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Mastering the Basics of Chinese Poker | A Comprehensive Guide of India24bet

Chinese poker distinguishes itself within the poker family by presenting a unique gameplay experience, deviating significantly from traditional variants such as Texas Hold’em. In this card game, each player is dealt a total of 13 cards and is challenged with the creation of two five-card hands and one three-card hand.

Chinese poker

Points are scored in Chinese poker based on the quality of the hands formed, adhering to standard poker hand rankings. Let’s delve into the specifics of how to engage in a game of Chinese poker.

Chinese Poker Rules

The rules of Chinese poker are rooted in standard poker hand rankings, where the royal flush reigns as the most formidable hand. While the basics are straightforward, mastering the art of scoring points and their calculation may require a few minutes of practice.

Chinese Poker Rules

Here’s a concise guide to Chinese Poker rules:

  • Number of Players: The game accommodates 2 to 4 players.
  • Point Value Agreement: Before commencing the game, players decide on the point value.
  • Card Distribution: Each player is dealt 13 cards at the beginning of the game.
  • Hand Organization: Players arrange their cards into three distinct hands – two 5-card hands and one 3-card hand.
  • The three-card “top hand” is placed in the top row and must be the weakest hand.
  • The middle hand, comprising five cards, is placed in the middle row and must surpass the strength of the top hand.
  • The bottom hand, also with five cards, goes in the bottom row and must outclass the middle hand.
  • Face Down Placement: After setting their hands, players place them face down on the table.
  • Showdown: All players reveal their hands, and a comparison is made to determine the winner.
  • Points Calculation: Points gained or lost are then calculated based on the outcome of the hands.

These rules provide a simplified overview. Delve deeper into the intricacies of this captivating card game for a more comprehensive understanding of its dynamics.

Chinese Poker Cards Arrangement

In the arrangement of cards in Chinese poker, players are required to distribute their 13 cards into three distinct hands: a “back” hand comprising 5 cards, a “middle” hand with 5 cards, and a “front” hand consisting of 3 cards. Following standard poker hand rankings, the back hand must surpass the middle hand in strength, and the middle hand must, in turn, outclass the front hand.

Chinese Poker Cards Arrangement

The hierarchy of hand types adheres to the conventional poker ranking, ranging from the highest to lowest: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair, and high card. Notably, there are no wild cards in play.

Given the limited number of cards in the front hand (3 cards), only three hand types are possible: three of a kind, one pair, and high card. Consecutive cards or cards of the same suit in the front hand, typically known as “straights” or “flushes,” do not hold significance.

Chinese Poker Scoring System

The scoring system in Chinese Poker encompasses various methods, with one common approach assigning a point for each hand position in which a player’s hand surpasses their opponent’s. In a two-player game, one point is earned for a superior back hand, middle hand, and front hand. Achieving victory across all three hands results in a three-point bonus, known as “scooping.”

Chinese Poker Scoring System

In games involving 3-4 players, points are individually tallied against each opponent, and these points are then aggregated to determine the final score for a round.

Consider the following example in a two-player game:

Your Hand:

  • Back: 9♠9♣9♥T♥T♣
  • Middle: 2♥2♦2♣5♦5♠
  • Front: Q♠J♠8♥

Opponent’s Hand:

  • Back: A♦Q♦T♦9♦3♦
  • Middle: 7♠6♥5♥4♣3♠
  • Front: Q♥8♣8♠

You win the back and middle hands, earning +1 point each. However, you lose the front hand, resulting in a deduction of -1 point. The total score for the round is +1 point.

Upon analyzing the optimal arrangement of your cards, you could have scored more points:

Your Hand (Optimal):

  • Back: 5♠5♦2♣2♦2♠
  • Middle: Q♠J♠T♥9♠8♥
  • Front: T♣9♥9♣

In this configuration, you win all three hands, securing a total of +6 points for the round—+3 for winning each hand and an additional +3 for the scoop bonus.

While the back and middle hands may not be as robust in this optimal arrangement, they remain strong enough to outdo your opponent. The front hand, in particular, prevails due to a superior one-pair hand. As a result, you accumulate a total of +6 points, demonstrating the strategic nuances and scoring potential in Chinese Poker.

Natural Cards

In Chinese Poker, Naturals are special combinations that immediately yield a payout for the player. Players must declare their Naturals before any opponents have the chance to surrender. Once a player is paid for their Natural, they continue with the game to compare their hands against other players. Naturals are unique in that they pay out regardless of the hands held by other players, even if those hands consist of higher-ranking Naturals or superior sets.

