How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC Poker)
Since Open Face Chinese Poker doesn’t use any chips or betting it’s technically not “poker,” but its usage of poker hands is what gives the game its name. The game is played with 2-4 players, a standard 52-card deck and a few different ways to keep score. Read on for the full rundown of the Open Face Chinese Poker.
About Open Face Chinese Poker
Open Face Chinese poker is one of the fastest growing poker games in the poker world. Originally developed in Finland it began to catch on in the U.S. around 2011/2012, more or less, and from there to the online poker community. Since then the game has exploded in popularity and is a favourite among pro players in particular, who like to gamble both small and big stakes amongst each other.
The object of OFC is the same as standard Chinese Poker rules. Each player must make (set) three poker hands. Two of the hands are five-card poker hands and one is a three-card poker 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.
How to Play OFC Poker/Pineapple (Video)
Get started with our easy-to-follow video tutorial on how to play Open Face Chinese Poker & Open Face Chinese Poker Pineapple.
Open Face Chinese Poker - How to Deal
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 Poker 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.
Open Face Chinese Poker Rules
Most Open Face Chinese poker games consist of 2-4 players with the standard game online consisting of three-handed tables. 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.
Open Face Chinese Poker Scoring
Scoring in Open Face Chinese poker is done via points, sometimes called units. In a $1 OFC game, each point or unit is worth $1. Standard scoring is as follows:
- 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.
- Players also score points by winning royalties.
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. By learning the right order of counting open face chinese poker points you make make the rounds run faster and smoother.
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.
Open Face Chinese Royalties
Royalties are bonus points 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:
Royalties for Middle Hand:
Royalties for Top Hand:
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.
Open Face Chinese Poker Fantasyland
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 they 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 their cards exposed until the other players have completed their hands.
A player can remain in Fantasyland if they makes trips in the top hand, a full house or better in the middle hand or quads or better in the bottom hand.
Open Face Chinese Poker Pineapple
A popular variation of OFC is Pineapple OFC (Pineapple Open Face Chinese). The primary difference between Pineapple OFC and standard OFC is the number of cards given to each player after the initial deal.
Both games start with five cards dealt all at once on the initial deal but in Pineapple players are then dealt three cards for every subsequent deal.
From those three cards players must set two of those cards into their hands and then discard the last one.
The main difference between this and regular OFC is that there are just 5 rounds of play instead of 9 and each player goes through more card.
Because of that Pineapple OFC is always played with a maximum of three players. Scoring, bonuses and Fantasyland rules all remain the same.
Pineapple OFC is a faster-paced version of the game that is really catching on and developing a significant following online. Read more about how to play Pineapple Poker on our dedicated page about Pineapple Poker rules.
Play Open Face Chinese Poker Online
If you want to play Open Face Chinese Poker 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.
For real-money Chinese Poker cash games and tournaments, create a new account at any of our best online poker sites.You can get an exclusive bonus from PokerListings to start you off.
What Makes OFC Poker Rules Different From Regular Chinese Poker?
OFC poker rules are close to Chinese poker rules but one big difference separates these two poker games from each other and affects the gameplay significantly. In OFC poker, you don’t see all your cards in the beginning but build your three OFC hands by drawing 1 card (or 3 cards in OFC pineapple), from the deck at the time. At the start of OFC poker round, each player is dealt 5 cards, and after the rest 8 cards are drawn from the deck until total of thirteen cards are facing up on the table in three rows - top row (3 cards), mid row (5 cards) and bottom row (5 cards).
Not knowing your cards and building your hands requires skill and is very exciting. These elements of randomness and OFC strategy make this poker variant so fun to play.
Then there are the special rules you can only find in OFC poker such as Fantasyland and OFC Pineapple max. 3-player rule. Fantasyland is based on drawn cards and hand results, which is not part of the normal variant since no cards are drawn from the deck.
OFC Poker FAQs
What is OFC poker?Open Face Chinese, also known as OFC poker, is a poker variant played with 3-4 payers and by using standard poker hand ranking. In OFC poker every player has a total of thirteen cards to make three poker hands, but the trick is, only 5 cards are dealt initially and the rest are drawn from the deck one at the time and placed topside on the table. From these OFC poker hands, the top row must have the weakest hand, the middle row stronger than the top, and bottom row the strongest, otherwise player fouls. Target is to have best hand in each row and win points by doing so.
How do you play OFC poker?You play OFC poker against 2 to 4 players and try to win each row by getting the best hand according to regular poker hand ranking. After the first five cards are dealt, you put three of these face up on the table in rows and start building your hands by drawing cards from the deck. After the showdown points are calculated and new round begins. That's about the basics - on how you play OFC.
How to win in OFC poker?In OFC poker you win by scoring points depending on your hand wins. Every round you try to win all three hands to get 3 points and possible special bonus points. OFC follows the same poker hand ranking as Texas Hold'em, meaning royal straight flush beats all other hands.
Where can I play OFC poker online?You can play OFC poker online on the top poker sites PokerStars, 888poker, partypoker. OFC poker online poker sites offer different stakes and rule variations like OFC poker, OFC pineapple poker, pineapple open face chinese. Open face Chinese poker is not yet as popular as Texas Hold'em but the game is steadily becoming one of the most played poker games online and live. Maybe in few years you can also play OFC poker in the world series. You can also play OFC poker online for free by downloading Open Face Chinese poker app on your smartphone.
What is the best OFC poker strategy?Best OFC poker strategy depends on the individual game situation and knowing when it is time to gamble and when it is smart to play it safe. High risk in OFC poker is rewarded with big wins, especially through fantasy land and possible royalties. Whatever you decide to do, every OFC strategy starts from knowing the point system and setting your hand from the beginning. Plan ahead, don't overplay your middle hand, and avoid fouled hands.