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Chinese poker rules

Chinese poker rules

Find out about the main rules of Chinese poker game and learn a detailed scoring table.

In Chinese poker, from two to four players can play simultaneously but most often the game is between three opponents.

The players must place 13 cards into three rows (boxes) from the strongest at the bottom to the weakest on the top.

The order of combinations in Chinese poker:

  • The bottom row (5 cards) - the strongest possible combination
  • The middle row (5 cards) - medium strength combination
  • The top row (3 cards) - the weakest combination

At the beginning, each player is dealt 5 cards face down, but the players lay them out face up. It is important to remember that you cannot change the position of your cards after the turn is completed.

The main strategic aspect of the game is forming the combinations from the strongest to the weakest one, if you break this rule, your hand will be considered as dead and you will lose to all of your opponents.

Then, each player in priority order is dealt by one card in classical Chinese poker and by 3 cards in "Pineapple" version. This lasts until everyone has 13 cards. At the end, the combinations are compared and the points are counted.

The dealer button (button) is used to determine the turn order and it is moved after each hand. The exception is "fantasy". When one of the players collects a fantasy, the button isn’t moved.

The stages of the game in Chinese poker can be divided into three parts:

  • Card dealing
  • Combination layout
  • Showdown and scoring

Chinese poker scoop

In the picture above the hand is considered as dead and a player will not be able to get the fantasy in the next hand.

The player in the picture above has violated the order of combinations:

  • The bottom row - two pairs of sixes and jacks
  • The middle row - 7-high
  • The top row – a pair of aces

A pair of aces is stronger than 7-high, which means that the hand is dead and the player lost to all his opponents.

In an open Chinese poker, a player can get a bonus game called "Fantasy". In order to get the opportunity to form the fantasy, the player must collect the combination from a pair of queens or higher on the top box.

If it succeeded, then the player will get all 13 cards (14-15 in the game varieties) simultaneously in the next hand and will be able to lay them out facedown. The player who collects the fantasy will not show his cards until the other players finish placing their combinations. The player can also remain in the fantasy for the following hand if he can collect something from the listed:

  • Set (trips) in the top row
  • Full house or better in the middle row
  • Quads or better in the bottom row

Pineapple is a popular variation of Chinese poker. The main difference between Pineapple and ordinary Chinese poker is the number of dealt cards. Both games begin with the dealing of five cards but in Pineapple players are dealt with three cards on the following rounds.

The players must use two of these three cards to form the combination and the third one must be sent into the muck.

The main difference between Pineapple and classical Chinese poker is that the game goes through five rounds instead of nine and each player sees 17 cards instead of 15. In this way, Pineapple is always played by three players maximum. Bonuses and the rules of fantasy remain constant. Pineapple is a faster version, which rapidly becomes very popular online. You can try your hand at this kind of poker in the PokerDom room for free. Get a deposit free bonus of 777 rubles and start playing online Chinese poker at PokerDom right now!

Points in Chinese poker are being accrued depending on the combinations that you’ve managed to collect.

  • If the player beats his opponent in all three rows, he gets 6 bonus points
  • If the player has "scooped", he must pay six bonus points to each contestant.
  • Points are counted after all the players finish laying out their combinations

“Scoop” or a dead hand in Chinese poker is a situation where your combinations are drafted in the wrong order. For example, you’ve collected two pairs on the bottom box and set (trips) in the middle box. Scoop also cancels any bonuses that you’ve got.

Scoring at the bottom row:

Chinese poker points

Scoring at the middle row:

Units in Chinese poker

Scoring at the top row (pairs):

Scoring in Chinese Poker

Scoring at the top row (trips):

Chinese poker scoring

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Cardmates journalist, news editor and translator since 2018. Specialization: poker news and review of events.
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