NoMercy OFC Crash Course openings

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Placing your higher set in the back

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.

This week, we will mark a pause in the optimal opening placements, in order to go over a frequent situation that you will face while in Fantasyland. Indeed, I see many amateurs’ players making this mistake, and my guess is that most of the time, they do not even realize that another possibility would have been a better play.

Fantasyland situation

Look at the following cards and try to figure out what would be the optimal placement in Fantasyland with such cards?

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There is only one Flush possible here, so if you decided to go with that option, you got it right. Indeed, and even if it’s never fun to break our sets, your Flush in the back would be worth 4 points and your remaining Queens on top would be worth 7 points, for a total of 11 points, which is the maximum royalties that you can score with this Fantasyland.

Now, suppose that instead of the Ace of club, you had received an Ace of heart.

What to do with a Full House and trips?

In such a case and no longer having an available Flush in your hand, you would be left with trip 10s, trip 3s and a pair of Queens. I frequently see players going the obvious way and placing their board like this:

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They do that naturally, placing the biggest trips in the middle, as we usually do for the biggest pair on top, and the smaller trips in the back for the Boat. That comes with the following problems:

Your opponents often succeed in making a Full House in the back but rarely make trips in the middle. When they will effectively make a Boat in the back, the highest it will be will generally be Jacks’ Full, since the Aces, Kings or Queens are most of the time needed on other rows. Therefore, the Full House with 3s in the back will be beaten by all other Full Houses, except for the tiny deuces Full. However, a middle row with trips will often beat everyone, no matter how big these trips are.

Because of that, the best play in between those two options would be the following:

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With such a board, you have a real chance to scoop your opponents with a very strong Full House in the back (not to mention that you already hold a Jack in your hand, which will make it even harder for your opponents to make Full House with the 3 remaining Jacks in the back), a strong middle row with trips, and a strong top line with Ace-Jack.

Above all, scooping is worth a whopping 6 points bonus, make sure that you place your Fantasyland in the most efficient way is a MUST!

A little tricky?

If you have an expert eye however, you must have found out that even with the Ace of heart instead of the Ace of club, these were NOT the optimal placements. Subsequently, your Boat in the back is worth 6 points and your trips in the middle are worth 2 points, for a total of 8 points.

This example was presented to you only to showcase that particular situation, because in reality, if you had placed your trips 10s in the back (zero point), your trips 3s in the middle (2 points), and your Queens on top (7 points), you would cumulate a final score of 9 points, which beats the Boat/Trips placement!

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!

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Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion


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