Learn how to play Chinese Poker, a tricky game for two to four players that is popular among poker pros. Most often played with four players.
Time Required: 20 minutes
- Each player is dealt 13 cards.
- From the 13 cards, each player makes 3 groups or sets -- two containing 5 cards each, and one 3-card set. The 5-card sets are known as the "middle" and the "back," while the 3-card set is called "the front"
- To make the three sets, there are certain rules that must be followed. The "back" 5-card hand, must be the highest hand, while the "front" 3-card hand must be the lowest hand. The "middle" should by default be the middle hand. Straights and flushes do not count in the 3-card "back" hand.
- Once each player decides on the cards that make up each set, he places each face-down in front of him, with the "front" set farthest away, then the "middle", then the "back" closest to him.
- After all the players have put their sets down, the players see whose hands beat whose.
See: Poker hand rankings
- Now here's where it gets tricky: In Chinese poker, instead of playing for pots or betting during the game, the game is played for "units" or points. Each "unit" counts for a pre-decided amount of money.
- Instead of a winner-takes-all result, players win units from every other player whose front, middle, or back player they beat. In other words, you could lose two sets to one player, but beat the other, and also beat the other two players. If the hands are equal, its a tie and neither player gets a unit.
- To further complicate matters, you can play that the player that wins 2 or 3 of the sets gets an extra unit, or with hands that win bonus units, for instance, giving extra units for straight flushes or four-of-a-kinds.
- Use a paper and pen to keep track of units won and lost.