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Chinese poker

Chinese poker is a card game that has been played in the Asian community for many years. It has begun to gain popularity in the broader world of game players because it has all the features of a good gambling game:

  • It is easy to learn.
  • Anyone who knows the rank of Poker hands can begin playing after a few minutes of instruction.
  • There is a large element of luck, so that a beginner has a real chance of winning, even against experienced opponents. Also, it is plausible for poor players to attribute bad results to their cards rather than their plays.
  • There is still enough skill in the game that experts have a significant advantage when playing poor players.

Although it is basically a four player game, it can be played with 2 or 3 players. It is fun to play. Unexpected results and interesting hands are common.

Playing a Hand

In Chinese Poker, each player receives a 13 card hand from a standard 52 card deck. He then has to divide his cards into three Poker hands, two containing five cards each and one three card hand. The only restriction is that both five card hands must outrank the three card hand (Note: straights and flushes do not count in the three card hand). The higher ranking of the five card hands, called the Back hand, is placed face down on the table in front of the player. Then the other five card hand, called the Middle hand, is placed face down in front of the Back hand. Finally, the three card hand, called the Front hand, is placed (again face down) in front of the middle hand. When all four players have set their hands, the cards are turned face up and the deal is scored.

The game can be played with the middle hand being low, rather than high.


The basic scoring rule is that comparisons are done head-to-head and that a player wins one unit for each hand (of the three) which outranks the corresponding hand of each opponent. Thus, unlike most poker games, being second-best at the table is good enough to win money. Also, due to the head-to-head nature of the comparisons, it’s possible for different players to play for different stakes. For example, A and B could play for $10/unit, while all other pairs play for $1/unit. Many variations of scoring are in common use. Refer to the external links for more information.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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