How to Play Chinese Poker

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Chinese Poker

Chinese poker is less well known than other poker variants-like Texas Holdem - but it is quickly gaining in popularity. A major reason for the surge in popularity for Chinese poker is that it is, by and large, easier to play and learn than a more complex game like Texas Holdem. Still, there is a certain level of know-how and skill that can separate good Chinese poker players from bad ones. Normally the game is played with four players, but it can be played with two, three or five as well.

When people first hear about the rules of Chinese poker, they balk, thinking it is insurmountably difficult: thirteen cards? It's true, in Chinese poker each player is dealt thirteen cards. These cards must be separated into three different poker hands: two five-card hands and one three-card hand. The one stipulation is that the five card hands must outrank three card hands. If you're not yet familiar with poker hand ranking, keep a key by your side.

The hands are then matched against each other. The hands will be ranked by the player according to strength-back, middle and front. Scoring varies according to different tables, but usually a player will get one point for winning one hand, two points for winning two hands and four points for winning all three. Players will receive a dollar per point value-or other denomination-as opposed to the betting structure in other poker variants.

Doing away with betting is what makes the game both easier and faster paced than other types of poker. This is also why the game is particularly suited to online gambling, as the scoring is calculated automatically. When playing Chinese poker at home, it can take some time to compare the different hands between players. Thirteen cards make for a pretty dense board, when you're talking about four, or even five, players at a time. When playing this form of poker online, the games can come and go pretty fast-which is both good and bad news: good because it's fun and bad because you can have a losing-streak get away from you.

Separating the three hands from the initial thirteen is what makes Chinese poker so interesting, as opposed to other five-card or seven-card games. In a way, it combines a game of solitaire with competitive play-core to why people like playing the game. Each player must devise the best combination of the cards he's been dealt. Poor players might not choose the most advantageous positioning for his cards. Knowing how other people have played their cards, and in what position, can also help determine if a player wins or loses at Chinese poker.

At this writing we can only speculate in which of the major poker sites will be the first to launch Chinese Poker, but an educated guess would indicate Full Tilt Poker.

Other poker rules and strategy

Basic poker
Texam holdem poker
7 card stud poker
7 card stud high/low poker
Omaha poker
Omaha high/low poker
Draw poker
Razz poker
Lowball poker
Tournament poker
Badugi poker
Chinese poker
Pineapple poker
Manilla poker