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Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker

Pineapple Open Face Chinese: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Pineapple Open Face Chinese PokerPineapple Open Face Chinese (POFC) is an interesting variant of Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC).

It involves more cards and leads to different strategies and quicker game-play.

It could be considered more skillful in certain areas than regular OFC, and is becoming increasingly popular live and online.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at this interesting poker variant and give new players some tips on how to get started with POFC.

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How to play Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker

Each player first gets dealt 5 cards, the same as in OFC.

Then they get 3 cards each face-down and have to put 2 of them onto their layout (front/top, middle, or back/ bottom).

And then discard the 3rd one, face-down. This gets repeated 3 more times.

In summary:

  1. Dealt 5 cards – place all 5 face-up
  2. Dealt 3 cards – place 2 face-up, discard 1 face-down
  3. Dealt 3 cards – place 2 face-up, discard 1 face-down
  4. Dealt 3 cards – place 2 face-up, discard 1 face-down
  5. Dealt 3 cards – place 2 face-up, discard 1 face-down

This gives you in total your 13 card Chinese poker hand.

As each player gets dealt 17 cards in total, it limits POFC to a maximum of 3 players.

The scoring, royalties, and Fantasy Land qualification all stay the same as in regular OFC. See our previous Open Face Chinese guide for details of those.

Where can I play Pineapple Open Face Chinese online for real money?

The only site that we’re aware of the offers pineapple open face chinese poker games for real money is TonyBet.

TonyBet offers both OFC and POFC. Sign up here.

Things to know about Pineapple Open Face Chinese Poker

The two most noticeable effects of this variant are that it makes the game a bit quicker, and it increases the strength of the hands made.

It is much easier to foresee your best layout when getting 3 cards at a time as opposed to just one.

Stronger hands mean more royalty points, so expect higher scoring games and bigger swings.

Entering Fantasy Land (via QQ+ at the front) also becomes easier in Pineapple OFC. Obviously as we are getting more cards in advance we can avoiding fouling our hand more easily during a Fantasy Land attempt.

Unique rules in POFC

Once in Fantasy Land there are a couple of rule variations unique to Pineapple.

First the FL player(s) get dealt 14 cards, and must create their 3 hands (13 cards in total) entirely face-down, and then discard the 1 spare card.

Only after non-Fantasy Land players have created their hands, should the fantasy hand then be revealed.

Some variations of this are possible such as making qualification harder (KK+ for example), but then giving 15 cards (2 discards) to the fantasy land player. Although 14, discard 1 is most common.

Once in Fantasy Land it become pretty easy to stay there if the QQ+ qualifier remains so this leads us to the next rule change. You can only stay in Fantasy Land in Pineapple OFC if you gets Trips at the front or Quads at the back.

The old qualifier of Full House (or better) in the middle is generally dropped from most pineapple games, as a compensator for getting 14 cards as opposed to 13.

The net result is that players often only stay in Fantasy Land for 1 round, after the qualifier.

Expect overall to see quite a few players coming in and out of Fantasy Land if you play for a few hours. Make sure not to buy-in too high (in terms of a $/cents per point agreement), as the points volume and swings can be quite high.

As with most games, start low and work your way up to the level you’re most comfortable with.

Strategy tips for POFC

The general difference in strategy for Pineapple OFC is that you are concentrating a little more on how it is optimal to set up your hand, particularly with regard to royalties.

Perhaps a bit less focus is placed on observing precisely the status of opponents’ hands and reacting accordingly to beat hands.

The jury is out about whether this makes it more or less skillful overall, but it is certainly more skillful in terms of assessing the likelihoods of achieving certain hands based on the 3 new cards and all cards present in your opponents’ hand.

Let’s say for example we start with a deal of Kd 3d 6s 9d Th, and we decide to set our hand up as follows:

  • Front: 6s
  • Middle: Th
  • Back: Kd 3d 9d

Now say we get dealt Kc, 2c, 6d.

We don’t feel so much pressure to abandon the flush at the back in preference of a safer KK as we can see we are one more diamond further forward.

We can place 6d at the back, and the Kc in the middle.

Next say we get dealt Qh Js 4c.

Here we can still feel confident with our flush draw (as we will see 6 more cards), so we can happily set up a straight draw in the middle.

This leads us to this point:

  • Front: 6s
  • Middle: Th Kc Qh Js
  • Back: Kd 3d 9d 6d

And next say we get dealt As 5c Ac.

Now we can see the benefits of being good at maths/probability. In regular OFC we would have to simply take the Ace in the middle.

But knowing we can take 2 aces poses an interesting dilemma.

Do we put them at the front and play for Fantasy Land, or do we go for a safe straight?

Well, we will get to see 3 more cards, of which to be successful 1 needs to be a diamond and 1 needs to be an ace or 9.

We cast a look at the other 2 players’ hands and see 4 other diamonds and 3 nines and an ace. This means we only have 1 card left where we can make our straight, and 5 diamonds left for the flush.

Only 10 cards are left in the deck, but there have been 6 unknown discards (including the 2 by ops in this round). We will get 3 cards out of 16 unknown and we need to hit 1 out of 1 (from 16) straight cards and 1 out of 5 (from 16) for the diamonds.

We can assess based on all information that disregarding the straight at this point in favour of Fantasy Land is too great a risk, so we complete our straight and put the other ace at the front.

When the final 3 cards are dealt we will have a 71% chance of hitting our flush to complete our hand.

These kind of thought processes are common in Pineapple Open Face Chinese, and make it very interesting strategically and in game-play outcomes.

Have fun playing it!

Pete Kaminski

Pete Kaminski has been gambling since he can remember and writing about it since shortly after that. While poker is his first love, anything you can wager on comes a very close second.

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