Chinese poker

The aim in classic Chinese poker is to achieve more units (also known as points) than your opponents by arranging your 13 cards into three poker hands – two combinations of five cards in back and middle hand and one of three cards in front hand – which should beat the corresponding poker hands made by other players.

Players, Cards and Deal

The maximum number of players is 4, each playing for themselves. A standard 52 card pack is used. 13 cards are dealt singly to each player in the beginning of the game. The players don’t see the cards dealt to their opponents.

Arrangement of cards

Each player must divide their 13 cards into a back hand of 5 cards, a middle hand of 5 cards and a front hand of 3 cards. Considered as poker hands, the back hand must be better than the middle hand, and the middle hand must be better than the front hand. The standard poker ranking is used – so the hand types from high to low are: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, high card. There are no wild cards.

Since the front hand has only 3 cards, only three hand types are possible: three of a kind; one pair; high card. There is no value in having a front hand with three consecutive cards or three cards of the same suit: straights or flushes in the front hand do not count.

Showdown and Scoring

When the player is ready to expose the arranged hands he clicks the Play button.

As soon as all players either clicked on the Play button or if they ran out of time to make a move, the hands arranged by all players are exposed. Then the hands are compared and the points are scored. For details on scoring please refer to the following article.

The main condition for creating hands without fouling is that the back hand must be stronger than or equal to the middle hand and the middle hand must be stronger than or equal to the front hand. If any of the players arranged the hand that violates the rule described above, the arranged hand will be considered a „dead“ hand.

The time limit per move is usually set to 1.5-2 minutes. If time ran out and the player was unable to distribute the cards in boxes, then the cards will be automatically distributed. The cards distribution in such scenario will begin from the back hand and go from left to right.