they lose a game. They attribute their loss from a bad set of cards rather than their level of skill and strategy.
- Experts are continually discovering special skills in playing Chinese poker. They apply enough strategy to the game to gain significant advantage over poor players.
- Chinese poker has become more popular in casinos and online poker communities around the world and is very accessible for new players.
Where the Game Is Played
Chinese poker is now becoming popular in live casinos in the United States like Bellagio and the Wynn in Las Vegas. We find it often played as a side game in big poker tournaments. Regular stakes can be as low as $25 or go to as high as $100 per unit. Some high-stake Chinese poker players are known to play as high as $500 or $1000 per unit. Online poker software makes it even more accessible to both pros and beginners alike. Anybody can play Chinese poker online for fun or for real money.
How the Game Is Played
The game of Chinese poker is typically a four-player game; however, it also plays well with 2, 3, 5, and sometimes even more players. Each player receives a "13-card hand" from a standard 52-card deck. Individual players divide their cards into three poker hands referred to as "settings" (two containing 5 cards each called "the middle" and "the back"; and one containing 3 cards and referred to as "the front"). The "back" should be the highest-ranking hand while the "front" should appear as the lowest ranking hand. There is no value in having a front hand that contains three cards of the same suit or three consecutive cards. "Straights" or "flushes" in the front hand do not count when playing Chinese poker. Though it is easy to choose the strongest possible cards to build the back hand and use the rest of the cards for the front two hands, strategy is still involved when playing Chinese poker. When all the players have had three hands arranged and completed, each player will have to reveal his hands to his opponents. One player's back hand setting only competes against other players' back hands, and the same is true with the middle and front hands. For this reason, strategy is usually involved when building a hand.
A World Series of Poker bracelet winner said that there is a tendency to think you are very good. Pros who are good at other games often automatically think that they are good at Chinese poker, but it actually takes a lot of skill and practice.