If you can’t get access to any of the major casinos that offer regular Open-Face Chinese Poker games and tournaments, or you want to practice the game in-between these games, then the popular choice is to invest in an app. There are many out there and the market is growing day by day as developers jump on the OFC bandwagon. It doesn’t matter where you have an Android or an Apple device, and whether you want to play on your smartphone or tablet, there are apps for all operating systems and all devices. Many of them are free, but bear in mind that free apps are always supported by ads (the developers need to make money somehow) and these can range from harmless and barely noticeable, to incredibly annoying. So just because an app comes with a price tag, doesn’t mean you should dismiss it out of hand.

In this article we will take a look at the best and worst OFC apps for your Android and Apple devices.

Game Name: ABC Chinese Poker – Open Face


Operation Systems: Apple

Price: Free

Link: Click Here

Developed by PokerPoker, LLC, and claimed by those developers to be a game “for poker players by poker players” ABC Chinese Poker – Open Face is a fairly comprehensive game that works with Apple devices and is available for download in the Apple App store. The game has been out for some time and the developers do a good job of updating it regularly, fixing problems, removing bugs and adding extras where necessary. The latest editions of ABC Chinese Poker – Open Face include a version of Pineapple Poker, which is quickly becoming the most popular way to play this game.

Players can play against their friends through the Apple Game Centre, although this is not widely used and many Apple users haven’t even set up there Game Centre profiles. The game can also be played offline. It is very intuitive, very slick and very well designed. It can be a little simplistic in places, and doesn’t have social media support — which is why we haven’t given it top marks. It has also scored very highly with other users and is one of the most popular Open-Face Chinese Poker apps available in the App store.

Game Name: OFC Pineapple Poker

Score: 10/10

Operation Systems: Android

Price: Free

Link: Click Here

This is easily one of the most complete and interesting Open Face Chinese apps on the Android operating system. The graphics are stunning and the developers have really gone out of their way to make this app stand out without allowing those features to get in the way of the actual game. This game focusses on Pineapple OFC, but it has a standard OFC variant as well.

As well as a great choice for a single player games, this app is also the best one we have found for online play. The online features let you test your skills against your friends, keeping track of all scores in a leaderboard. There are also chat features in the game and there is even a game tutorial for those who are brand new to Open Face Chinese and want to learn how to play.

Developed by Oye Games, OFC Pineapple Poker is one of the most popular Open Face Chinese Poker apps available in the Google Play Store, and once you sit down and play it for a few minutes it’s easy to see why.

Game Name: Open Face Chinese Poker by MWSGames

Score: 6/10

Operation Systems: Android

Price: Free

Link: Click Here

This game advertises itself as the first Open Face Chinese Poker with free online play, which would be great if there was anyone online playing this game. It is a very neat app with a very simplistic design. There are no pointless graphics getting in the way or making things unnecessarily cluttered, and the app itself is very smooth and easy to play, but it is not the most popular app on the market and this means that there are very few opponents playing the game in the online multiplayer mode.

If you have no desire to play Open Face Chinese Poker online and simply want to practice or learn the game then this could be a great app to do so, but if you’re looking to play with your friends or others then you should look elsewhere.

Game Name: Open Face Chinese Poker by Golden Labs

Score: 4/10

Operation Systems: Android

Price: Free

Link: Click Here

This game is great on the face of it. The screenshots look very nice and the game itself seems to be one of the most graphically advanced that there is, but the actual interface is very confusing and the game itself does not live up to the screenshots and the synopsis. There is some very nice social media support and the ability to keep track of your scores against all of your friends, but whilst this is great in theory, in reality it doesn’t actually work. Many users had issues with this aspect of the game and as it is the one thing that truly sets it apart from the other apps on the market, it looks pretty standard and bleak without it.

Game Name: Open Face Chinese Poker Free by Pocket Cowboys

Score: 8/10

Operation Systems: Android & Apple

Price: Free with Ads; $3 without ads.

