Open Face Chinese Poker

Introduction
Open Face Chinese Poker is a new variation of regular Chinese Poker. The rules and scoring of the games are very similar but the game play is very different. Each player is dealt 5 cards initially out of their final hand of 13 cards. These cards must be arranged among the front, middle and back hands. In this way a player has to make early decisions about the type of hands they would like to create without seeing all their hole cards as in regular Chinese Poker. Cards are dealt and placed indiviually until each player has a complete 13 card hand and each hand is scored like regular Chinese poker.

Gameplay
Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, cards are dealt 1 by 1 to each player in a clockwise direction until each player has 5 cards in their hand. Each player is given time to place all of their cards face down on the table in their final position. When all players in the hand have placed their cards, the cards on the table are turned over revealing each player's starting placements. At this point the player to the left of the dealer receives a card face up. This card must be placed somewhere within the chinese poker hand. The next player receives a card and does the same. Cards are dealt in turn to each player until each player has a completed Chinese Poker board. The hands are then evaluated and scored according to the scoring system in place.

Scoring
Open Face uses the 1-6 scoring method. A point is awarded for the winning back, middle and front hands. A player winning all 3 hands will score an additional 3 points. In this way, either 1 or 6 points is exchanged between players. Identical hands are not scored.

Royalties
Open Face is played with royalties. These add additional bonus points based on the strength of the hands. If both hands in a matchup qualify for royalties, the difference in royalties is exchanged. For example, a higher flush will score no royalties over a lower flush but will still pick up a point for being the better hand. GridPoker uses the following set of royalties:

Hand Strength Front Hand Middle Hand Back Hand
Pair of 6s 1 point
Pair of 7s 2 points
Pair of 8s 3 points
Pair of 9s 4 points
Pair of 10s 5 points    
Pair of Js 6 points
Pair of Qs 7 points
Pair of Ks 8 points
Pair of As 9 points
Trip 2s 10 points 2 points
Trip 3s11 points2 points
Trip 4s12 points2 points
Trip 5s13 points2 points
Trip 6s14 points2 points
Trip 7s15 points2 points
Trip 8s16 points2 points
Trip 9s17 points2 points
Trip 10s18 points2 points
Trip Js19 points2 points
Trip Qs20 points2 points
Trip Ks21 points2 points
Trip As22 points2 points
Straight   4 points 2 points
Flush   8 points 4 points
Full House   12 points 6 points
Four of a Kind (Quads)   20 points 10 points
Straight Flush   30 points 15 points
Royal Flush   50 points 25 points

Sample High Scoring Open Face Hand (5b/pt)

Foul Hands
A foul hand is created when the 3 hands are not in descending order of strength from back to front. A foul hand can also be manually set at any point if a player wishes to give up on a hand. A foul hand loses in every way. It must pay the scoop amount to each non-fouled hand. Also, it must pay out any royalties to other non-foul hands. If 2 players have foul hands, no points are exchanged between them.

Basic Strategy
It is much easier to create foul hands in Open Face Chinese Poker compared to the regular version as player cannot know in advance the cards they are going to receive and whether they should chase certain strong hands such as straights and flushes. There is less danger involved when trying to complete full houses as the player will often be left with a two pair or stronger hand even if they dont complete their full house. A problem may arise if they have a completed flush or straight hand in the middle, in which case a full house may be required or else the hand will be fouled. Given the extra difficulty of creating strong hands without fouling, royalties are often in play.

Fantasyland
If a player achieves a pair of Kings or better in their front hand they are eligible to enter Fantasyland (FL). In this case, other players in the hand must participate in the following FL hand. The FL player will receive all of their cards initially, while other players in the hand will received their cards in the normal sequence. The FL player has the advantage of being able to place all their cards at once thus maximising the value of their 3 hands. At the end of the hand royalties are paid out as normal. Note that more than 1 player can achieve the minimum hand strength for FL at the same time. All players that achieve the minimum FL hand strength get all their cards up front. It is possible to stay in FL if a player achieves the one of the following hands during the FL hand without fouling their entire hand:

Any player achieving the above will keep the current hand in FL even if they were not the original FL player. Fantasyland is considered an extension of the previous hand, meaning that all players must participate in the FL hand. Also, the number of points used for payouts in each players hand is maintained into FL. Any players that have used all their points in payouts will not participate in subsequent FL hands. If the only player to achieve the FL hand has already used all their points (doubling up, for example) then there will be no FL hand.

Payouts
Payouts are made in pairs starting with the player to the left of the dealer. That player squares up with other players in the hand in a clockwise fashion. Once that player has completed their payoffs, the next player squares up with the players after them, etc until all payouts are made. Chips are only used once during the course of the payouts, either to pay out or to receive chips. For example, if player A has a stack of 10 points and wins 4 from player B, 4 points out of player A's stack have now been used and there are only 6 points left in their hand for the rest of the payouts. If player A is then required to pay 9 points to player C, they can only pay 6 thus using up the entire stack.

Pineapple OFC (OFC/p)
This is a variation of regular OFC where players receive 3 cards at a time instead of just 1. 2 cards are to be placed and the 3rd discarded. Due to the size of the deck, a maximum of 3 players can participate in an OFC hand. OFC/p is a more action oriented form of OFC.