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 – Opening wit a pair of Queens and an Ace.
Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!
Over the last weeks, we studied different openings and we went through some real-life hand analysis. There are multiple different possible scenarios in OFC and we will continue to observe what are the optimal plays according to each situation.
This week, we will focus on a classic opening that includes a pair of Queens with an Ace.
Let’s go over an analysis of a hand that presented itself to me recently while playing on CoinPoker. I received these five cards to start my board, and I was on the button, which means I got to see my opponents’ first five cards before making my decision:
With these precise 5 cards, I regularly see players choosing to open in 4 different ways:
As we saw over the last series of advices, splitting a pair in order to chase a flush draw is rarely the best play. That is even more true when this pair is a pair of Queens served with a live Ace. Therefore, option number #1 here is definitely not the right play.
Option number #2 is already a better choice, however the 8 and the 3 on the bottom line are two cards that don’t do well together, and this combination blocks any chances of making a straight or a flush there.
It might come as a surprise, but option number #3 would probably be the best play here, if you did NOT have an Ace in your hand.
Indeed, most players have a tendency to automatically place their Queens on top in opening when they receive such a pair, but experience and some mentoring will prove this to be wrong if you have no substance such as a live Ace or a live Kings to go with it. Remember that you can always access Fantasyland with Kings or Aces on top too, so placing your Queens in the back allows you to start with a very strong hand, and still have opportunities to access Fantasyland.
In the end, in this particular scenario, option number #4 will be the optimum play, with a sole 8 in the back, leaving all possibilities open to make a big hand there.
On the next draw, I received very some cards that I really liked:
The Ace in the middle is an automatic move here, as this was exactly what we were looking for in the first place. The Queen is no help for us, but all the 10s are live and this is a connecting card for a potential straight in the back. So, despite the fact that our opponent shows a 9 and a Jack, which are cards that we would probably need in order to complete a straight, the 10 will still go on the back here.
On the next draw, I received some random cards that did not really improve my hand. The 9 will go in the back here, even if the 4 is more live, as my possible straight is still in the air and I want to keep that option open. The 4 will therefore go in the middle here, in order to have more outs to improve this line, if I do complete the straight on the bottom.
On my next draw, my cards dictated their own placement:
I had to place my 9 in the back to have at least a pair, and because my kicker on the top line is irrelevant since I am facing a pair of Kings, I placed the 5 there along with my two Queens.
Indeed, I can always improve my middle line to two pair or trips in order to beat my opponent’s middle line if he gets there, with two pair or trips himself.
That left me with 6 live cards in the deck to complete a valid board; three 10s, one 9, and two 8s. I was lucky enough to catch one of my 10s on the last draw, and to witness my opponent fouled on that hand.
Fantasyland all by myself, that’s the way I like it!
I wish you all an excellent holiday season with lots of Fantasylands! You will find me on a daily basis at the tables during this vacation, and I will be back with more blogs and pieces of advices in January!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
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