Chinese poker is a game played between 2 and 4 players where each player is dealt 13 cards and has to arrange these cards into 3 hands: two 5 card hands and 1 three card hand. At the end of the game the hands are compared between each player and points are awarded accordingly. Each point represents a certain value and this is determines the stakes of the game.
Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player is dealt 13 cards face down. They get a certain amount of time to arrange the cards into 3 hands. The 'back' and 'middle' hands are 5 card hands, and the 'front' hand is a 3 card hand. All hands use the conventional 5 card high ranking.
In each grouping of hands, the back hand must be the strongest, followed by the middle hand and then the front hand. Failure to adhere to this condition means that that player has a foul hand and must pay off all other players (who haven't fouled) as if being scooped in the hand. Foul hands in Chinese Poker are usually the result of an oversight as there is really no reason to create a foul hand as all the cards are visible to the player. This is in sharp contrast to Open Face Chinese Poker where foul hands are sometimes unavoidable.
There are a number of scoring methods in use. The most commonly used are 2-4 scoring and 1-6 scoring, with and without royalties. We offer these methods and these are described below.
Chinese poker can also be played with bonuses. If royalties are in play, these add additional bonus points based on the strength of the hands. Bonus points are awarded to winning hands. These are the current set of bonuses in play.
If a player is not happy with the quality of the hands that can me made, the hand can be 'surrendered'. If a hand has been surrendered, that play must pay off all other non-surrendered and non-fouled hands of other players. This results in a loss of 3 points. However, the player does not have to pay any win or scoop bonuses or any royalties if royalties are in play. If a player leaves a table without placing a hand, their hand is surrendered (rather than folded for traditional poker games).
All In Situations
Given the swings that are possible in a single hand of chinese poker, it is often the case that a player doesn't have enough on the table to pay off all of the other players. The payoffs are made in a specific order and a player will pay off until they have run out of chips, no chips from off the table will come into play.