NoMercy OFC Crash Course part 25

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with a pair of Queens (Part 2)

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 series of tips, 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.

Last week, we went over the notion that we quickly studied in a past column about openings. It was about opening with a pair of Queens, as I regularly receive questions about this scenario. Most of the players want to know if a pair of Queens automatically goes on top in opening.

Have you assimilated the fundamentals?

Suppose you receive these five cards in opening and that you are first to act:

Open Face Chinese Poker - Opening with Queens part 2

There are a few options for you out there. Here are some examples to look at. Ask yourself how you would place these five cards in opening?

Open Face Chinese Poker - Opening with Queens part 2

If you were last to act, some of these options would certainly be debatable and possibly acceptable. But if you were first to act and revised attentively last week’s advice, you should go with option number #3, even if it means placing two Fantasyland cards in the back.

Indeed, you are always searching for some support for placing your Queens on top, and in this case, support isn’t there at all.

By support, we mean at the very minimum holding a live Ave or a live King.

Specifics of all options illustrated above

Option #1

In this particular scenario, it will be very difficult for you to save your board with such placement. Indeed, making a Flush in the back while having placed a Queen of heart on top is already a handicap. Plus, you hold a single 5 in the middle, all alone by itself, knowing that if you catch the 5 of heart, you will need it in two places at the same time; in the middle and in the back. In the end, you will bust out too often to justify taking such a risk.

Option #2

As for option number #2, there is a good chance that you will succeed in making your Flush in the back, but it will be really difficult to also make a pair of Queens on top, as there are only 2 more Queens remaining in the deck. Moreover, why make an attempt at a Flush, when you can go for 2 more points royalties if you succeed in making a Full House, an option possible with placement #3 in this scenario. Finally, if you don’t succeed in making your Flush, you will most likely bust out, ending with nothing in the back.

Option #3

If you have carefully read last week’s advice, you know that this is the best placement here. You can make a Full House in the back for 6 points royalties, as opposed to Queens on top that would only offer you one more point with a total of 7 points royalties. Moreover, if you don’t complete your Full House, you may very well end up with a valid board since you started with a big pair in the back, whereas in option #2, you will most likely foul if you don’t complete your Flush. But most importantly, in the long run, this will be the initial placement that will allow you to score more points, instead of fouling over and over again.

Remember the key point when you receive a pair of Queens in opening in classic Pineapple; you need some support to sit your Queens on, if you are going to place them on top.

More on the subject in the following tips! Rendezvous next week!

Meet me at the OFC tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Open yourself a CoinPoker account today. Welcome to Fantasyland!

Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion


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