As a big fan of the game of OFC I firmly believe that in as little as a couple of years OFC will be the second most popular poker variant in the world. There are a number of hurdles for it to overcome in order to get there of course, and those will be discussed in this article.

The first issue concerns online play and goes some way to explaining why OFC isn’t already more popular online. If Badugi can have a spot on Pokerstars, then why can’t OFC? The answer is actually pretty simply and it all has to do with the software. It is relatively easy for poker sites such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker to adapt their program to include many of the new variants, and indeed on Pokertars you can play everything from 2-7 Draw, 5-Card Draw and Badugi, to Omaha, Courcheval and more. But those variants have one or more things in common. They are played with a minimum of 2 player-cards and a maximum of 7, and bets are placed, raised and then exchanged. Chinese Poker is very different. Each player needs to set up his hand in front of him and also needs to be able to see the hands of others, and there is also the point system which works differently from he standard betting rules of common poker variants. This all serves to make the task of incorporating these games into the current software very difficult, if not impossible, and the big poker sites would need to spend some time and money coming up with some new software that could make this work.

As fast as OFC is growing, it still isn’t quite at the stage were it can rival Hold’em or Omaha and therefore the big sites are unlikely to make a move towards doing this anytime soon. This leave the option of other sites, such as TonyBet, which have built their software around OFC. TonyBet is very much the litmus test for the industry. If it works of them, and if they get the revenue and the players, then there’s a good chance that the big sites will make the necessary investments to try and muscle-in on those players. That’s the way the industry works and as cruel and as unfair as it will be for TonyBet and other such sites, it will be great for OFC players. That’s not to say that TonyBet can’t hold onto their players, as someone who has played on most poker sites out there I can attest to the fact that their software is one of the easiest to use and their overall service is second to none. So they will fight to retain that market and in many ways they might succeed.

But what about live play? Will we ever see an explosion in OFC like we did for Hold’em? This is hard to judge. Standard Chinese Poker has been played professionally since 1995 when it saw its first appearance at the World Series of Poker. It was also played sporadically in Las Vegas casinos in the prevailing years. Nearly two decades later this game has not taken off, and if anything its popularity has reduced, but OFC is different.

OFC’s popularity has already surpassed that of standard Chinese Poker and it is still played in casinos through the US. This game is massive in Finland and Russia where it is the preferred game for many poker professionals, and it is also becoming just as popular in the US and Europe. In the last two years alone OFC has gone from a game that no one had ever heard of, to one of the hottest trends in the poker world, and in another two years, if the growth continues at this rate, we’ll surely see OFC overtake Badugi, Omaha, Draw and Stud variants and close in on the might that is Texas Hold’em.

This is where my prediction comes in. I believe that in two years time the popularity of OFC will explode. The poker pros will be the first to embrace this game, and once they push it on TV and on social media then their fans and the rest of the poker world will follow. TonyBet and other such sites will take onboard the rush of players looking for an online game of OFC and then Pokerstars, Full Tilt and all of the other big players will also jump on the bandwagon. Before 2020 I firmly believe that there will be a large cash event for OFC at the WSOP, and that it will also have a regular place on the EPT and WPT.

OFC is not going to surpass Texas Hold’em, it might become more popular and it might be that the majority of players prefer it, but as someone who regularly played both of these games, and knows a lot of people who do the same, I am confident that they will be played side by side; Hold’em and OFC will be brothers in a way that Hold’em and Omaha could have been but never quite were.

As Open-Face Chinese Poker continues to grow in popularity, attracting players from all over the world, the rules of the game are being tweaked and exploited. Changing the rules of Hold’em would seem blasphemous to a long-time player of that game, and the same applies to many other variants, but the relative newness of OFC, and the fact that the game itself was spawned when someone twisted the rules of standard Chinese Poker, has left it open to interpretation.

One of the most exciting changes comes in the form of Pineapple Open-Face Chinese Poker, a game that is played and adored by Shaun Deeb and friends, who were some of the first US poker pros to adopt OFC. Pineapple speeds up the game somewhat and adds an extra element of excitement, the fact that it also increases the chances of scoring royalties (the points which lead to payment) and getting into Fantasy Land (the goal of many OFC players) means that it also drastically increases risk and reward.

