Chinese Poker - Part Three - Strategy

Chinese Poker - Part Three - Strategy By Clearspine Having dealt with the basic rules of Chinese Poker in my first article, and some common variations of the game in the second one, it is time to turn our attention to the strategy of the game. Although Chinese Poker is much more luck-dependent than most other forms of poker, there are still some basic rules to follow in order to give yourself the best chance to succeed. Arranging your hand - When the cards are dealt, sort your cards by rank. This will enable you to quickly see the high hand possibilities revolving around four-of-a-kind, full houses and straights. Pay particular attention to ranks in which you have a set (three-of-a-kind), as these will combine with other pairs to make full houses. Once you have done this, take a moment to also see whether your hand contains flush possibilities. Counting the number of cards in each of the suits easily does this. You will need to see whether or not it is worth it to break sets and pairs to make flushes. Making the three hands - The most important rule to live by in Chinese Poker is: Never Get Scooped. It is essential to arrange the cards in a way that avoids losing all three hands. Often, this involves sacrificing the middle hand to create a better three-card front hand. For example, if you have made a solid back hand, such as a full house, and you have two high pair left, you should split the pairs to create a very strong three-card front hand, which will only be beaten by an unlikely three-of-a-kind or one of the few higher pairs. One important principle in dealing with multiple pairs is splitting them properly to maximize winning chances. Let’ say that you were dealt 4-4-4, A-A, Q-Q, 9-9, 7-7, 3-2, with no flush possibilities. Since no one else will be able to make a full house with fours, the lowest pair (the sevens) should be combined with the fours for your back hand. The two middle pairs (queens and nines) should be your middle, and the aces then make a very powerful front hand. Notice that there is a possibility that you can scoop all three hands, and almost no chance that you will be scooped yourself, unless your opponent has an absolute monster. Playing with the “special” hands - In a game that includes the bonus point hands, you should almost never split those hands to make a better hand in the front or middle. When you first organize your hand, take special care to see if you have one of the 13-card bonus hands (6-pairs, 3 flushes or straights, or a 13-card flush or straight), and arrange your hand accordingly, as these are almost certain winners (unless you are unlucky enough to run into an even better 13-card hand). If you are lucky enough to hit a straight flush or four-of-a-kind, remember that this hand by itself will create a positive overall outcome for the deal, and if the other two hands have to suffer, so be it. Playing the players - As in any poker game, it is important to know the tendencies of your opponents in Chinese Poker. For example, there are players who will always make certain they have a strong front hand, or in the variations with Deuce to 7 or Badugi, will inevitably make choices that will strengthen those particular hands. Knowing these tendencies will enable you to sort your cards in a way to best combat their usual strategies, leading to more consistent two hand wins. Once you learn to follow these simple rules and get into the rhythm of Chinese Poker, you will find that the best strategies for most situations will quickly become very clear to you. Once that happens, you will find yourself, more often than not, coming out on the winning side in Chinese Poker. Read part two << Chinese Poker Variations