Natural Cards

The Naturals, ranked from highest to lowest, are detailed below:

Clean DragonA thirteen-card Straight Flush108 units from each player2♦ 3♦ 4♦ 5♦ 6♦ 7♦ 8♦ 9♦ 10♦ J♦ Q♦ K♦ A♦
DragonA thirteen-card Straight36 units from each player2♥ 3♣ 4♥ 5♠ 6♥ 7♣ 8♠ 9♥ 10♣ J♣ Q♠ K♥ 2♦
12 RoyaltiesFace Cards and Aces only32 units from each playerJ♦ J♥ J♣ J♠ Q♦ Q♥ Q♣ Q♠ K♦ K♥ K♣ K♠ A♣
Three Straight FlushesEach hand forms a Straight Flush24 units from each player3♦ 4♦ 5♦ / 6♣ 7♣ 8♣ 9♣ 10♣ / 7♠ 8♠ 9♠ 10♠ J♠ Q♠
Three QuadsThree 4-kinds with a wildcard20 units from each player20 units from each player3♦ 3♣ 3♠ 3♥ 7♣ 7♦ 7♠ 7♥ 9♦ 9♣ 9♠ 9♥ 10♣
All Low/All HighAll cards are 8 and above, or 8 and below12 units from each player8♦ 8♠ 9♠ 10♣ J♣ etc. / 8♦ 5♣ 2♣ 2♣ 7♥ etc.
Full-ColoredAll cards are of the same “color.”10 units from each player3♥ 6♦ 7♦ 8♥ 10♦ etc. / 5♣ 6♠ 8♠ 2♣ 6♣ etc.
Four TriplesFour 3-kinds with a wildcard8 units from each player3♥ 3♦ 3♣ 4♦ 4♣ 4♥ 7♠ 7♦ 7♥ 8♣ 8♦ 8♥ 6♠ 10♣
Six and a Half PairsSix Pairs with a wildcard6 units from each player9♥ 9♦ 10♥ 10♠ J♦ J♣ 5♥ 5♠ 6♥ 6♣ 7♥ 7♠ 8♣
Three StraightsEach hand forms a straight4 units from each player2♥ 3♦ 4♣ / 2♦ 3♣ 4♠ 5♠ 6♥ / 9♣ 10♦ J♣ Q♠ K♥
Three FlushesEach hand forms a flush3 units from each player6♦ 8♦ 9♦ / 10♣ J♣ Q♣ 6♣ 3♣ / 2♦ 4♦ 5♦ 6♦ 7♦
No BroadwayNo face cards, Aces are low3 units from each player7♦ 5♦ 6♥ 9♠ 8♣ 10♣ 7♣ 2♣ 6♦ 8♣ 9♠ 2♥ 5♥

Unique Chinese Poker Rules

Chinese poker encompasses various nuances in hands and regulations:

Unique Chinese Poker Rules


When a player achieves a sweep, winning all three hands against an opponent, they often receive a bonus. The customary bonus is twice the points, signifying that Player 2 would gain 6 points from Player 3 for successfully sweeping in this round.

Foul Hand

Should a player mishandle their hand (by either arranging it against the specified rules or holding an unauthorized number of cards in a particular hand), the opposing players automatically secure a sweep.

Lowball in the Middle

As an alternative to the standard poker hand for the middle five-card set, players have the option to designate the middle hand as a 2-7 Lowball hand.

Royalties Recognition

While some players grant royalties to any participant with a hand deserving of royalties, it is customary for these rewards to be exclusively bestowed upon the player who prevails in the hand comparison. For instance, if Player 1 holds quad sixes, but Player 2 possesses quad sevens, only Player 2 would be entitled to the royalty.

Refined Point Systems

Certain players introduce additional complexity by associating distinct point values with specific royalties. In Chinese poker, the rules governing point distribution are never fixed. Players can opt for any system or combination of rules, provided there is consensus among all participants before initiating the dealing process.


Players arrange their 13 cards into three hands: two 5-card hands and one 3-card hand.

The three-card hand is at the top, the five-card middle hand in the center, and the other five-card hand at the bottom.

Naturals are special combinations that immediately yield a payout for the player, declared before opponents surrender.

When a player wins all three hands against an opponent, they receive a bonus, typically twice the points.

If a player mishandles their hand, the opposing players automatically secure a sweep.


In conclusion, Chinese poker offers a captivating twist to traditional poker, requiring players to strategically organize their 13 cards into distinct hands. The game’s unique rules, scoring system, and the possibility of introducing customized nuances make it an engaging and dynamic card game, providing both novices and experienced players with a refreshing challenge. As players delve into the intricacies of Chinese poker, they unlock a realm of strategic possibilities and discover the art of mastering diverse hands for optimal scoring.

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