NoMercy OFC Crash Course openings

Royal and Straight Flush Openings (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 like openings.  Stay tune and enjoy the Fantasy Ride!

As explained earlier, we are now covering a crucial subject in OFC: your openings. 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. 

Royal or Straight Flush

Last week we started this series by exploring the optimal openings when you receive a Royal or Straight Flush, either as a made hand or as a draw. We learned that it was best to go straight with the flush and to abandon a royal draw with 4 cards flushes such as K-Q-J-7 of spades, or 10-9-8-2 of spades.

There is one exception to this however as we saw, and this happens when you have a pair in your hand, for example K-Q-J-7 of spades, with another 7 in your hand. In such a case, you would place your pair in the middle, for the reasons explained in the last blog post.

Let’s push this reasoning a little bit further.

Question: If you received 5 initial cards such as K-Q-J-10-2 of spades, should you secure your Flush in the back, or place the Deuce in the middle, drawing to cash-in the big royalty, knowing that you can always abandon your draw later on and settle for a regular Flush?

In such a scenario, you should play the 4 Straight Flush cards in the back and give yourself at least another draw before abandoning that massive draw. Indeed, and because you are open-ended to a huge royalty (25 points for a Royal and 15 points for Straight Flush), you can gamble and see the next 3 cards. If you do not complete your hand on the second draw, you will need to make a decision based on the information you see on both boards.

Question: Would the answer be the same for an initial draw such as 10-9-8-7-2 of spades, offering no chance at the Royal and its 25 points?

Yes, the answer would be the same as a 15-points bonus incentive is worth the risk of fouling. Remember that on top of the Flush, you can also make a Straight on that back line with this open-ended draw.

Question: What about a Royal or Straight Flush draw that is a gutshot draw instead of being open-ended, such as A-K-Q-10-2 of spades?

Here again, you should play the 4 Royal Straight Flush cards in the back and give yourself a shot at completing this draw. It’s important to remember that you can always settle for a regular straight to save your board with any other Jack!

Question: Would the answer be the same for an initial draw such as 10-9-7-6-2 of spades, offering no chance at the Royal and its 25 points?

Yes, and in fact, anytime you receive 4 cards to a Straight Flush, you should play them in the back and place the 5th card in the middle.

A final note before closing on this first chapter about Royal and Straight Flush draws, as you need to be aware of a very important notion about the fifth card in your hand. Indeed, in all above examples, when we placed 4 cards draw in the back, we always placed the fifth card in the middle.

If this fifth card is a King or a Queen, it will go on the top row, and not on the middle row.

That is very important to ensure you keep all your options open to reach Fantasyland!

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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