NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Know your Opponent

Hello everyone! Welcome to my personal blog on OFC Pineapple (Open Face Chinese Poker). Week after week, I’ll go over the history of the game, some basic rules and recommendations, anecdotes from the players, and finally, some more advanced strategies.  Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!

Now that we went over the history of this fantastic game, let’s focus for a while on general advices and basic strategies. Let me guide you through some primary recommendations to help elevate your game if you are a new player!

We saw over the last two weeks how important and valuable it is to learn all the royalties and to know them by heart in order to maximise your profits in OFC. Another essential concept, which is similar to regular Hold’em games, is to know your opponent.

Indeed, in open face Chinese poker, the initial placement of your cards will be the whole foundation of your hand.  Therefore, this first setting will be one of the main decisions you’ll take in every OFC hand. Sometimes the cards will speak for themselves, but often you’ll have multiple options on how to position your cards.  This is where your knowledge of your opponent will come into play and will guide you to take the best decisions.

Methodically observe how your opponent decides to place his first 5 cards; ask yourself if you would have done the same placement and remember his basic tendencies of play.  For example, what does he do when he receives a pair of Queens to start?  Does he systematically place the pair on top, risking fouling, or does he play more conservatively and prudently? 

Against certain players, you will rarely have to take some huge risks, and against others, it will be the opposite scenario. Indeed, if a player constantly puts himself in danger and in jeopardy of busting out, you can choose to play a safe game and take down at least 6 points on every hand. Or, you could choose to play aggressive as well, knowing that it won’t cost you much, most of the time, as he will be fooling very often. On the opposite, if a player is super passive and conservative, you can choose to adopt the same strategy to even things out, or on the contrary, you can choose to go for long shots and big bonuses, knowing that when you end up with an invalid hand, it probably won’t cost much.

In the end, despite the fact that the placement of your first 5 cards is sometimes dictated by the cards themselves, it is precisely in cases where you’ll have multiple options that this placement will be oriented by the data you acquired on your opponent.  Indeed, when you’re first to speak and have zero information about the live cards, it is this understanding of your opponent’s tendencies that will help you “guess” the best tactic. 

Moreover, the openings of the players will habitually show you their level of skills. When you see they make mistakes after mistakes, remember their name and chase them down at the tables!

Meet me at the OFC tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Welcome to Fantasyland!

Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion

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