Link: Android: Click Here

Apple: Click Here

This game is actually one of the lowest rated games of all of the ones on this list, and that was something that took us by surprise when seeing the rating after we had played the game. This is the game that we play the most when looking for a simple offline game of Open Face Chinese Poker. The setup is very smooth and the game itself runs quickly and well. This is the game we would recommend for Android users looking to improve their play. It doesn’t have Pineapple OFC support but that is sure to comer with a later update.

To be fair, and perhaps to side with those who have rated it poorly, this app isn’t the best when it comes to online play, but at the same time the game itself is better than any of the other we have played. So choose this app if you want to play offline, perhaps when you don’t have access to an internet connection or just want some single player games, but opt for others when you want to play with your friends or other OFC players around the world.

Game Name: Open Face Chinese Poker Free by Pocket Cowboys

Score: 3/10

Operation Systems: Apple

Price: Free with many in-app purchases

Link: Click Here

Although lacking on the aesthetics that many other games on this list excel at, this game is promising, but it falls flat in so many areas. It allows for offline and online play and it is available as a free download, which is a plus considering that there are far fewer Apple OFC Poker games than there are Android ones, but this game has a lot of expensive in-app purchases, some of which might be considered essential. The main issues though are the bugs, and the fact that there are so many and that they can render the game unplayable.

These bugs range from not forfeiting offline games (even though it warns players that if they don’t make a move then their hand will be forfeited within 24 hours) to constant crashes more. The app has gone through many updates but many of these bugs have been there since the beginning. This app is not very popular and although that is not always an indication of its true worth, it is in this case.

Game Name: Chinese 13 Card Poker

Score: 6/10

Operation Systems: Apple

Price: $4.99

Link: Click Here

Although not strictly an Open-Face Chinese Poker app, Chinese 13 Card Poker can serve as a great introduction to the world of Chinese Poker. It’s available in the Apple App Store, which has fewer OFC Poker apps than its Android alternative, and is a very well made app that has been expertly designed. Players can play offline by themselves or online with friends, and the offline game is a great way to pass the time or to learn how to play Chinese Poker.

The only downside with this app is the price. At $4.99 it is considerably more than any of the other apps on this list, but if you have an Apple device and if you want to learn more about the game from which Open Face Chinese Poker was developed, then give Chinese 13 Card Poker a go.

Although the original game of Chinese Poker was probably invented in China (or in the very least by Chinese immigrants) the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker was invented in Finland. This comes as a surprise to many as Finland aren’t exactly renowned for their big poker players or gamblers, you’d be hard pressed to find many celebrity Finnish poker players, large gambling sites or even a top sporting league that came out of Finland, but the Finnish are not as obscure as many people think.


Bordered by Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Russia, Finland is a European country located in the continent’s brisk north. Although its population is estimated at just 5.5 million, this population is spread over a wide area and Finland is actually one of the ten biggest countries in the European Union. A fifth of this population live in the capital city of Helsinki and the surrounding areas, which is often voted as one of the cleanest, safest and best places to live in the world.

Visitors to Finland are attracted by the laid-back lifestyle that exists in this winter paradise. It is also a great place for those who are into rock and heavy metal, because although heavy metal is counter culture everywhere else, in Finland it is mainstream. There are more heavy metal bands here per capita than anywhere else in the world and this form of music regularly tops the charts. Finland also drink more coffee per person than any other country in the world, making this an ideal place for lovers of the energising beverage.

Finland is a friendly and very well educated country. It has fantastic healthcare and an unbeatable educational system, both of which are often voted as the best in the world. It is also a country of great natural beauty, and one that is very firmly established in the modern world. But all of that aside, its the gambling and the poker that we’re interested in, so let’s take a look at what makes Finland such a gambler’s paradise.

Gambling in Finland

Although not renowned as a gambling hotspot, the Finnish love to gamble and Finland is home to one of the most unique casinos in the world. Located in the capital, the Grand Casino Helsinki looks just like any casino. It has a few hundred slot machines that create a buzz on the casino floor, table games (including blackjack and craps) to attract the professional players and the high rollers, and a poker room where the locals can play they favourite game, but the difference here is that all of the profits generated by the casino go straight to charity. Once the casino pays its staff and other costs, it gives the rest of the money away. This generosity makes losing all of your money at the tables feel like a charitable act.

