Chinese (13 Card) Poker
Chinese Poker is played with a standard 52-card deck. Up to four players can play.
Each poker player receives 13 cards, face down, one at a time, in rotation. A hand is dealt to all four positions even if vacant. The hand must be arranged with three cards in front, five cards in the middle, and five cards in the back, where the back hand should rank higher or equal to the middle hand, and the middle hand should rank higher than the front hand. Standard poker rankings apply. Straights and flushes do not count in the front hand except in the event of an automatic win.
Scores are kept by points. Each part of the hand is assigned one point. Each point is given a monetary value for each game.
Hands are then compared with each player, one at a time. The poker player with the higher ranking hand in the front segment wins one point. The player with the higher ranking middle hand wins one point. The player with the higher ranking back hand wins one point.
If two out of three of the players’ hands ranks higher than an opponent’s hand, the first player wins two points. For example, the player would win two points, minus one point (the one an opponent won) plus one point for a majority of segments win, thereby, winning two points total.
If all three parts of the player’s hand ranks higher than the opponent’s hand, the winner gets four points. (The player wins three points (net win), one point for winning each of the three hands minus zero points (the opponent didn’t win any) plus one point for the majority of hands won, totaling four points.)
There are also hands known as an “automatic win” and the player may declare the win by placing the stack of cards down on the table. However, the player must declare the automatic win before the hands are opened, otherwise the hands will play the way the player sets. The automatic win hands are as follows:
- The Dragon Hand: Ace through King of any suit. This hand beats all other automatic win hands.
- Any 13-card hand that has six pairs. Note that four-of-a-kind can be counted as two pairs.
- Any 13-card hand that has suited cards in all three parts.
- Any 13-card hand that has straights in all three parts.
A Straight Flush can be used as a Straight or a Flush for bonus hands.
Improperly Set Hands
A hand is set improperly if: Any part of the three segment hands has the wrong number of cards; or, any part of the three segment hands are set out of ranking order. Any player that sets his or her hand improperly must pay four points to all of the other players.
Eastern, Western and Mandarin Bonus Points Variations
Eastern Version point awarding Variation: The play of the poker game is the same as 13 Card Poker. In addition to the basic point system as in 13 Card Poker, bonus systems of awarding points is used for making certain hands in the front, middle and back positions. In addition to the basic point system, points can be earned on bonus hands as follows: (a) Bonus point hands in the back: (1) straight flush-five (5) points; (2) Four of a kind- four (4) points. (b) Bonus point hand in the middle: (1) straight flush – then (10) points; (2) Four of a kind – eight (8) points; (3) Full house – two (2) points. (c) Bonus point hands in the front: (1) Three of a kind – three (3) points. If a player wins two out of three hands, the player is awarded two points for their winning hands and loses one point to his opponent for a total of one point from that opponent. When a bonus hand is involved, the winning hand earns only the bonus hand points.
Western Version point awarding Variation: The play of the poker game is the same as 13 Card Poker. In addition to the basic point system, this point system awards one additional point to the poker player who wins the majority of hands. If a player beats his opponent two out of three hands, they receive a total of two points for their winning hands.
Mandarin Version point awarding Variation: The play of the game is the same as 13 Card Poker with opportunities to earn extra points. A player earns one point for each winning hand as in 13 Card Poker. Three of a kind in the front hand triples the point value. A bonus can be received which awards additional points for making certain hands in the front, middle and back positions. If a bonus hand is present, the points for that bonus hand are then added on. Two special bonus situations can occur, the “shot” and the “home run.” A “shot” situation occurs when a player wins all three hands against an opponent. The regular point value for each hand is doubles and added to the total. A “home run” situation occurs, only in a four-handed game, when a player wins all three hands on the showdown against all three of their opponents. The regular point value for each hand is tripled and added to the total.