Chinese Poker - Part Two - Variations

Chinese Poker - Part Two - Variations By Clearspine In the first article in this series, I outlined the basic play and scoring of a typical game of Chinese Poker. However, over time, a number of variations of the game have sprung up, with varying degrees of popularity. Probably the most common variation is the addition of special hands to the game that increase the number of points the player receives for winning a hand. The special hands most commonly used are three-of-a-kind in the front hand (the three-card hand), a full house or better in the middle hand and four-of-a-kind or a straight or royal flush in the back hand. Whereas in the basic game, you receive one point each time one of your hands is better than the corresponding opponent’s hand, when using the special hands, you receive more than that. Although there are many different scoring systems used for these hands, a typical one would be 3 points for the front hand three-of-a-kind, 2 points for the middle hand full house, 4 points for four-of-a-kind and 5 points for the straight flush or royal flush (sometimes higher values are given to these if they occur in the middle hand). Note that you only receive these points if you actually win the hand, so, for example, if your opponent had a better full house in the middle hand, he or she would receive the two points, not you. Another scoring variation has to do with the make-up of your entire 13-card hand. If you are dealt one of these variations, you collect from all the other players who do not have a 13-card hand that ranks higher than yours. These hands, ranked from lowest to highest, are as follows: 1. Six pairs and one odd card - this hand is shown in its entirety, rather than breaking it down into its component hands (3 points from each player). 2. Three straights (in this instance, the three-card straight counts - 3 points from each player). 3. Three flushes (once again, the three-card flush counts - 3 points from each player). 4. A 13-card straight (13 points from each player). 5. A 13-card flush (13 points from each player). In addition to these scoring variations within the basic game, different ways to deal Chinese Poker have been played over the years. In one form, 13 cards are still dealt, however, the middle hand, rather than being a high hand, is a deuce-to-seven lowball hand, with 7-5-4-3-2 (not a flush) being the lowest hand. A recent variation is a 17-card version of the game, where, in addition to the three normal hands (either all high or two high and one low), a 4-card Badugi hand is added. For those who aren’t familiar with Badugi, the object is to create a 4-card low hand (A-2-3-4 is the lowest) with cards of four different suits. Adding this piece to the game means that a maximum of three players can play, however, it creates new challenges in strategy for players in trying to read which hands their opponents will attempt to have be their strongest, and reacting accordingly. In the final article in the series, I will focus on basic strategic concepts that will allow you to win at Chinese Poker. See you then! Read part one << Chinese Poker Basics | Read part three Chinese Poker Strategy >>