Ironically, a lot of the proceeds go towards treating and caring for those with gambling addictions, but they also invest in community care schemes and pensioner care schemes. The Grand Casino Helsinki is the only official casino in Finland, but the organisation that run it and provide licenses for other such venues have given permission for nearly 300 restaurants and other establishments to operate table games. There is also a casino on the Åland Islands, a very small region that comes under the jurisdiction of Finland.

Another unique aspect of the Grand Casino Helsinki is the introduction of Open-Face Chinese Poker in the poker room, which is one of the post popular games at the casino. There are also games of Hold’em and Stud, and there is a Bad beat Jackpot. This is also where the Finnish Poker championships are held, when the best of the best in Finland compete to be crowned champions.

Gambling on the whole in Finland is something that creates a lot of money for local charities, in fact a vast majority of nonprofit funds in the country come from gambling, with everything from the Grand Casino Helsinki to sports books and online operations getting involved. Lotteries and bingo are also popular here and they also contribute to nonprofit organisations.

As for online gambling, there are close to 500 operations that list their base in the country, all of which have been given official permission by RAY, the organisation that run the Grand Casino Helsinki and control gambling in the country. The Finnish people can also use many of the top sports books and online casino that operate throughout Europe, and some of the bigger ones (including Ladbrokes, Unibet and Swedish-owned Bettson) even support the Finnish language.

Poker in Finland

Poker in Finland, like everywhere else in the world, has really exploded in the past two decades, but unlike the US or the UK, you’ll struggle to find anyone who played poker at all just twenty years ago. The boom in popularity very much dragged poker from complete obscurity and placed in in homes and card rooms across the country.

The most famous Finnish poker player today is Patrik Antonius, the first and currently the only celebrity Finnish poker player. Patrik has played with the likes of Tony G, Phil Ivey and Phil Helmuth. He is revered throughout the poker world as a consistent, stone-faced played who makes big moves and takes big risks. He is also known to be one of the most successful players ever when it comes to high-stakes cash games, an area in which he has excelled over the last decade or so.

Patrik has been a member of Team Full Tilt for a number of years, and was with them before the Black Friday incident. As well as his cash games, which he plays offline and online, he has amassed just shy of $5 million in live tournament earnings and has picked up ITM finishes in all of the major tours and series, including the Word Series of Poker, the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour.

In the last few years more Finnish poker players have been following Patrik’s lead. These include high stakes cash player Sami Kelopuro; live tournament grinder Juha Helppi; and Pot-Limit Omaha maestro Ilari Sahamies.

Live poker does exist in Finland but it is online where most of the Finnish players ply their trade. Online poker is very popular here and on sites like Pokerstars, Party Poker and Full Tilt poker there is a large population of Finnish poker players. There are also a number of home games, played in small communities among big fans of the game, and it is through these games that Open-Face Chinese Poker was invented.

Whether it’s because of the weather and the dark nights — which makes people want to stay at home for extended periods of time — or because of something cultural, the Finnish poker community has exploded in recent years and the game is now huge. Cash games are also big and the Finnish are some the biggest high rollers in online and offline poker, which is why Open-Face Chinese Poker caught on so quickly. Any game that is conducive to small table cash games was always going to be accepted by the Fins, and when you add in the speed and the thrill that Open-Face Chinese Poker brings, it’s no surprise that it became as big as it did.

After that, the game was quick to move into Russia, who love their poker and their cash games just as much as the Finnish do. And once the rest of the world heard about this new and exciting game they were equally quick to accept it.

The rest, as they say, is history. But that history wouldn’t exist if not for the resilient, poker-loving Finnish who shared their love of high stakes cash games with the world and gave all of us a new revolution in poker.

If you’re looking to do some reading and to brush up on your Open-Face Chinese Poker Strategy, or if you want to learn a little more about the basics, then the following links and books can help.

