NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with a pair of Queens (Part 1)
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 tuned and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!
Over the last weeks, we reviewed different openings and we went through some real-life hand analysis. There are multiple different possible scenarios in OFC, and we will continue to study what are the optimal plays according to each situation.
This week and over the next tips, we will come back on a notion that we quickly studied in a past column about openings.
Opening with a pair of Queens – What should I do?
Indeed, I regularly receive questions about opening with a pair of Queens, and most of the players want to know if a pair of Queens automatically goes on top in opening.
The answer is NO, a pair of Queens does not automatically go on top in opening, and there are several reasons for this.
First of all, you should always have some kind of support to “sit your Queens on” if you are going to place a pair of Queens on top in opening. A live Ace or a live King will do the job perfectly. Even if you are first to speak, an Ace or a King will suffice to take that risk. For example, look at the following opening:
This is a classic opening and above all, a great way to maximize your chances of reaching Fantasyland!
However, if you did not hold an Ace or a King to support your Queens, or if you were last to act and noticed that your Ace or King was pretty much dead after seeing your opponent’s boards, this would definitely not be the best play.
Indeed, the risk of fouling would not be justified by the reward of accessing Fantasyland, not to mention all the points you would lose.
Why isn’t it justified?
Think about it for a second, and compare the royalties:
- If you make a full house in the back, you get 6 points bonuses.
- If you make a pair of Queens on top, you only get 7 points bonuses.
Moreover, if you manage to go in Fantasyland, the average points that you can expect to score is a mere 8 points, but this means that you can also score only 6 points, 4 points, and sometimes even less if you receive a very bad combination of 14 cards.
In the end, you will bust out so often when placing Queens right away on the top line in opening without any support, more importantly, it is just not worth the risk.
So, unless you’re going for pure gambling and excitement, be patient and place your Queens in the back in such a scenario! Remember that you can always access Fantasyland with a pair of Kings or a pair of Aces on top as well, now that your Queens are comfortably sitting in the back…
More on that subject next week!
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Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
OFC “Progressive” World Champion