Open Face Chinese Poker Strategy

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with a pair of Queens (Part 7)

Hello everyone! Welcome to NoMercy OFC Crash Course, 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.

We ended the last post with a question regarding the following initial five cards and I asked you to guess what the best opening in such a case would be:

Open Face Chinese Poker Strategy part 30, Opening with queens

What is your answer to this question?

Did you decide to go with one of the following options:

Open Face Chinese Poker Strategy part 30, Opening with queens

This example can be a little bit tricky because it combines many strategies that we covered in the previous pieces of blog. Indeed, as we studied in the third part of the series on Opening with Queens it is often right to place a pair of Queens in the back.

However, this particular placement might not be the best way to open when you can actually support your Queens with a live Ace or a live King. In such cases, your Queens should go on top. In this case here, that would mean placing the 4 and 5 of diamond in the back, a solo King in the middle and a pair of Queens on top. This board would be quite hard to validate, and the risks are not worth the reward, especially with the other lucrative options that are presented to you with such a starting hand. 

What is the correct play?

In this example, option #2 would be the best way to open with these initial five cards. Indeed, your chances of success in completing your Flush in the back are quite high, and your middle is all open to make trips, two pairs, or even simply a pair of Aces. The rewards here are huge, with a chance of scoring 4 points in the back plus 7 points on top, not to mention going in Fantasyland.

Open Face Chinese Poker Strategy part 30, Opening with queens

What about the other options?

In option #1 pictured above, the problem is that you are wasting your 2 Fantasyland cards by placing these in the middle. Indeed, if you are lucky enough to catch a pair of Aces or Kings, you will not be able to position these on top, unless you made two pairs or trip Queens in the middle (despite the fact that your Queen of diamond could potentially be needed in the back).

In a variation of this opening, however, if you had received a pair of Aces instead of a pair of Queens, then the Aces would definitely go in the middle, in order to be ready to catch two Queens on top. If it was a pair of Kings, then it would change the whole dynamic and your three Kings would go in the back, with the remaining 4-5 of diamonds in the middle!

As for option #3, it would be quite conservative if you were first to act, knowing that making your Flush is quite easy. However, if you were 3-handed and last to act, and that you could see tons of diamonds already exposed out there, this could indeed be the correct play.

Rendezvous next week for the continuation of these series of tips on Open Face Chinese Poker! Make sure you keep a lookout for the NoMercy OFC Crash Course!

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!

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Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion


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