How to Make Money in Open-Face Chinese Poker: This book does exactly as the title suggests, teaching players the basics of the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker and telling them how they can turn this fun poker variant into a profitable business. OFC Poker is very much like Texas Hold’em in the sense that it is a skill game that can be played for a profit, and therefore there are those that make a lot of money playing it. As it is still fairly small, the number of players is growing all of the time and now is a great time to become part of that crowd.

How to Make Money in Open-Face Chinese Poker was written by Pokrneo and contains nearly 250 pages of information on OFC Poker. It has a number of exercises here that players can follow to increase their skill, their strategy and their tournament play, turning the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker into a highly profitable career.

Ace on the River: Although written about the world of Texas Hold’em, this book was penned by Barry Greenstein who is a big fan of Open-Face Chinese Poker. This is a great book for any poker variant and for any poker fan who wants to learn what it takes to be a poker professional. Barry is a veteran and has been on tables with the best of the best in everything from Hold’em and Omaha to Stud and Draw, he knows his stuff and when you’re looking to learn, what better way than to learn from the best in the business?

Poker Player Magazine: This regular glossy magazine will keep you updated on all things Chinese Poker and Open-Face Chinese Poker. This magazine has had some of the biggest names in poker featured on its cover, including high rolling superstar Gus Hansen and Antonio Esfandiari. The magazine will cost you just a few dollars and it is worth every cent. The latest edition at the time of writing features a spread on why Open-Face Chinese Poker is going to be the next big thing, even more reason to check this magazine out!

http://www.professional-poker.com/games/chinese-poker.htm : If you have yet to play and learn Chinese Poker, from which Open-Face Chinese Poker was created, then check out this website. These simple instructions will teach you the game in just a few minutes, so that you can see OFC Poker in its original form. If you have yet to learn the rules of Open-Face Chinese Poker then this is also a great place to start, as it includes everything from the basic rules to the hand values, most of which apply to both variations of the game.

Two Plus Two: Two Plus Two is the biggest poker community on the internet, and the place where amateurs and professionals converge to discuss the game. There are plenty of posts, blogs and articles to read here and there is also a section dedicated to Open-Face Chinese Poker, which is growing day by day.

OFC Poker is taking over at a rapid pace, and nowhere is that more evident than in the professional poker world, where the big spenders and the cream of the poker crop are devoting countless hours to learning, playing and even teaching others about the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker. In this article we take a look at the biggest names in the OFC Poker world, the stars that made a name in Texas Hold’em but have turned towards OFC Poker in the last couple of years.

Shaun Deeb

Shaun may not be the most well known name on this list, or the one who has won the most prestigious tournaments, but he deceives to be the first name on the list because of his devotion to Open-Face Chinese Poker, a devotion that exceeds many other poker professionals. Shaun Deeb loves poker in all its form, from Hold’em to 7 Card Stud, but it is OFC Poker — and in particular OFC Pineapple — that has won his heart and his dedication the most. This is the game that he talks about non stop on his social media pages, the game for which he has written many tutorials and stared in many Youtube videos, including a popular one with Barry Greenstein.

Shaun Deeb began his poker obsession when he was 16 and would host rebuy tournaments with his friends at high school. In later years he would drop out university to pursue a career in poker, a move that proved to be very shrewd as he went on to become one of the best and most versatile players in the game. Shaun Deeb is prolific online. These days he spends a lot of time playing Pineapple on his mobile and tablet, but he also holds two World Championship of Online Poker titles and has finished “in the money” in 17 World Series of Poker events. Deeb also has ITM finishes in the European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour, and he is a regular on the Spring Championship of Online Poker.

Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier has picked up a big finish at a couple of OFC events, including the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure and the OFC event on the European Poker Tour, held on the Monaco stop.

