How to Play Open-Face Chinese Poker

Chinese on the side
Open Face Chinese quickly becoming big among pros.

Open Face Chinese poker is one of the fastest growing games in the poker world.

Originally developed in Finland it began to catch on in the U.S., more or less, around 2011/2012.

Since then the game has exploded in popularity and is a favorite among pro players in particular.

The object of OFC is the same as standard Chinese Poker. Each player must make (set) three poker hands. Two of the hands are five-card hands and one is a three-card hand.

The bottom five-card hand must be higher in value than the middle five-card hand and the middle hand must be higher than the three-card, or top hand.

Watch OFC/Pineapple Tutorial Video

Check out our easy-to-follow video tutorial to learn open-face Chinese poker and Pineapple in under five minutes!

Start with Five Cards Instead of 13

In standard Chinese poker all 13 cards are dealt at the same time and cards are not exposed while hands are being set. In Open Face Chinese players do not receive all 13 cards to start. Rather, they begin with five cards and then must set them face up.

From this point each player receives cards one at a time and must set them in a row before the next card is received. This continues until all 13 cards have been set in player hands.

Standard Game Play

Most Open Face Chinese poker games consist of two to four players with the standard game online consisting of three-handed tables.

OFC games typically run three-handed.

A dealer button is used for the sake of determining order of action and moves after each hand. The exception is a hand where one player is in "Fantasyland."

When a player is in Fantasyland the button freezes until all players are playing standard OFC.

Starting with the player to the left of the button, each player is initially dealt five cards which he or she must set. The player to the left of the button then sets his five cards face up into whichever row(s) he wishes.

This continues until the player on the button has acted. Please note that once you have set your hand and your turn is concluded, you cannot change your hand.

After the first five cards are dealt another card is then dealt to each player. Starting with the player to the left of the button, that card is placed and action continues to the button player.

This continues until each player has placed all 13 cards. Once the last card is placed players make comparisons and score their hands.


Scoring in Open Face Chinese is done via points, sometimes called units.

In a $1 OFC game, each point or unit is worth $1. Standard scoring is as follows:

Jens Hansen
Scoring in Open Face Chinese is done via points.


  • Player is paid 1 unit for each hand he wins against opponent
  • If a player scoops all three hands against an opponent he gets three bonus units.
  • If a player surrenders a hand he must pay two units to each opponent.
  • If a player "fouls" a hand he must pay six units to each player who doesn't foul.

Units are awarded at showdown via hand comparisons. In a three-handed game the player to the left of the button would compare first and comparisons would continue clockwise.

Fouling occurs when your hands are not set in proper order. For example you play trip threes in the middle and two pair on bottom. Fouling also forfeits any bonuses you may have received.


Royalties are bonus units paid to each player for making certain hands. Bonuses are more generous in OFC since hands tend to be weaker than standard Chinese poker.

Royalties for Bottom Hand:



+2 units


+4 units

Full House

+6 units


+10 units

Straight Flush

+15 units

Royal Flush

+25 units


Royalties for Middle Hand:



+2 units


+4 units


+8 units

Full House

+12 units


+20 units

Straight Flush

+30 units

Royal Flush

+50 units


Royalties for Top Hand:



+1 unit


+2 units


+3 units


+4 units


+5 units


+6 units


+7 units


+8 units


+9 units

Trip Deuces

+10 units

Trip Threes

+11 units

Trip Fours

+12 units

Trip Fives

+13 units

Trip Sixes

+14 units

Trip Sevens

+15 units

Trip Eights

+16 units

Trip Nines

+17 units

Trip Tens

+18 units

Trip Jacks

+19 units

Trip Queens

+20 units

Trip Kings

+21 units

Trip Aces

+22 units

Bonuses are paid during comparison. As an example, aces on the top in a three-handed game would net the holder nine units from each player.

Please note that bonuses are paid regardless of whether a player wins that row. Also, bonuses negate each other in OFC. For example should two players hit quads on the bottom, no bonus would be paid.


In some OFC games Fantasyland rules apply. To enter Fantasyland a player must make queens or better in his or her top hand without fouling.

If this happens the next hand he will be dealt all 13 cards at once and can set the hand like a standard Chinese Poker hand.

The player that's in Fantasyland will not have his cards exposed until the other players have completed their hands.

A player can remain in Fantasyland if he makes trips in the top hand, a full house or better in the middle hand or quads or better in the bottom hand.

Pineapple OFC

A popular variation of OFC is Pineapple OFC. The primary difference between Pineapple and standard OFC is the number of cards presented after the deal.

Both games start with five cards on the initial deal but in Pineapple players are given three cards in future rounds.

Open Face Chinese App
OFC apps are all the rage

From those three cards players must set two of those cards and then discard the last one.

The main difference between this and regular OFC is that there are five rounds of play instead of nine and each player goes through 17 cards instead of 15.

As such, Pineapple OFC is always played with a max of three players.

Scoring, bonuses and Fantasyland rules all remain the same. Pineapple is a faster-paced version that is developing a significant following online.

Where Can I Play Open Face Chinese?

If you want to play OFC online you can play for free on your smartphone or mobile device on apps such as the Chinese Open Face Poker app or the Secure Open Face Chinese Poker app.

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