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.
Here’s a final recap for this category:
In most of these cases, you will keep your 5 cards straight all together and place it in the back, even if it means settling down for a mere 2 points Royalty. The exceptions to this rule will occur when you receive such a 6-high to Jack-high Straight that contains 3 or 4 cards to a Flush. In such cases, you should treat your hand as a Flush Draw and not as a Straight Draw.
In this very particular case, you should split this made hand in order to place your Ace in the middle. This is explained by the fact that you should not waste that first valuable Ace on the back line, because placing it in the middle gives you an opportunity to develop that row with only one more good card.
With so many Fantasyland cards in this initial draw, don’t even think of wasting these 3 major assets for anything else than trying to reach Fantasyland. You should play this as an opening with 5 different cards with 2 or more Fantasyland cards.
Since this game is all about accessing Fantasyland, placing your King in the middle and your Queen on top is usually a pretty good start. Scarifying these two major cards for just a Straight is not the prime play. Refer to this particular blog post to learn where to place the remaining cards according to their suits!
You should split your made hand and place 8-9-10-J in the back along with your Queen on top. This play leaves you with 89% chances of hitting one of 7 remaining outs before the end of the hand with still 12 cards to come.
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. Remember to never engage in a Gutshot Straight Draws when you are first to act!
Do not hesitate to refer back to each post to see more details concerning the overall guidelines described here.
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!
Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
OFC “Progressive” World Champion