Jason Mercier was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, where he lives to this day. The twenty seven year old has won two World Series of Poker bracelets and regular features in a number of Texas Hold’em televised events. He is often cited as one of the best live poker players in the world, and is certainly one of the richest with 31 ITM finishes in the WSOP and dozens more on other big tours and tournaments. As well as being a keen advocate of Open-Face Chinese Poker, Jason has also picked up big wins in several other variants, including Pot Limit Omaha and 8-Game, in which he won over a quarter of a million dollars at the World Series of Online Poker.

Daniel Negreanu

Known as “Kid Poker”, Daniel has been on the scene for many years. The Canadian earned his nickname for being one of the youngest players on the circuit, which testifies to how long he has been involved in the game considering he is now 40 years old and one of the more experienced heads at any poker table.

Daniel is a confident and talented player and as well as being the face of Pokerstars Team Pro, he has also hosted his own show and is a regular feature on other shows such as Pokerstars Big Game and Late Night Poker. Ever keen to stick with the new trends and the new games, Daniel is a huge fan of Open-Face Chinese Poker and regularly plays the game with a number of other players on this list. He is also known to enjoy a game of Badugi and Omaha every now and again. It is Hold’em where he has earned the big bucks though and he has picked up a massive 78 ITM finishes at the World Series of Poker and 19 on the World Poker Tour.

Daniel is one of the most travelled poker players and is prominent on all of the big tours, tournaments and the big television shows. He is the face of the game, and you will struggle to find a poker player or fan who doesn’t know who he is.

Barry Greenstein

Barry Greenstein is a veteran on the poker scene and as well as three Word Series of Poker bracelets, he also has a number of appearances in popular televised poker events and cash games, such as High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and The Big Game. Barry can be seen regularly playing Texas Hold’em, as is often the case with any poker pro, but he plays most variants and none of his World Series of Poker bracelets are for Hold’em, but rather they are for No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw, Pot Limit Omaha and Razz.

Barry himself admitted to drawing up many mathematical strategies and plans for Open-Face Chinese Poker. As a keen mathematician he wanted to figure the game out from a mathematical standpoint, but after trying to for many months and after failing at so many strategies, he lost thousands. Luckily, he now knows how to play the game and features at all the big Open-Face Chinese Poker events in North America. He also teaches others how to play and one of the most popular OFC Poker tutorial videos online stars him and Shaun Deeb.

Barry Greenstein is often referred to as the “Robin Hood of Poker” due to the fact that he gives a lot of his winnings away to charity. The 59 year old lives in California with his wife and children, and he devotes his time to playing poker, learning new variations and writing about the game that he loves so much.

Phil Hellmuth

Known as the “Poker Brat”, for his outspoken antics at the table and the many tantrums that he throws when he loses and takes a bad beat, Phil Hellmuth is one of the most experienced poker players around. He likes to think of himself as the best that there is, and is often heard saying words to that effect, and although it is dismissed as bragging, he is certainly one of the better players out there.

Phil Hellmuth is also one of the few poker superstars to win the World Series of Poker Main Event, although he won this in 1989 before the fields extended into the thousands and the competition was so fierce. He was the youngest person to win the WSOP Main Event at the time, and in the years that followed Hellmuth picked up another 99 ITM finishes, which means he now has 100 cash-ins in the biggest poker series on the planet. His total live tournament earnings are just shy of $20 million and he has played and won at many variants of the game, including an Open-Face Chinese Poker takedown on the London stop of the European Poker Tour.

Phil Hellmuth, like the others on this list, is also a poker celebrity and has probably featured on as many poker shows as Daniel Negreanu, but whilst the latter is added to the lineup for his charm and charisma, Hellmuth tends to be included because of his network pleasing outbursts and his endless rants.

Vanessa Selbst

The only female on this list, Vanessa Slebst is also a big fan of Open-Face Chinese Poker and regularly plays the game on her mobile, whilst joining in on the many live tournaments around the world. She is the only female to have reached the number one spot in the Global Poker Index and is regally considered to be one of the best players in the world. Vanessa has three World Series of Poker bracelets to her name and has had huge cashes in other tournaments as well. She is a very versatile player and has cashed big in everything from Hold’em and Omaha, to 10-game and more.

