Open Face Chinese Poker Online Guide
Open Face Chinese Poker is a fast paced and incredibly popular variant of Chinese Poker. Also known as OFC Poker, the game is enjoyed by beginner poker players through to table veterans and is unique in offering lucrative in-game bonuses. Learn how to play and find expert tips in this guide.
How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker?
Usually played between 2-4 players, OFC Poker sees each player dealt 5 cards from a single 52 card deck, which they will arrange into 3 rows (or hands) - back, middle and front. The front hand contains 3 card spaces, while the middle and back contain 5.
It's important to know that, at the end of the game, your back hand must be the strongest and your front hand the weakest.
The hands are ranked the same as Texas Hold'em Poker, with the maximum front hand being a high triple, and the bottom two hands awarding points from trips right through to a Royal Flush. Once players have allocated their first 5 cards, they will then be dealt one card at a time, with the aim of creating the 3 strongest hands possible. Once the cards have been placed, they cannot be moved.
After all cards have been dealt, any fouls will first be identified. A foul is where your middle hand is stronger than your back hand, or if your front hand is stronger than your middle. For each foul you will lose 6 points. Each row competes directly against your opponent's corresponding row, and you are awarded 1 point for each which beats theirs. If you win all 3 hands, you're awarded an additional scoop of 3 points; that's 6 points in total, 1 per winning hand and 3 for the scoop. Note that points awarded to a winner are subtracted from a loser, keeping the overall cumulative point totals a zero-sum game.
Bonus Royalty Points
However, that's just the beginning. Row hands can score additional bonus (or royalty) points depending on the cards they contain. The potential bonuses vary from row to row.
Example: The front hand of three cards can score an extra point for a pair of sixes, all the way up to 22 points for three aces. The middle hand can receive an extra 2 points for a three of a kind, up to 50 for a royal flush. The back hand can achieve anywhere from 2 points for a straight to 25 for a royal flush.
You can completely change the complexion of relative point totals by constructing more valuable row hands. Just be careful not to inadvertently foul your hand in the process. Row hands receive bonus points even if an opponent's respective row hand beats theirs, although of course the opponent wins the hand point.
Example: A middle hand flush beats a middle hand straight for one point, but the straight's 4 bonus points still count, mitigating the value of the flush's 8 bonus points, for a differential of 4. The winner collects 4 points while the loser surrenders 4.
Bonus points are unavailable only when a hand fouls out. For example, bonus points for a middle hand straight are nullified by a mere pair in the back hand.
Open Face Chinese Poker Scoring
While basic hand scoring and scoops will score points against your opponent, it's the royalty points which will elevate your game. As mentioned before, different point scores are attributed to certain hands, in certain rows. Below is a complete breakdown of bonus royalty points available on the front, middle and back hands.
Open Face Chinese Poker - Official Royalties Chart
Front hand bonus royalty points per cards:
Middle hand bonus royalty points per cards:
Back hand bonus royalty points per cards:
Fantasy Land is a special play initially triggered in OFC Poker by a front hand with a pair of queens or better in a hand that doesn't foul. When that happens, the owner of that hand plays the next game in Fantasy Land.
A player in Fantasy Land is dealt all 13 cards up front. They place their cards face down so non-Fantasy Land players can't see them. Then they wait until hands not in Fantasy Land are played as usual, one card at a time. Once normal play is complete, players in Fantasy Land arrange their cards into the usual three rows of hands. Being able to see other player row hands is obviously a huge advantage.
More than one player can be in Fantasy Land per game. When there's more than one, their hands are played clockwise from the dealer button. Also, the dealer button doesn't move when entering a Fantasy Land game, making it essentially an extension of the previous game.
Staying in Fantasy Land
A player can remain in Fantasy Land, although the trigger requirements are more stringent than the first time in. To stay in Fantasy Land, a player must have three of a kind up front, at least a full house in the middle, or at least quads on the back. Although clearly more difficult to attain, having been in Fantasy Land the previous game increases the chances of qualifying again.
Play OFC Poker Online
Open face Chinese is a scintillating online gambling poker game with lots of strategy and opportunities for huge momentum swings due to royalty bonuses and Fantasy Land play. It's a fascinating excursion from the usual betting on streets.
The possibility of fouling a hand adds considerable drama to merely assembling great hands. A pair of queens in the middle does you no good if you wind up with a pair of kings up front. While strategy discussions rage online, there are some fundamental tips to follow:
Bread and butter of OFCP. You're essentially handing the win to your opponent and risk them going to Fantasy Land. Be switched on from the first deal.
Build Royalty Bonuses
At the end of the day, these are what will get you big points and mitigate any needless fouls, so know hand values and go big.
Up Cards Matter
You need to stay focused on what cards have been laid by other players, especially if you're going after a flush or straight in your back two rows.
Deny The Scoop
If you're having a tough time of it, try your best to avoid other players scooping you, it can be devastating to your round.
Don't always build from the front to back or vice versa; switch up the way you play and keep your opponent's guessing.
There are only a couple of differences between OFC Pineapple Poker and the regular game, but they are important ones. After the initial 5 card deal, players are then dealt 3 cards at a time, having to discard one face down.
If a player gets to fantasyland, they will then receive 14 cards instead of the standard 13 and then discard one at their discretion. Not only do these changes both give successful players a greater advantage but also adds to the pace and excitement of the game.
Is OFCP popular?
Yes, millions of players around the world enjoy the challenge of playing open face Chinese poker on a regular basis. More and more online poker sites now list open face Chinese poker, sometimes known as OFCP for short, in their main poker variants section.
How does OFCP compare to regular poker?
OFCP is wildly different to the standard Texas hold'em version and that's why it's so much fun to play.
You have to create 3 different hands out of the 13 cards you're dealt, one made up of 3 cards and the other two made up of 5 cards. The only aspect of OFCP that's the same as standard poker is that the hands are ranked in the same order.
Where can I play OFCP?
Many popular online poker sites have added OFCP to their game range in the last few years. If you're looking for a trustworthy place to play OFCP online, your best bet is to check our most recommended OFCP sites section. Every site we've picked has regular OFCP tournaments and top quality software.
What are the odds in OFCP?
The odds in OFCP are complicated but there are many online tools you can use to calculate the exact odds of any hand you're holding.
Even the best players of OFCP say that winning in this game can't just be reduced down to odds and that you have to take big risks occasionally in order to land huge wins.
How much is it possible to win playing OFCP?
There's the chance of winning tens of thousands of dollars in a single game and even more in an OFCP tournament.
Can I use a strategy to play OFCP?
Yes you can. There are great tools and calculators available to download that can help you to work out the chances of winning and also what cards your opponents might be holding.
Is there a OFCP tournament option?
Yes, there are heaps of online poker sites that have dedicated OFCP tournament schedules where you'll have to battle it out in different rounds to make it to the final.
Are OFCP sites rigged?
No, legal online poker rooms are monitored constantly for fairness by gambling regulatory bodies and by the gambling commissions in the countries they are operating out of.