NoMercy OFC Crash Course: Royal and Straight Flush Openings (Part 1)
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 in my last blog post, we are now moving on with a crucial subject: your openings. As stated, the way you will chose to place your initial 5 cards will be the foundation of your hand and this therefore represent one of the most important decision you will have to make in Open Face Chinese Poker.
We will study all the best openings in order of the highest starting hands by ranking, beginning with a Royal Straight Flush and going over all possibilities, 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
With such a made hand as your initial five cards, you can open the champagne and cheers! There is no question to be asked here, and these 5 cards will go directly in the back for a whooping 15 or 25 points royalty.
If you receive 4 of these 5 cards, they will also go in the back and you can draw to your Royal or Straight Flush.
Question: What about an initial draw with 4 cards such as K-J-10-6 of clubs? Should you go with 4 Flush cards in the back, or split your draw in order to try to make a Royal or Straight Flush?
In such a case, you should play your 4 cards Flush draw in the back. Indeed, it would be a really long shot to try drawing to 2 perfect cards in order to make a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush with your initial 3 cards. Moreover, completing this bottom row with 2 more clubs would imply that you ended up with a minimum of 6 clubs in your hand, which does not happen too often. That’s why you should place your 4 cards Flush in the back and try to fill up that row for a royalty of 4 points.
There is however one exception to that rule; if your fifth card was another 9. In such a case, you could place your K-J-10 of clubs in the back and your pair of 9s in the middle. That is explained by the fact that you could still make a Royal, a Straight Flush, or a Flush in the back, and because you placed only 3 cards on the bottom here instead of 4, you could also settle for two pairs or trips.
Question: Would we do the same for an initial draw such as 10-9-8-2 of spades, involving no Fantasyland cards?
Yes, you should go for the Flush with 4 spades in the back, unless your fifth card is another deuce, in which case you should place your pocket deuces in the middle, and stay open for a Straight Flush or Flush or Straight in the back, knowing here again that you can always downgrade and settle for two pair or trips. Depending on the middle row, even a single pair of 8s could suffice to validate your board and allow you not to be scooped, with a top line such as AKQ.
The openings are crucial, it’s important to understand them well.
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