Vanessa’s total live tournament earnings surpass $10 million and she is prominent on televised tournaments and high roller events.

Jon Turner

Although less of a poker celebrity and high roller than the other names on this list — certainly the ones that precede him — Jon Turner, who goes by the name PearlJammed online, is a very skilled poker player and an advocate of Open-Face Chinese Poker. He is well down on the United States all-time money list, but his recent results include final tabling a big OFC Poker tournament with Jason Mercier and Shaun Deeb.

Paul Volpe

Also on that final table, and claiming the eventual runner-up spot, was Paul Volpe. Paul is considerably higher than Jon Turner on the United States money list and is in the top ten for the richest players in the state of New Jersey, which he calls home. As far as his poker skill goes the Global Poker Index also rates him in the top ten and many see him as one of the rising stars of the game, with his name consistently on the ITM list for all of the big tournaments in all of the poker variants. Volpe makes most of his money online and has earned nearly $5 million to date, but he also plies his trade in live tournaments as well, although not as regularly.

Chris Klodnicki

Chris is another player who has yet to break into poker superstardom but is certainly on his way. He gets involved in many poker tours and tournaments, playing everything from Open-Face Chinese Poker and 10-game, to standard No Limit Hold’em. He has won over $2 million in online earnings over the years, but it in his live tournaments where he makes the big bucks and he has earned over $7 million to date with his live play.

Chris is ranked in the top 50 for richest poker players in the United States and he is 3rd in the state of New Jersey. His best single cash in a live event was for nearly $3 million, which boosted him up the rankings and gave him the recognition that he rightly deserves.

Dan O’Brien

Dan has yet to take home a big Open-Face Chinese Poker win, but he does enjoy the game and is a regular in many OFC tournaments. His biggest cash win away from OFC Poker was close to half a million dollars and his online winnings surpass the $2 million mark.

Ben Yu

Ben is not a huge name on the circuit but he has been cropping up in Open-Face Chinese tournaments with players such as Jason Mercier and Shaun Deeb. His total live earnings are more than half a million dollars and his best live cash was for over $100.000. He plays many variants of the game of poker.

Tony G

Last but far from least, Tony G is more important to the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker than many of the names already mentioned. The Lithuanian-born Aussie is a businessman by trade, and over the years he has used his business earnings to bankroll entries into many tournaments, covering every possible variant of the game of poker. He has a mouth to rival that of Phil Hellmuth, but is often thought of as much more intimidating. Tony G is a big cash game player and has also featured on many televised poker events, but the biggest contribution that this poker superstar has had to the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker is the TonyBet website.

TonyBet is a sports book, casino and, most importantly, a poker room. But it is not just any poker room, it is currently the biggest poker room in the online world that has Open-Face Chinese Poker games. It set the standard, and the popularity of TonyBet’s poker room will open the doors for other poker sites to follow, effectively starting up the bandwagon that they will then jump on. Tony G is also a big fan of OFC himself, and if you head on over to TonyBet you might just run into him on one of the many OFC tournaments.

As many will know, Open-Face Chinese Poker is undergoing a boom at the moment, and although that popularity has yet to extend into the online world, with sites such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker yet to open their doors to the game, it is being embraced by the biggest poker tours worldwide. In fact, on all of the major tours, including the World Series of Poker, you can find a table or two of Open-Face Chinese Poker, and the number of players joining these tables are increasing year by year and month by month.

We’re now in the late summer months and have missed the big stops during the beginning of the year, and in the spring and in the summer. These included the GUKPT, which held a £75 (around $120) buy-in for OFC in the middle of August, and events for the Ante up World Championship, the Summer Series and the Aria Classic, all of which catered for Open-Face Chinese Poker and attracted the best players on the OFC circuit.

There are still plenty more on the way in the next couple of months and on into 2015, so if you’re into OFC Poker and want to test your mettle on the big stage then checkout some of these tournaments.

