Wednesday, 19 December 2012

chinese poker

A game for all ages.  For 3-4 players with one pack or up to 8 players with two packs. The aim of the game is to be first to discard all of your cards.  Each player is dealt 13 cards.

2 is high, 3 is low.  The suit priority is (highest first) Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds.  Therefore, the highest-value card is the 2 of spades.

The game is played in a series of hands.  The first hand is begun by the player with the lowest value card - the 3 of diamonds, or if this is not held by anyone, the 3 of clubs, or the next highest the 3 of hearts etc.  Each successive player must better the cards played or pass.  If everyone passes then the hand is won by the last to have played.  The player who wins a hand then opens the next hand.

The number of cards played in each hand is determined by the opener.  They can play one card, two cards of a kind e.g. 10-10, three cards of a kind e.g. Q-Q-Q, or five cards according to these values, starting with the lowest value: a run e.g. 5-6-7-8-9 (n.b. a run can cross over at the end e.g. Q-K-A-2-3); a flush i.e. 5 cards of the same suit; a full house i.e. two of a kind and three of a kind n.b. only the three cards count in terms of value; four of a kind and one other(only the four count in terms of value); a running flush i.e. a run all of the same suit.

So, if the opener begins with a pair of threes, say the 3 of diamonds and the 3 of hearts, it must be followed by a better pair.  This could be the 3 of clubs and the 3 of spades (because the spade trumps the rest), or any other pair. In effect, if the cards are of the same value, the suit determines which is the higher.

If someone plays a 5 card run, it can be bettered by a run with a higher card in the run e.g. K-A-2-3-4 beats 10-J-Q-K-A. Any kind of flush beats a run, a hearts flush beats a clubs flush, a full house beats any flush, a full house K-K-K 8-8 beats one of 10-10-10 A-A etc. etc.

A player can pass on one turn and then rejoin if the hand has continued round to them again.

This all might sound complicated, but the game is fairly simple to play. 

(with thanks to David)

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