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The Leak: Chinese Poker

This is the third installment of the leak, and I'm quickly learning why my bankroll takes random drops. This time we are focusing on the black-hole of money known as Chinese Poker. Chalk this up as another innovation of the Chinese, along with iron, noodles and firecrackers. Love them firecrackers!

Here is how Chinese Poker works:

Each player (maximum of four) is given thirteen cards. You then arrange the cards into three poker hands. The first (back hand) and second (middle) hand consist of five cards. The third hand (front hand) is three cards only. You cannot have a flush or straight in the three-card hand. The best you can have is three of a kind. The first hand must be your highest hand, followed by the second and third.

When all players are done setting their hands, they reveal and players get one unit for each hand they beat. So, if it is heads-up, and I have a fullhouse, three-of-a-kind, and Ace-high, and you have a flush, a straight, and a pair of twos, then you win one unit (I win one for the fullhouse, you win one for the straight, and you win a second one for the twos). If you are playing with more than two players, you compare each players hand to each other players hands. So, if player A beats two out of three of player B's hands, and loses two out of three to player C's hands, and player B gets whalloped on all three hands against C, A would win 2 units from B but pay 2 to C (0 units total), player C would win 3 units from B and 2 from A (+5 units), and player B would pay 2 to A and 3 to C (-5 units). Units are decided at buy-in ($1, for example).

There are two set of rules for Chinese Poker: East and West. In West, the player that wins a majority of the hands win an extra unit. In East, there are bonus units for particular hands. These include Straight Flushes (5 for the back, 10 for the middle), four-of-a-kind (4 for the back, 8 for the middle), Fullhouse in the middle (2), and three-of-a-kind in the front (3). If your opponent has the same bonus hand, but it is lower than yours, you win double.

In West or East, there are also "Clean Sweep Hands" that are above and beyond the usual hands. In order of strongest to weakest (with explanations and units earned in paranthesis), they are: the Dragon (one of each rank; 13), 13 Colors (all cards are black or red; 13), 12 Colors (3), 6-Pair (3), 3 Straights (3) and 3 Flushes (3).

So, there it is in short form. They have the game at, where I am grinding out the last 400 out of 2200 points needed to earn my $150 deposit bonus. Should you play the game? I do, but only when I know I am donking around. I've gotten better at setting hands, and there is some strategy once you see how your opponents set theirs (some go for the high front hand, while others utterly ignore it and just place the leftovers there, for instance), but it still is a game that seems to grossly depend on luck.

If you care to give Chinese Poker a try, check out (it may be elsewhere). But I'd suggest signing up via I did, and I already received my 750 VPP Points (which I used, together with other points, for a $100 iTunes Gift Certificate). It only requires 500 points, I believe, so my suggestion is to deposit the minimum and then immediately deposit addition dough as you desire. This way, when you are done with the VPP bonus, you will also finish (or be near finishing) the cash bonus. Good luck, and play safely.

posted by Jordan @ 9:25 AM,


At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in the Philippines Chinese Poker is very very popular. It is played everywhere and by almost anyone. It is also a favorite past time, but most Casinos here do not have Chinese Poker tables, they only reserve or allow it for VIP's. It's a simple and fun game, just like Texas hold 'em.


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