Caribbean Poker Tour

The Caribbean Poker Tour is one of the hottest poker tours on the circuit, literally, as these events are held in beautiful, sun-drenched Caribbean destinations and often in the height of summer. In truth, the last place you’ll probably want to be when you’re in an island paradise is stuffed up inside a casino, but these tournaments kick off during the evening, when the sun goes down and you’re looking for some entertainment.

The next stop on the Caribbean Poker Tour is in the island of St Martin, a country with split sovereignty between the French and the Dutch. There are many tournaments here and although the first one takes place on the 30th of October, the final one doesn’t begin until the 8th of November. The main event is what draws the most attention, and also the television cameras, and that kicks off on the 4th of November, running for several days and finishing on the 7th. A day later, on the final day of the tour, is when the Open-Face Chinese Poker event takes place. This is becoming one of the most popular tournaments on the tour and is certainly eagerly anticipated this time around.

OFC Pineapple is the aim of the game here and as it’s the last tournament on the final day, it closes the curtain on the whole tour. The buy-in is $330, so many might be priced out, but there might be some satellite competitions available if you want to win your entry. You might also be able to get sponsored for the event if you have made some significant ITM finishes in other games and can find someone to spot you.

Poker Caribbean Adventure

For some more fun in the Caribbean sun, albeit with significantly less heat, then hit the PCA event at the beginning of the year. At the time of writing the event schedule has yet to go up, but OFC is sure to be featured here. In fact, at the 2014 event, Open-Face Chinese was one of the biggest tournaments. A $2200 re-buy tournament attracted 40 high-rolling OFC players and a total prize-pool of over $100.000, with Shaun Deeb taking home the grand prize.

European Poker Tour

The EPT is the top choice for European players and for those from further afield. This televised tour stops off at some of the biggest gambling destinations in Europe, including Prague, London and Monte Carlo. Open-Face Chinese has featured here since late 2012, with events taken down by players such as Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier. The next event is in London in October, but although OFC featured on this stop last time (and was won by Phil Helmuth) it is not scheduled for it this time. Nevertheless, after that it’s the turn of Prague and then Deauville, so keep an eye on these stops and you’ll be sure to find at least one OFC Poker tournament.

World Poker Tour

The WPT is often considered to be the the North American equivalent of the EPT, but in reality both of these tours are universal and as big as each other. The WPT has featured OFC on many of its stops, including the Las Vegas stop in 2013, when it was held at the Bellagio. Next up for the WPT is Borgata in September. The main stops on the tour have already finished this year, but they will start again next year so be sure to keep a close eye on this tour as wherever you are in the world you’ll be sure to find a stop close to you.

World Series of Poker

The WSOP is the biggest poker tournament in the world, so if you want to play Open-Face Chinese on the big stage then you’ll struggle to find one bigger. The WSOP Main Event final table is just around the corner and the next WSOP tour is a good 8 months away, but with the momentum behind OFC, next year promises to be a very interesting one. In fact, at the WSOP this year, although Open-Face Chinese didn’t dominate the schedule, it was all the big players talked about. When many of them weren’t grinding the big No-Limit Hold’em tournaments they were hitting the Vegas tables to play OFC cash games. There were also many reports of the top players playing OFC on their mobiles as they sat at the tables playing Hold’em. The tournament organisers will have taken note of this and everyone is predicting that next year at the World Series of Poker will be the year of Open-Face Chinese Poker. This also applies to the World Series of Poker Europe, which will surely follow suit. The European version isn’t as big of course, but it still attracts a huge following, with those who can’t make it to the City of Sin choosing the cooler climate of the WSOP Europe instead.

OFC Poker is great, if I didn’t think that was the case then I wouldn’t have this website, and if you didn’t think that was the case then you wouldn’t be visiting this website, but there are many more great poker variants out there. Everyone has heard of Texas Hold’em and it is the most popular and the most well known poker variant that there is, but it also has its dissenters. In fact many people who turned to OFC Poker are frustrated with Hold’em, and many of those frustrations are aimed at the fact that Hold’em attracts a lot of amateurs and the game itself is geared up to give those amateurs a chance, and nothing will turn experienced players off a game quicker than a succession of bad beats to people who don’t know what they’re doing.

