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NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening with Flushes (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. Today it’s opening with Flushes. Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!

As explained earlier we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your openings. And this is a part two of blog about opening with Flushes.

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 as we went over the possible scenarios and draws that concern a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, Quads and Full Houses.

We are now looking at the next category in order of ranking hands: Opening with Flushes and Flush Draws.

We covered last week situations involving 5 cards flush served in opening and discovered when we should keep it as a made hand in the back for 4 points royalty, versus when to split it in order to have more chances of accessing Fantasyland.

I want to come back on a particular case that we studied last week. Indeed, and as we learned:

If your 5 cards flush is a King or Queen high flush, then you should split it and place your K or Q on top.

Question: What about an initial draw that contains both of these cards?

Let’s say that you receive KQ852 in opening, all in spades. What would be the best play in such case?

Option #1

Splitting this hand and placing K852 in the back, in order to beat most opponents’ Flushes on that row, and Q on top in order to have a live Fantasy card available.

Option #2

Splitting this hand and placing Q852 in the back, also in order to beat most opponents’ Flushes since Queens and Kings usually go on top while Aces usually go in the middle, and K top to have a live Fantasy card there and make an extra point if you access Fantasyland, while beating most Fantasyland top hands from your opponents.

Option #3

Splitting this hand and placing 852 on the back, with a King in the middle and a Queen on top.

If you answered Option #1, you are right!

Option #1 would indeed be the optimal opening in such a case, because the King high flush might make a difference on winning that line, and because the middle row will be slightly easier to validate with QQ on top versus with KK on top.

The opening suggested in Option #2 would not be a huge mistake, but it is still best to open with a King high flush and a Queen on top rather than the opposite way.

As for Option #3, with 852 bottom and K middle with Q top, it would be a very precarious starting hand when first to speak. Indeed, not fouling with that hand would most likely mean that you would end up with a miraculous 2 small pairs or trips in the back to cover an eventual pair of Kings in the middle, or with an amazing total of 7 spades in your hand, a situation that will rarely happen (something you most likely already realised by counting your flush cards when accessing Fantasyland).

Even if you were last to act and already saw 10 exposed cards from 2 opponents that wouldn’t include any spades, I don’t think this bold move would be the right play.

You could possibly convince me if they did not hold any Kings, any Queens and showed already 3 Aces!

Be aware of the reasons why you make every single decision in OFC. That’s how you will become a winning player!

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!

Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion

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