Isabelle NoMercy Monday OFC Crash course: Opening

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening With Straights (Part 5)

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 more. Today it’s opening with Straights and Straight Draws. Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy-ride!

As explained earlier, we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your openings. The way you will chose 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’ll see how to handle opening with Straights.

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

Recently, we started reviewing the next category of openings: Opening with Straights and Straight Draws.

We already looked deeper at all possibilities of 5 Cards Straight served in opening: Six-high to Jack-high Straights, Ace to 5 Straights, Ace high Straights, Queen high Straights and King high Straights.

Let’s now look at the best ways to play Straight draws instead of made Straights:

4 Cards Straight Draws served in opening

In most cases with an open-ended Straight draw as an opening, you will place your draw in the back and the remaining card in the middle, unless it’s a King or a Queen, which would go on top.

Keep in mind Possibility Number 1(Six-high to Jack-high Straights) that we studied in the first piece of blog of this chapter on Straights, where we learned that it was actually best to split your made straight if you had 3 or 4 Flush cards in your hand.

This applies even more in this particular case with only a Straight draw with 3 or 4 Flush cards. Such a hand should be played as a Flush draw and not as a Straight draw.

Other than that, hands such as 2-6-7-8-9 in 4 different suits should be played as an open-ended Straight draw in the back with the remaining deuce in the middle.

This would not apply to open-ended draws that include Fantasy cards. Indeed, an opening such as 2-10-J-Q-K should not be played as a Straight draw, but rather as 5 disparate cards with Fantasyland potential.

We will study this later on when we reach one of the final chapters about openings with 5 unrelated cards.

A final word on Gutshot Straight draws; you should avoid these as much as possible. Even a hand such as 4-5-6-8-Q should not be played as a gutshot if you are in first position.

However, if you were last to act and all your gutshot cards were all fully live, then you could play the 4-5-6-8 in the back along with the Queen on top.

But basically, in the end, do not engage in Gutshot Straight Draws when you are first to act!

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!

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Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier

OFC “Progressive” World Champion


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