Pineapple can only be played with two or three players as the deck will not accommodate game sizes any larger than this. As in normal OFC, players each get 5 cards to begin with and they have to build three hands from those cards. It is after this round that things change, instead of the 1 card in OFC, in Pineapple players get three cards, of which they must use two (with the other being discarded face down). The rounds continue in this fashion until all 13 cards are dealt, and the winning hands are determined in the same way as in standard OFC.

Fantasy Land, although much easier to obtain in this version, is just as worthwhile. In Fantasy Land you are dealt five cards to begin with, and are then dealt 9 cards on the following hand, with one of these cards begin discarded. Due to the nature of the game it is not unknown for more than one player to enter Fantasy Land at the same time.

Many players prefer this version of the game and it is certainly more popular with No-limit Hold’em players who are used to seeing fortunes won and lost in single hands. I would advise against any newcomers playing this variant, simply due to the fact that it is much easier to lose it all than it is in standard OFC, but once you are familiar with OFC then Pineapple is certainly worth trying out.

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Tournament play is the backbone of poker. It is what attracts the vast majority of the players, from micro stakes to high-stakes. It may take you several hours, but in tournament poker you can win 100x, 1000x or even more of your buy-in, and if that buy-in is for a tournament like the World Series of Poker Main Event, then we’re talking about a life changing amount of money. It is no surprise then that tournament games for Hold’em, Omaha and indeed most other poker variants always attract more players than the cash games, but what about OFC?

For those of you who are not familiar with the game, Open-Face Chinese Poker works on a point based system, where you score points against other opponents. If you are playing with several other people at the table and they are all involved in one hand, then you could score 1 point against one player and 6 against another, even though it is the same hand. This can make OFC tournaments complicated and is why I have had a number of emails asking me how these tournaments operate.

To begin with, there is not much different to a standard poker tournament. All players start with an equal number of chips and the tables are usually fully occupied — that is to say that unless specified, it’s not heads-up play throughout. There are set blind levels and these typically change every eight hands or so. Points are converted into chips, usually at a rate of 1 point per 1.000 chips. So, if I score 6 points against you, then you give me 6.000 chips, and if I score 3 points against another opponent, they give me 3.000 and I have 9.000 in total from that hand. Of course, this complicates matters if one person only has 1.000 chips and needs to both pay several chips and receive several chips, in this instance we follow the pattern of the play from the dealer onwards. So, let’s assume that I have 1.000 chips and need to pay 3.000 and receive 6.000. The person I am receiving has the dealer chip but he only has 2.000 in his stack. He gives me his 2.000 chips and is then eliminated, and as I would then only have 3.000 chips, I would pay them to the person who outscored me and I would also be eliminated.

You can think of it like a game of H/L games. You might be able to win the high pot, but if that is a split pot and you then go on to lose the low pot, you end up a lot worse than when you began the hand.

This pattern follows through to the end of the tournament and although it may seem strange at first, it is very easy and almost natural once you get into the swing of it. My advice to any poker player who has plenty of experience in standard poker tournaments is just to get a brief of the rules and structure and then jump in. There is no better way to learn the game than to play it, and providing you understand the game itself then the rest should be simple.

For the purposes of this document, “you” and “your” refers to the user of the website, whilst “we” refers to the owners and “websites” refers to any web address relating to Real Money Poker on which this page is located., and all associated web addresses operate as affiliate websites only, and are therefore not associated with any particular gaming or gambling organization. We may be compensated from player referrals and activity, but we do not provide any actual gaming services on the website itself. These websites are intended to serve as an information portal, offering advice, tips, strategies, guides and news on the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker, and earning revenue from sending traffic to associated websites as opposed to any gaming services that make money directly from players.

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Open-Face Chinese Poker looks set to become the next big thing, and if you’re reading this then you can probably say you were there during the beginning. The game is as new as they come, yet it is already being played at casinos up and down the country and as far afield as Russia, Scandinavia and Europe. We do our best to provide you with the latest information and news on the game, but for anything that we have missed, and to study everything in more detail (this is a very intricate game after all) then have a browse through these links:

TonyBet: This is currently one of the only online poker sites where you can play Open-Face Chinese Poker. The games are a little sparsely occupied, as you would expect, but that seems to be growing day by day as more people learn about the website and the game in general. There are deposit bonuses and other promotions to take advantage of, and the website also operates as a sports book and an online casino.

