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The Simple Game of Chinese Poker

There are many different games that can be played with an ordinary deck of cards but probably the more enjoyable one is the Southeast Asian variant of poker called Chinese poker because it is easier to learn and less complicated compared to other versions like the Texas Hold 'em. In the U.S., this is sometimes known as Russian poker. Throughout its history, it has caught the attention of many people because of the engaging characteristic and simplicity of the game. People who are interested to learn Chinese poker becomes more excited when they learn that a beginner can have as much chances of winning against a pro because one needs as much luck as skills to win the game. Another attractive characteristic of this poker game is that it consists of three rounds where wins and losses are made in each round. To top that off, those who are fond of games involving analyses and strategies would love Chinese poker game because it also employs strategy. With your lucky cards and a bit of strategy, you will definitely enjoy figuring out the ins and outs all through the whole game. Chinese poker will have slightly different variations because of the add-on rules the players agree on but the basic mechanics will always remain the same. Here are the basic mechanics of Chinese Poker:

Chinese poker

  • Only two to four players can join the game.
  • The deck of 52 cards is distributed to each player. Each player must receive 13 cards each. This is actually the reason for the first rule. There are only four sets of 13 in the common card deck.
  • The 13 cards must be divided into three groups called poker hands. Two poker hands will have five cards each and the third will have three. The first poker hand is called the back, the next is called the middle, and the group of three cards is called the front.s
  • The front hand must always have the least strength among the three poker hands. The strength of the poker hands will depend on how the cards are arranged like for example a full house wins against a flush.
  • Once the player is done arranging his or her cards, each poker hand is placed down on the table face down. First round then begins by announcing the bottom hand first.
  • Stakes are always made before starting. In Chinese poker, a stake is called a unit.
  • Comparisons are made based on the strength of the poker hands presented by each player. The player with a lower strength of poker hands pays one unit to the player or players whose poker hands are stronger. Take note, a poker hand that loses against that of one player may still actually win over another player's.
  • This process is repeated two times over until the last of the fronts has been dealt. An example of an add-on rule is when all players agree to pay an extra unit to the player who has two out of three or three out of three winning hands.

Those are just the basics of Chinese poker. Although it may seem very complicated at the beginning, you will find it is actually just a simple and enjoyable game of luck and skill.