Isabelle NoMercy Monday OFC Crash course: Opening

NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Opening With Two Pairs (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 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 are studying optimum openings in order of the highest starting hands by ranking, and we already covered the top poker hands:

We are now turning to the next category in order of highest starting hand: Opening with Two Pairs

Opening with Two Pairs

Opening with two pairs already gets more complicated than opening with Three of a kind. There are indeed more exceptions that can apply here, and we will look at these.


In general, you will keep your two pairs together on the bottom line, even if these are two very small pairs.

The reason for this is because you will complete that line to make a boat in a lot of hands, and this placement covers your middle row, making it ready for draws such as a pair of Aces or a pair of Kings in the middle.

When you open with such a placement, you always place the 5th card in the middle, unless it’s a King or a Queen, in which case you place it on top.

We say, in general, because there are a few exceptions. Here they are:

Exception # 1: When one of the two pairs is AA along with JJ to 22

In this case, you always place your pair of Aces in the middle and the other pair in the back. This placement allows you to be in direct position to access Fantasyland. As for the remaining card, it goes in the middle with the Aces, unless it’s a King or a Queen, then it goes on top. This is explained by the fact that you want to keep your back open for a live card to go along with your pair. Running pairs play much easier than trying to create one from thin air by placing a card on your bottom line in opening, in the dark, first to speak.

Exception # 2: When one of the two pairs is AA along KK or QQ

In this situation, the rule is plain and simple: AA goes in the middle, and your pair of Kings or Queens goes on top. The remaining card will go in the back in 100% of the cases. You have no information about live cards, but as opposed to Exception #1 stated above, you do want here to have some foundation, at least one card, hoping to catch cards that connects, hoping to catch anything that starts looking like a back line. It’s already problematic opening with only one card in the back, don’t even think about opening with zero card there when you’re first to act.

Exception #3: When the two pairs are KK and QQ

The same rule as above applies here. You would place KK in the middle and QQ on top, just as you would for AA in the middle and KK or QQ on top, along with the remaining card in the back.

Let’s continue on these exceptions in next week’s blog post!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *