Chinese poker is an exciting type of poker based on making familiar combinations. Chinese open face poker is classically played as a two- to the four-person game.
There are more than a dozen types of Chinese poker, the most popular of which in the Russian-speaking environment is Chinese pineapple poker. Such a name is associated with the schematic shape of the player’s hand, which consists of three rows: three cards in the front hand, five cards in the middle hand, as well as five cards in the bottom hand.
This type of poker can also be called Open Face Chinese/OFC. It indicates an essential feature of the game (player’s cards are visible to opponents). Pineapple differs in some nuances from the “traditional” OFC. Therefore, the correct name for this type of poker is Pineapple OFC or Open Chinese Poker Pineapple.
Here is how the player’s hand (own cards) in Pineapple looks like:
After reading the article, you will know:
- Basic Chinese poker rules;
- Principles of scoring points and bonuses;
- Fantasyland, deadhand, and units;
- The critical nuances of Pineapple poker;
- Where to play Chinese poker online for money and for free.
Pineapple poker basic rules and nuances
Pineapple OFC uses a standard deck of 52 cards (from two to ace, no jokers). Players should gather standard winning poker hands: from a pair to a royal flush.
If you play Chinese poker for the first time, you might think that everything is too complicated here. However, you can easily understand the critical Pineapple rules in half an hour. Moreover, it takes some players just a few months to become professionals in this game.
Fundamental features of Open face Chinese poker
Unlike some other Chinese poker variants, Pineapple poker is two- to the three-person game. The each player’s hand consists of 13 cards, which are placed in three rows or boxes (three cards – in the front hand, five – in the middle hand, and five cards in the bottom hand.)
The goal of the player is to win more hands, wherein the strongest hand is in the bottom row, and the weakest hand is in the front row. To win rows, a player’s hand ranking must be higher than his opponents’ in the same row. In fact, equivalent hands are allowed. As the game continues, the completed boxes of the opponents are compared with each other. Points and royalties are awarded for the highest hands. These points are subsequently converted into players` winnings.
The main rule of hands in Pineapple can be formulated as follows: the middle hand must be stronger than the front hand, and the bottom hand must be stronger than the middle hand.
Unlike more popular poker variants, Pineapple does not assume that the winner takes everything. It makes the game attractive for beginners. There are no usual bet rounds, and the winners get their winnings in the form of percentages of the overall bankroll.
The primary goal of Open faced Chinese poker is not only to gather winning hands in rows correctly but also to get bonuses when comparing their hands with the respective rows of their opponents.
Chinese poker depends on your luck very much. Therefore, if the players have the same game experience, the luck will choose the winner.
Gameplay: dealing cards and poker hand combinations
The players place cards one by one. One draw involves 5 hands (streets) for each player. First, the dealer deals each participant with 5 cards in turn, playing each card top, middle, or bottom row. All cards are arranged face-up on the table. After that, other participants of the game do the same.
During the next four deals, the player gets three cards, two of which he/she places in rows at his discretion, and the third one is discarded. The process continues until all players complete their boxes, which should contain 13 cards.
Thus: the dealer deals cards in turn, according to the scheme 5-2 (1) -2 (1) -2 (1) -2 (1) (in general, 13 for the hand + 4 discarded).
Discarded cards are left on the table face down near the player.
In this respect, traditional Chinese poker differs from Pineapple Poker. After receiving 5 starting cards, each player gets one open face card and immediately puts it in the right place on his/her boxes.
There is also an option called Turbo. The main difference is that in the second and third deal, the player, on the contrary, gets four cards instead of two. It makes the game more dynamic and venturous.
Rules of Pineapple poker do not allow moving a card to a different row after the street is completed. Opponents can see only those cards that are in boxes, and discarded cards are closed for them.
After all cards are dealt, game participants start to compare their hands (in particular, the corresponding rows/boxes). In the future, depending on the poker hand rankings, each player gets points and additional bonuses. The player receives nothing if he/she has a deadhand (see below).
How the players` hands are compared?
Let’s figure out the positions of players at the table when you play Chinese Pineapple Poker.
- Player 1. Next clockwise from the dealer button;
- Player 2. Next clockwise, after player 1;
- Player 3. The player who sits with the dealer button.
First, the hands of Player 1 and Player 2 are compared. After that, Player 1 hands are compared with Player 3. Finally: Player 2 hands are compared with Player 3.
These rules are valid until players have units. If one of the participants loses all the chips in the initial stage (it can be Player 1 or Player 2), then he/she will no longer be compared with Player 3.
What is deadhand?
Pineapple poker rules suggest the critical concept called “deadhand.” What is it? When a player fails to place the combinations correctly, his hand is called “Dead.” In such a situation, all player combinations are automatically considered weaker than those of his/her opponents. As a result, the player does not get any additional points and bonuses for the current hand.
The deadhand is declared in such cases:
- If the combination in the front row is stronger than in the middle row;
- If the poker hand ranking in the middle row is higher than in the bottom.
You need to remember that if you break the basic rule regarding the poker hand ranking, you do not get any winnings. Therefore, in this hand, you have lost.
Fantasyland mode in Pineapple Poker
Fantasyland mode is another difference between Pineapple and some other types of Chinese open face poker. This special bonus is awarded when a player makes a hand that has a pair of queens (Q-Q) or higher in the front hand. Another condition is that a player should not have a “deadhand.”
The main features of Fantasyland:
- The dealer button is still moved in the next hand;
- In the next hand, a player who is awarded the Fantasyland bonus, immediately takes 14 cards, 13 of which he/she uses to place in boxes, and one card is discarded;
- In Fantasyland, a player can place cards only after his/her opponents have placed their own;
- If two players achieve Fantasyland bonus, all players can make hands simultaneously;
- A player who has not got Fantasyland bonus, will place cards face down, but he/she will get cards according to standard OFC rules.
Fantasyland can be repeated according to the specific models. There are two models of possible Fantasyland repetition.
Classic. The Fantasyland mode can be repeated, if you get a set in the front row, a full house in the middle, and four of a kind and higher in the bottom row. At the same time, you should have a deadhand.
Unlimited. The conditions are the same: you need to collect a three of a kind in the front box or a four of a kind and higher in the bottom box. The only difference is that the Fantasyland mode can be repeated an unlimited number of times.
Scoring in Chinese Pineapple Poker
Chips are not used in Pineapple, as in other types of poker. The game uses another system of counting and distribution of winnings. The stakes in OFC are played for so-called units. These are points, which are awarded to players after comparing their final hands.
To participate in the game, you need to deposit a certain amount of units, which is predetermined for a particular poker table. For example, the minimum sum of units is 100, and one unit is worth 1 dollar. Therefore, to participate in the game at such a table, you must deposit 100 dollars (minimum fee).
When playing live, players determine the unit value together. In Open Face Chinese poker online, the unit value is predetermined. You can view it in the lobby or on the table description page.
Important feature! During the game, you cannot control the size of the winnings or potential loss, since you will know the difference in points only after the final hand when the opponents’ hands are compared.
In this case, you will not be able to lose more units than you and your opponent have before the hand comparison.
Points and bonuses are calculated at the end of each hand. Points are assigned to players based on a comparison of the corresponding boxes of each player. In this case, the hands are compared in pairs, that is, not all players simultaneously, but between the first player and second player, then the first player and third player, and then between the second and third players.
Final hands are compared in particular rows:
- Front with front;
- Middle with middle;
- Bottom with bottom.
If in one of the indicated boxes, there are hands of equal strength, the players do not get points.
Basic scoring rules
Chinese poker points can be calculated using two different schemes.
The first scheme – 2-4 scoring. The player gets one point for each row with the strongest hand. Additionally, the player can get an extra point if he/she wins two or three hands. If the same winning combinations are formed on some rows (for example, equivalent flushes in the middle row), nobody receives points.
The second scheme – 1-6 scoring. A player gets one point for each winning row. If all player’s rows are better than the opponents’ ones, three more points are awarded.
Scoring Bonuses or Royalties
In addition to scoring points for hands comparison, Pineapple provides additional bonus points (royalties) for making combs in each of the rows.
The key peculiarity is that even if you lose, bonus points are still awarded. It is kind of bad beat prize, which beginners will especially like. You never get a royalty when you have a deadhand.
Attention! Bonuses are not a prerequisite for playing Pineapple Poker. Sometimes they are neglected. However, you can oftener meet them at the online tables.
The number of bonus points may differ depending on the rules of a particular table. The royalty system may be either American or Russian.
Check the number of bonus points for particular combs on each of three rows in the table below:
|Row||Combination||Russian rules||The USA rules|
|Four of a Kind||8||10|
|Middle row||Three of a Kind||2|
|Four of a Kind||16||20|
Chinese poker strategies
Several basic Chinese poker strategies can increase chances to win:
- Try to play at the tables with newbies. If you feel that your opponent is a professional player, you should better choose another more attractive table;
- Not to lose, you should keep the order and hierarchy of poker combs (seniority in different rows);
- Try to get a Fantasyland bonus and repeat it. To get this bonus, do not rush to fill the top row of three cards;
- Analyze open cards of your opponents. They give additional info on whether you can gather specific combs.
Chinese online poker – the main nuances of playing on the Web
Pineapple Poker is more an exotic trend than a popular type of poker on the Web. You will not find it even on such famous poker rooms like PokerStars and 888. However, Chinese poker has turned into a rising trend. The increasing number of offline tournaments and Pineapple poker tables to the range of several online poker rooms are vivid evidence of this fact. Chinese poker game rules are the same as those described above. However, you should know some essential nuances.
Before the game starts, participants must confirm their intention to take part in the game. A player must agree on the number of units he/she takes at the table. The minimum amount is usually indicated in the lobby.
Each player gets the same time for placing cards each time when cards are dealt. This process differs depending on the poker room. The average time is two minutes. After the time is up, there is still an additional fund in the form of a time bank. If a player’s time has expired, then the cards are placed automatically starting from the bottom row, etc.
Where to play Chinese poker online?
Despite the small presence (so far!) of Chinese poker on the Web, all fans can find several options where to play Chinese poker online, including Pineapple. First of all, you should refer to the sources, by which we mean Chinese poker rooms.
TonyBet Poker is probably one of the best choices for playing Chinese Open Face Poker Pineapple. In this European poker room, poker is played in limits starting at € 0.1.
The main feature of TonyBet Poker is that it was initially created as a platform for playing Chinese poker. Today it is the most popular room for playing Pineapple Poker.
Besides, here you can play such poker varieties as:
- 2-7 Pineapple;
- Progressive Pineapple;
- Turbo Chinese poker.
Besides traditional cash games, Chinese poker tournaments are held here. SNG tables are also available. TonyBet Poker is the only poker room where a series of Chinese poker tournaments are held.
PokerDom is a poker room where you can play Chinese poker (including Pineapple) for rubles. Almost at any time of the day, you can find tables with Chinese poker with a limit of up to 10 rubles per unit.
In addition to cash games, here you can find small Chinese poker tournaments with guaranteed prize pools. Sometimes more than 40 players are involved.
Gambler Games is a rather specific poker room with Chinese poker. It positions itself as the first domestic poker room, focused precisely on this type of game. There are several types of Chinese poker.
Playing Chinese poker online is a real pleasure. Whether you win or lose depends on luck very much. Therefore, even beginners will undoubtedly like the game.
Where to play Chinese poker for free?
TonyBet Poker sometimes offers freerolls for Chinese poker. It is probably the best option, how to try it for free. After all, in such tournaments, you will get both a good experience of the game and win real cash.
Another option is to get a no-deposit bonus in the room where Pineapple or other varieties of Chinese poker are offered. In this case, you can also try this type of poker contingently for free.
Finally, almost every poker room offers a game for chips. You can use this option to test Pineapple without risking your money. If you adore mobile gambling, we recommend that you should use the DH Pineapple Poker OFC app.
Chinese poker online has been gaining more and more fans recently. There are more than a dozen of types, but OFP Pineapple is of the highest demand. It can be played both offline and online. It is sometimes quite difficult to find types of Chinese poker in a vast assortment of poker rooms, but there are options. TonyBet Poker and PokerDom are the best choices now.
The main peculiarities of Chinese Pineapple poker variants are the following:
- To play the game, you only need the players and a deck of cards. Neither chips nor even a table is required;
- Unlike most other types of poker, there are no betting rounds, and no bets are accepted;
- Players earn units (special points) during the game. You can either win or lose no more than the sum you have at the table;
- Rules of Pineapple poker are relatively simple even for an inexperienced beginner.
If you like games without complicated calculations and boring bets, you should undoubtedly try Pineapple.