Learn How To Play Chinese Poker

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Each player is dealt 13 cards. The object is to arrange them into 3 groups consisting of 3-cards (front group), 5-cards (middle group), and 5-cards (back group). Once arranged you then compare group-against-group with other players and each group that ranks higher than your opponent’s corresponding group earns you 1 unit. After each hand the dealer button moves one place to the left.

A player’s back group must be stronger than his middle hand, and his middle group must be stronger than his front group. Otherwise, the player pays a penalty to each opponent for “wrong arrangement”. Please note that in the event of a player having a flush or a straight with cards of the same rank in more than one hand, the suit of the high card determines which the stronger hand is and thus where the hand must be placed. Suits rank as follows: Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds.

Only 3 group-types are possible for the front group: 3-of-a-Kind, pair, and high card. Straights and flushes typically don’t count.

Say you’re dealt the following cards:
Cards

You could arrange them like this:

Front hand

Middle hand

Back hand

Front Hand

Middle Hand

Back Hand

The back hand, a straight flush, beats the middle hand, 4-of-a-Kind, which beats the front hand, 3-of-a-Kind.

Once the hands are played, each player compares his 3 groups against those of each of the other players. So in a 4-player game, each player makes 3 separate comparisons, one against each other player.

You win 1 unit for each corresponding group of another player that you beat andlose 1 for each group that beats you. When the groups match, you neither winnor lose.

Example of Play
Player A

Front
Front

Middle
Middle

Back
Back

Player B

Front
Front

Middle
Middle

Back
Back

Player C

Front
Front

Middle
Middle

Back
Back

Player D

Front
Front

Middle
Middle

Back
Back

Don’t forget, your back group goes head-to-head against each of the other players’ back groups, middle vs middle, etc, so:

A vs. B
A wins every group.

A wins 3 units from B.

A vs. C
A wins the back,
C the middle and front.

C wins 1 unit from A.

A vs. D
D wins the back,
A the middle and front.

A wins 1 unit from D.

B vs. C
C wins every group.

C wins 3 units from B.

B vs. D
D wins the back and front,
B the middle.

D wins 1 unit from B.

C vs. D
D wins the back,
C the middle and front.

C wins 1 unit from D.

So tallying everything, A gains 3, B loses 7, C gains 5 and D loses 1.

In Western Chinese Poker, a player who wins the majority of segments earns an additional point.

So if a player wins 2 of 3 segments against an opponent, he earns 2 units for his winning segments, loses 1, and gains 1 for winning the majority of segments. The player thus nets +2 from that opponent.

In Eastern Chinese Poker certain groups award bonuses:

Hand
Front

Middle

Back

3-of-a-Kind

3

Full House

2

4-of-a-Kind

8

4

Straight Flush

10

5

Royal Flush

14

7

We know that if a player wins exactly 2 groups against a particular opponent, he’d earn a net +1 from that opponent. When a bonus group is involved, the winning group earns only the bonus points. So if a player wins all 3 groups with a 4-of-a-Kind in the back, he wins 6 units (2 units for the front and middle groups and the bonus 4 units for the back group).

The bonus is awarded only if that group beats another player’s group. For example, if player A has Full House in the middle group, and player B has 4-of-a-Kind, then player A will lose 8 points to player B for this middle group.

Clean Sweep Groups
A Clean Sweep is one of several groups with a special ranking that wins automatically. Here they are in descending order.

The Highest Rank

13 Colors

13 cards of one suit

13

2nd Highest Rank

Dragon

One of every rank

13

3rd Highest Rank

12 Colors

Exactly 12 cards of one suit + kicker

8

4th Highest Rank

3-of-a-kind + 5 Pairs

(4-of-a-Kind can count as 2 pair)

4

5th Highest Rank

3 Straights

Straights in front, middle, and back

4

6th Highest Rank

3 Flushes

Suited cards in front, middle, and back

3

7th Highest Rank

6 Pairs

(4-of-a-Kind can count as 2 pair)

3

If you have a Clean Sweep, click Submit Natural. If multiple players have Clean Sweep groups, the higher ranking group wins the total unit value for that group; the value for the lower ranking Clean Sweep group won’t be subtracted (eg. Player A has Dragon and Player B has 6 Pairs. Player A wins 13 points from Player B). If 2 Clean Sweep groups have the same ranking, they tie. No money is exchanged between these 2 players, but they collect from the others. If you don’t declare a Clean Sweep, it plays as a regular group.

Surrendering
A player may surrender his/her group before the showdown. His/Her group won’t be compared with other players’ groups, but the player must pay each opponent 3 units.

Additional Rules

  1. If a player fails to set front, middle and back groups in the proper ranking order, the group fouls and the player pays a penalty to each opponent who didn’t surrender:
    Against a Clean Sweep hand, the value of the Clean Sweep hand.
    Against a regular hand, 3 units + any opponent’s bonus.
  2. A player fouls if he/she declares a Clean Sweep but can’t produce it, unless an opponent has already declared intention to surrender.

Betting Initiation
The dealer button is used to determine who initiates the comparison oftheir groups. The player with the dealer button will compare his groups with each other player at the table starting with the player to his left, then continuing comparisons clock-wise around the table. The player to the left of the dealer is next to compare group, he starts by comparing with the player to his left and then continues clock-wise around the table until he has compared with all players. Finally the next person after the dealer make his comparison with the last player at the table by which point all groups at the table will have been compared. No player can win or lose more than he had at the start of the hand

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