Isabelle NoMercy Monday OFC Crash course: Opening

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with a Full House (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. This time it’s opening with a Full house. 

Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!

As explained earlier, we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your opening. Indeed, the way you will chose to place your initial 5 cards will be the foundation of your hand and it therefore represent one of the most important decision you will have to make in Open Face Chinese Poker.

We are studying all the best openings in order of the highest starting hands by ranking, until we reach the very worst opening hand with 5 rags such as 10-7-5-4-3 in 4 different suits.

Remember that one of the ultimate goals in Chinese Poker is to reach Fantasyland (FL), so starting with the most effective placement will greatly help you get there!

We already covered some of the best poker hands in the last 3 blog posts as we went over all possible scenarios and draws that concern a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, and Quads.

Opening with a Full House

Last week we started to study the next best hand: A Full House. We discovered that it will sometimes be the best play to split a Full House to optimise your opening in OFC. There will be some downsides in doing so, as we saw in the last blog post.

A direct downside is obviously the fact that you are abandoning a bonus of 6 points. This is a royalty that you won’t be able to get back in most cases.

We don’t know the exact percentage of times and computer simulations have been invited to answer these kinds of question. We would need to run a split Full House a million times and count the hands that end up with no bonus on the back row.

However, a small upside is that if your pair is smaller than your trips, you will often make an extra 2 points by making trips in the middle.

We will now see in detail all the situations where it will be beneficial for you to split your Full House, as well as the reasons why this will be the best play in each scenario.

There will be a few notable exceptions where indeed it would not be justified to keep your Full House as a maid hand in opening on the back row.

Exception #1

You will split your Full House when you are dealt a Full House that includes trips with a pair of Aces, Kings or Queens.

Full House that includes a pair of Aces.

In such a case, you will split your Full House and place your AA in the middle. Additionally, if your 3 other cards are KKK or QQQ, you would then place your AA on top, and not in the middle. It would be otherwise too unlikely to access Fantasyland with so many dead cards.

Full House that includes a pair of Kings or Queens.

You will split your Full House and place your KK or QQ on top. There is no question about placing your KK in the middle here as you would do with AA. Your pair of Kings should go right on your top line, and this is in part justified by the fact that you could still catch AA to validate that middle row.

Question: What if your 3 other cards are AAA. Would you still place your KK on top or would it be better to place KK in the middle?

You would place your KK on top even if you have AAA in the back. It would be too difficult to access Fantasyland otherwise if you were to place your KK in the middle and try to catch the 2 remaining Kings or 2 Queens.

Other notable exceptions apply, and we will continue going over all possible OFC opening scenarios in the next blogs.

Rendezvous next week for the continuation of these series of tips on Open Face Chinese Poker!

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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