No Mercy Monday February 1

Part 58 – Opening with One Pair (Part 1)

Welcome to my personal blog on OFC Pineapple (Open Face Chinese Poker). Week after week, we’ll go over the history of the game, basic rules, and recommendations, anecdotes from the players, more advanced strategies, hand analysis, and etc. Stay tuned and enjoy the Fantasy-ride! 

As explained earlier, we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your openings. The way you will choose to place your initial 5 cards will be the foundation of your hand and it represents a key decision.

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

We are studying optimum openings in order of the highest starting hands by ranking, and we already covered the top poker hands:  

Here comes the next category by ranking order of hands: 

Opening With One Pair

When you receive one pair in the opening along with 3 random cards (that are not 3 cards flush), the rule is clear and simple with very few exceptions: 

Any pair from 22 to KK will go in the back, and AA will go in the middle

That is a very serious and important rule to know and to follow, as I often (if not always) see beginners’ players automatically placing their QQ on top in opening, without proper back up cards in the middle such as AA, KK, or AK to cover their Queens.

We all know that the goal in OFC regular Pineapple is to access Fantasyland, but in the long run, placing your QQ on top in the opening without appropriate support will cost you a lot of money! 

Also, remember that a back row involving cards such as KK or QQ will often evolve into a line that will be all of your opponents with such powerful cards. So, this is a time to be more reasonable than a gambler and to think about your long-term success in Open Face Chinese Poker. 

Opening With One Pair

Remember also, as we saw earlier, that there are lots of exceptions when you will receive 3 cards flush in the opening with a big pair such as AA, KK, or QQ, which is part of the flush.

In such a case, you will split your pair in order to place your 3 flush in the back, while placing the second A, K, or Q on top, and the remaining fifth card in the middle. 

There are few exceptions to the general rule for opening with one pair, and they will occur when you get dealt another fantasy card on top of a big pair. 

Exception #1: When you get KK with a single Queen 

In such a case, your KK would go in the middle and not in the back, and your Queen would go on top.

You would place either one of the remaining cards in the back and the least interesting card in the middle along with your KK, or both of the remaining cards in the back if they are somehow connected.

For example, if you received KK, A, Q, and a rag card, you would place KK in the middle, Q on top, and A in the back. The rag card would go in the middle along with your KK unless it is suited with the Ace, then it would go in the back. 

No Mercy Exception 1

Exception #2: When you get QQ with an Ace AND a King 

In this case and because you have so many ways out to make it to Fantasyland, you would place your QQ on top along with the A and K in the middle, and the fifth card in the back.

Note that if you were dealt only one Ace or one King along with your Queens, then you would go back to the general rule for this category and place your QQ in the back, your Ace or King on top, and the 2 remaining cards in the middle. 

No Mercy Exception 2

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 this series of tips on Open Face Chinese Poker where we will see more about the placement of the remaining cards accompanying your dealt pair. 

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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