PokerNews: If you want to learn the basics of the game, complete with image and video tutorials to simplify the process, then check out this link. Open-Face Chinese Poker is a game that seems daunting at first as there is a lot of learn, but in truth it’s a very simple game and the difficulty comes from mastering the intricacies and not understanding the basics. If you have played poker before and you know the value of the hands then you can speed up the learning process. If you have played other Chinese Poker variants than it won’t take you very long at all.

Apps: If you want to test your skills without risking any money, and have a tablet or a smartphone on hand, then there are a number of apps for both Android and Apple Operating Systems. One of the best is an app on the iTunes store that is developed by Advantapp and is listed under Open Face Chinese Poker. If you use Android devices, then an app of the same name by The Golden Club is well worth checking out. There are single-player games out there, games where you can play with your friends and games where you can play online, and these provide a casual introduction to the basics of OFC. 

Fantasy Land: One of the key aspects of OFC is Fantasy Land, which the player can “enter” if they achieve a certain hand configuration. If achieved, this can turn any game into the player’s favour and can give opponents a severe handicap for as long as the player remains in Fantasy Land. To learn all about this, along with the cards needed to achieve it, check out this link.

Pokerstars: At the time of writing, Pokerstars — which is the biggest online poker game — does not have any OFC games available but that could change because it certainly acknowledges how popular it is becoming. Many of the Pokerstars’ Pros have adopted the game and this article interviews some of them.

Open-Face Chinese Poker, which is often referred to by the abbreviation OFC, is a Chinese poker variant that is believed to have began in Finland as little as a decade ago. Poker, and in particular Texas Hold’em, was already in full swing by then and becoming popular all over the world thanks to professional players such as Daniel Negreanu, Phill Hellmuth and Phill Ivey; huge competitions such as the World Series of Poker; films such as Rounders; and online poker sites such as Pokerstars and FullTilt. Other variants also got in on the act, but none proved as popular as Hold’em, that is until OFC came around.

OFC crept out of Finland not so long after it was introduced and it made its way into Russia, where it was quickly adopted by Russian poker pros and high stakes gamblers. Alexander Kravchenko, who is a regular on the WPT and EPT and also has a WSOP bracelet to his name, is credited with introducing the game to his compatriots and helping it to spread.

It wasn’t until 2012 that OFC made it to the United States where it was embraced as readily as it had been in Russia.The big name players mentioned above all now play this game on a regular basis, as do many other poker superstars. OFC’s popularity has seen a number of Las Vegas casinos open their tables to this game and there is also talk of it becoming a regular feature on a number of the big tours. 

OFC is typically a high stakes game, but mainly because it was adopted by the high stakes players before the general public and the micro stakers got onboard. As time has moved on, and as the game has been accepted throughout the poker world, it is now common for games to open for as little as $1 per point.

OFC is promising because the poker games of today have been around for generations, whereas OFC is new and exciting. Texas Hold’em, for instance, had a boom in popularity around the turn of the millennia, but the game itself has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. Badugi, another variant that is becoming increasingly popular in the modern age, is believed to have been invented in the 1960s. OFC is taking off like Hold’em did, and today’s OFC champions can say they were there during the beginning, that they saw the birth of this great game and they were one of the first champions.

It’s also an incredibly fun game to play. You don’t need to read players like you do in Hold’em or other standard variants, and there is no bluffing involved as all of your cards are already laid out in front of you. It’s very much a case of what you see is what you get, but the skill lies in the way you arrange those cards. The difficultly comes from the fact that there are seemingly endless plays, so although there is no player manipulation, no bluffing and no “reading” involved, it is still very much a game that can not be won and lost on paper, a game for which you can not pen the perfect algorithm.

OFC may not entice every Texas Hold’em player to quit their day job, but it’s there to be enjoyed and appreciated as a separate game, for those who want to take a break from Hold’em and Omaha, and for those who want to enjoy something a little different whilst sticking with the same poker principles of skill, knowledge and luck that they are so familiar with.

In truth, it’s more “About Me” than “About Us”, as this website is a personal project and not a business one. So, I have to warn you that everything contained here is about my life and although I like to think that things have been somewhat interesting so far, it’s far from a Lifetime movie. 

