Taking Your First Open Face Poker Steps: Basic Strategy

The game of Open Face Chinese Poker first gained recognition back in 2012 when it was fast picked up by poker's high rollers to spice up their poker experience. However, with the global poker community living in a pretty closed circle, it didn't take long for the game to reach a wider audience.

Very soon the first apps and online games started to appear, although none of them offered real money gaming. Fortunately the situation changed in December 2013 when the notorious Tony G launched the first global OFC poker site on his online gaming platform TonyBet.com.

According to Tony himself, in just a few months the site became extremely popular among those infected with the OFC virus and still keeps spreading among the members of the global poker community.

Despite the fact that more and more people are getting into the game, with Open Face poker still being a new phenomenon, most of the players are in the phase of figuring out the right strategies on how it should be played.

While learning OFC rules is pretty easy for anyone, who had played any form of poker before, the 'correct' game strategy is still to be figured out (if ever). However, there are some key points of playing the game in different situations. One's OFC strategy should differ according to the type of the game and a number of players ate the table. Especially when it comes to starting hands.

The same starting hand may be played in a different way depending on whether you're up against just one or as many as three opponents. The main difference is that the more players you have at the table the more tight you want your game to be.

It is one thing to foul your hand when trying to get QQ on top and failing to get a better hand in the middle or at the bottom, when you're playing just one opponent. In this case you would only lose 6 points (plus possible royalties) to one player, while such scenario would be much more devastating playing against three opponents.

Here's a simple example to illustrate this:

You have {7-Clubs} {K-Spades} {Q-Spades} {Q-Hearts} {9-Spades} as a starting hand. If you only have one opponent against you, you can try and set your hand in the following order: {K-Spades} {Q-Spades} {9-Spades} in the back, {7-Clubs} in the middle and {Q-Hearts} in front.

This set up gives you a decent chance of getting a flush in the bottom hand and to stand strong on top. In this case putting both queens in the back is not advised as they are unlikely to improve and a flush at the bottom is a pretty strong hand in a heads-up play.

Meanwhile, when playing against two or three opponents, a more effective starting hand would be {K-Spades} {Q-Spades} {Q-Hearts} in the bottom, {9-Spades} in the middle and {7-Clubs} on top. This is a more safe starting combination as the pair and a higher card in the back gives you the chance of scoring trips, two pair or full house. This provides you with a slight edge against your opponents, however unless you're unable to collect that full house, it is very likely you will not win the hand.