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Chinese Poker Demystified - Rules, Strategies, and Tips

chinese poker

Chinese Poker is a unique type of Poker. This game is unique from other forms of Poker like Texas Hold 'em, Omaha, and Stud. It has a different gameplay and rules and is even more volatile. However, the game generally uses the same hand rankings and deck of cards.


While this game may not be as popular as other variants, it gives beginners a better chance of getting a payout because of its unique poker scoring system and heavy dependence on luck. 


After receiving your starting cards, players divide them into three different hands, ranking them from the highest to the lowest. You have complete control over arranging your Chinese poker hands, so you're basically in charge of your fate.


This article is a complete guide to playing Chinese Poker online. You will learn the various gameplay, rules, scoring system, and strategies to improve your chances of winning.

What is Chinese Poker?

The Chinese Poker game uses a standard 52 deck cards and traditional poker hand ranking. The game is popular because it is relatively simple to play and gives novice and experienced players equal winning opportunities. This casino game can be played between 2 to 4 players, each getting 13 cards.


A round of the Chinese Poker game can last for 3 to 5 minutes as players sort out their cards and arrange them in their preferred rankings. If you need to learn how to play Chinese Poker, you should not mistake experience in other forms of Poker for mastery of the game. The rules for Chinese Poker are different; not knowing them can lead to a massive loss of money.

chinese poker

Chinese Poker rules allow players to arrange their cards into three different hands. The first two Chinese Poker hands should contain 5 cards each, while the last should have just 3 cards. While you can arrange your cards as you see fit, it is best to arrange them from the highest to the lowest because it gives you a better chance of earning a payout.


At each round of Chinese Poker online, players will show their hands and earn points from each other. Even if you're new to the game, you need to understand Chinese Poker rules to play this game well.

Chinese Poker Rules

This game uses the standard 52 deck cards; every player gets 13 cards each. So, the maximum number of players permissible is 4, though 2 or 3 people can also play if a fourth player cannot be found.


After the players have been dealt their cards, each one will arrange them into 3 different Chinese poker hands. The first and second hands will have 5 cards each, while the third will have just 3 cards. Then, players can either "surrender" or choose to play their hand before the game commences. 


The remaining players will reveal their hands in a clockwise rotation, starting from the dealer's left. It is after this that the scoring commences. Some Chinese Poker rules that you need to be aware of regarding the scoring are:

Winning Outright

Players win the entire hand by default if they make three flushes or straights in their three hands. This win is regardless of whatever Chinese Poker hands other players might hold. The winner will collect 3 units from each player except the one who has surrendered.


Surrendering in Chinese Poker rules allows players who don't like their hand to surrender before the game starts. The surrendering party will not forfeit all their bets but will have to forgo a portion of each player still in the game. However, they do not have to pay royalties in any round where they have surrendered.

Mis-Set / Foul

It has already been mentioned that in the Chinese Poker game, players can arrange their 13 cards in whatever fashion they wish as long as they follow the Chinese Poker hands ranking. 


Now, while you're given complete control of your fate, if you misarrange or mis-set your hand rankings, you'll be required to play each player in the game equally as if you lost all the hands to them.


Among all the rules for Chinese Poker, this rule is the most relevant for beginners because it takes them out of the game and makes them pay penalties for their errors.

How to Play Chinese Poker?

You can play Chinese Poker in Flamingo7 Casino online. This game is simple to play and features equal opportunities for players. If you don't know how to play Chinese Poker online, these steps will help you compete with the best:


Dealing is the most common concept in casino card games. The dealer deals 13 cards to each player starting from his left.


After getting the cards, each player will arrange their cards into three different poker hands: two 5-card hands, namely "the middle" and "the back" hands, and a 3-card hand, which is called "the front."


In "the middle" and "backhands," the player tries to make the highest-ranking poker hands, and "the front hand" has the lowest-ranking cards of the 13. While arranging Chinese Poker hands, you should know that "the back" hand should be the highest of the three. And "the front" hand must still be placed in the back, even if it is three-of-a-kind. You must also ensure that "the middle" hand must have a higher value than the three-of-a-kind front card.

Placing/Exposing Hands

After sorting your card hands, players should place them face-down on the table. The backhand, the most substantial hand, should be the closest to them. Above this hand should be the middle hand, and in front of that is the 3-card front hand.

Play/Don't Play

In this stage, players decide if they'll play their hand. The players will announce their decision clockwise, starting from the player on the dealer's left. Here's the stage where you can use the Chinese Poker rules regarding surrendering.


Royalties are bonus points you get for having powerful Chinese Poker hands. Royalties can vary from game to game and online casino to casino. Usually, the players get to decide their royalties before the game starts.

Revealing of Hands

This is the stage where you win points and royalties from other players in the game. You will reveal your cards from the front, middle, and back to the table.

Chinese Poker Scoring

Chinese poker scoring is different from how other free video poker games are scored. The winning hands are determined in this round, and units are tallied between players.

Chinese Poker: How to Calculate Your Scores?

chinese poker rules

Unlike other card and casino games, Chinese Poker scoring involves predetermined monetary units exchanged between players during the game. This game does not use poker chips like all other poker games. Instead, scores are kept on paper and settled after the game is finished.


Chinese Poker scoring is done on each hand and for each player. During the Chinese poker game, players collect 1 unit from each player they defeat, which will happen hand in hand and player-in-player. This scoring strategy can lead to a lull in the game. If you want faster gameplay, you should play Chinese Poker online.

Strategies and Tips to Win Chinese Poker

Do Not Foul

Fouling is the only one you can control all the ways to lose. So before playing, make sure you understand the rules for Chinese Poker and how the hands are ranked.

Don't Underestimate Your Front Hand

Most players try to make strong hands on just the back and middle hands, thereby forgoing any advantage that a solid front card can give them. You must remember that the first-hand tallies to the total points you're going to score, and if you want to get the best online casino payouts, you need to take it very seriously.

Play Small Stakes

Chinese Poker has a high volatility rating, and since it is a chance-based game, there's no way to predict the cards you'll get, so it makes sense to bet what you can afford to lose on the game.


How to play Chinese Poker?

To play this online poker real money game, each player is given 13 cards, which they then arrange in different scoring hands. The first two hands are the back and middle hand. They comprise 5 cards each. The backhand should be your most vital card combination. The next hand is the front hand, which comprises 3 cards and is the lowest value of all three hands.

What is the Chinese version of Poker?

Chinese Poker is a card game different from other versions of Poker. The game is played with 13 cards for each player and has unique scoring and charting rules.

What is the other name for Chinese Poker?

Chinese Poker can also be called Russian Poker.

What is the highest straight in Chinese Poker?

The highest-ranked straight in Chinese Poker are A, K, Q, J, and 10.

How many people can play Chinese Poker?

Chinese Poker can be played by 2 to 4 people.


Chinese Poker is different from all other poker games. It is the most volatile form of Poker, but it is also one of the most accessible casino games you can play. This game is available in almost all reputable online casino platforms and can be played in live casinos. Register on BitPlay Casino now to enjoy the best Poker available.

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