My name is Dexter and my place of birth is somewhat irrelevant here. Due to my father’s job, my family moved around a lot and although they tell me I was born in Baltimore, they sometimes follow that up with, “or was it Beijing?” It’s quite a difference but considering we lived in 4 different countries before my second year, it’s an excusable one. The indecision could also have something to do with the fact that I have five brothers and three sisters, and keeping track of all of us has never been an easy task.

My love of poker began when I was just ten and living in London. I was hanging around with what my mother, who looked after the family whilst my father worked, described as, “undesirables”. They spent a lot of their recess playing marbles and cards, sometimes for sweets, mostly for money. I was fascinated by this world of high-stakes playground gambling and got roped into it as soon as I saw it. Truth be told, they didn’t really know what they were doing when it came to poker, or any other true card game for that matter, and most of the gambling revolved around marbles or “Snap”, but there were some more serious games played from time to time.

When I was a couple of years older I began playing poker and rummy with my parents and their friends. Thanks to my keen interest they let me sit down and join in, and whilst they were there to have fun, throw away some pennies away and get drunk, I played it like a dedicated pro. I would even practice for those nights, knowing that if I played my cards right (literally) I could come away with what amounted to a couple of dollars. A lot of money for a kid who wasn’t on any pocket money (my parents used to say, “if we give it to one then we have to give it to all, and if we give it to all then we’ll go broke”)

I would like to say that I was a child prodigy, that I won all the pocket money I could ever need from my parents and their friends, but the truth is I was useless and I lost more than I won. I pretty much gave the game up at that point as life and adolescence got in the way, but following the crippling embarrassment and awkwardness that I am forced to call my teenage years (we’ll save that for another post, preferably one that no one ever reads), I returned to the game in my early twenties when my friend invited me to a small Texas Hold’em tournament.

It was then that I fell in love with it again. I finished second in the tournament, more through luck than anything else, and began to join and play on a regular basis. Fast forward a couple of years and I had been on a few stops of the bigger tours, saving all of my winnings from home games and casino games to buy my tickets. Then the online game took off and I was there when it did. I played from the beginning, back when there were just a handful of people at the tables and only one or two variants on offer. It offered something a little different and served to increase the excitement. It was quick, tense and there was a lot of money exchanging hands; it was poker like I had never known before and I loved it.

I became a very gifted Omaha and Hold’em player and I also made it my duty to learn every variant that I could. I had big cashes in 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw games at casinos in Vegas and Miami, I won a big Badugi tournament on Pokerstars — one of the first ones — and I picked up big wins in Triple Draw, 8-Game and more. I played day-in day-out but at one point I began to tire of the game. It was too “samey” and it had lost its edge for me.

I actually considered giving the game up at one point, which was surprising considering that I had made poker my full-time career for a number of years and was making a very healthy living from it. But instead I decided to take a few months off, to reset myself and to see if I would miss the game and thus fall in love with it all over again. That break changed my life.

It was during this time that I discovered Open-Face Chinese Poker, introduced to me by a high-stakes player who had been involved in a few of the first tournaments at the Bellagio. It was a little confusing at first and I had no desire to learn, but he convinced me and promised he would pay for my buy-in at an upcoming tournament if I learned how to play.

So I did just that and I was hooked from the first hand. It restored all of the excitement that I had lost and for the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed playing poker again. That first night we stayed awake for hours playing and then the money began exchanging hands and adding to the excitement. I finished second in the first tournament I ever played, reminiscent of my first time playing Hold’em professionally, and I decided that I was going to return to poker and devote my time to learning this new game.

That was about a year ago now, and I stuck to my promise. I’m still learning of course, but that’s the beauty of OFC. There’s so much to understand and so much to discover that you never stop learning. I have played in OFC tournaments with some of the biggest names around, both online and offline, and although I fancy myself to be a solid player, I’m still some way off the standard of the big OFC stars, mainly the Russians and the Finnish.

In an effort to further develop my game, and to teach other poker players the joy of OFC, I developed this site. All the articles and all of the content was written by me, all of the games and websites that you see advertised were carefully selected by me and I am a member on all of them. Who knows, if you join up you might even catch me playing at one of the tables.