Isabelle NoMercy Monday OFC Crash course: Opening

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with a Full House (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, like opening with a Full House.  Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!

As explained in my earlier blog post, we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your openings. 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.

Let’s move on with the next best starting hand; a Full House.

Full Houses

A Full House is a powerful hand and as such, you will have a natural tendency to keep it in the back and automatically grab 6 points royalties for that line.

However, things already get a bit more complicated with that dominant initial hand. Indeed, some exceptions are mandatory in various cases, where you will need to split your Full House.

We will go over all the exceptions and the reasons why particular elements sometimes justify splitting your full houses, but you need to know upfront that there will be some downsides to these plays:

Downside #1

When you have secured a full house in the back, it will open some opportunities for big draws and big bonuses.

Since your middle line will be ready for giant hands, you will be able to position on that line any 2 connecting cards on the next draw. It could be 2 suited cards, or 2 cards that open possibilities for a straight draw, or event for a smaller full house.

These hands represent lots of points in bonuses and constitute an easy way to reach FL as well as to scoop your opponents. You must be aware that you are losing this immediate chance for improvement when you end up splitting your boat.

Downside #2

Obviously, the other downside is that you often won’t be able to get back the bonuses that you gave up in the back by splitting your full house. When you end up with trips in the back because you decided to split your hand, you will not receive any royalty.

As of next week, we will study the reasons behind each exception with regard to splitting your full houses. It will be more important than ever to remember that this entire guide of openings is based on the following statement:

You are first to act, and you are playing Heads Up.

Indeed, as we go over all exceptions, it will be super important for you to remember that these are overall guidelines, but that you MUST stay observant and adapt your openings to each situation, according to the exposed cards when you are last to act and when playing 3-handed.

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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