OFC Poker requires more skill and is much less accommodating to the risk-taking newbies looking for a quick score and a quicker game, but there are other poker variants out there that also require a great deal of skill, and games were you will find fewer gamblers and more experienced poker players.


Badugi is a favorite for many. This game is very unique and it is also very niche. In fact, very rarely will you find Badugi tournaments on the major sites or in the major casinos, but they are out there. Badugi is reported to have been invented in the 1980s, although exactly where and when no one is quite sure. Pokerstars has these tournaments running throughout the day, and there are also Badugi games on the major tours and in the major tournaments.

Badugi is played with four cards, and the aim of the game is to make “Badugi”, which is made when the player has one card from each suit. The betting system is much like standard games of Draw, with blinds paid out before each hand. Each player gets four cards and there are three rounds of betting after that, with an option to change however many cards the player wants to change as they try their best to make “Badugi”. A strong hand is a low hand, with the strongest possible hand being A, 2, 3, 4 of different suits.

Badugi games are often fixed limit games, and this puts a lot of amateurs off. There are also pot limit games available, but these are less common, and you will very rarely find a no limit game of Badugi

5 Card Draw

This is one of the oldest games of poker. Many people assume that Texas Hold’em was the main game in the wild west, played by Wild Bill and co, but it was actually 5 Card Draw. This was the most common game of poker up until the age of Texas Hold’em, which took the world by storm and created a new generation of players, many of which had never heard of 5 Card Draw, let alone played it.

5 Card Draw is played with 5 cards and often a maximum of 4 or 5 people per table. All five cards are dealt before the first round of betting and the goal is for the players to make the strongest five card poker hand with the hand they are dealt. After the first round of betting they are allowed to change as many of their cards as they want, much like in Badugi, but there is only one change allowed, after which there is one more round of betting.

5 Card Draw is a great tournament game, and one that makes for some very exciting skill-based tournaments. It can be a very frustrating game to play heads-up, and many refuse to play heads-up unless they have to (such as at the end of a tournament) but it’s great when you have a full table. It is also the perfect game to introduce people to poker, as it’s by far the easiest game to learn.

Omaha Hi-Lo

This game has many layers which means it is very rarely appealing to those who don’t understand the rules. It is probably the most popular game on this list, but is nowhere near as popular as standard Omaha, which is often only second to Texas Hold’em in the popularity stakes.

Omaha Hi-Lo is typically a pot limit game and there are two pots in each hand, with a high hand and a low hand. All players are dealt four cards (although there are five card variations as well) and there are also five community cards dealt on the table that all players can use to make their best five card hand. They need to use two cards from their hand and three cards from the community hand in order to make that five card hand.

If there are three or more low cards on the table, which are defined as 7 and below, then the pot is split, with half going to the high hand and half going to the low hand. The best low hand is one from the ace through to the five, and standard poker rules apply to the high hand.

Omaha Hi-Lo is very unique in the sense that prior knowledge of good Omaha or Hold’em hands will do you few favors here as you also need to calculate the best low hand potential.

Mixed Poker

Mixed Poker games take many forms and the beauty of these is that only those with an eclectic range of poker knowledge can run deep in the tournament. Mixed games incorporate two or more poker variants into one tournament, with the game switching for every blind increase. These games are as simple as Omaha/Hold’em splits, which are the most popular, and as complicated as HORSE (Hold’em, Omaha, Razz, Seven-card Stud and Eights or Better). There are also games that mix eight, ten, twelve and even thirteen different poker variants. The competition in these is likely to be fierce, with only the best of the best competing, but this is a great way to test your abilities and with so may variants on the go, and with regular changes between them, you’ll never get bored regardless of how deep the tournament runs.

Some new games that are achieving popularity on Pokerstars and other places include Courchevel, which is a bit like Omaha but with five cards, one of which is face-up; Triple-Draw, which is similar to both Badugi and 5-Card Draw; and Razz.

We have already discussed the history of Open Face Chinese Poker and how this game began just a few years ago before making it to the United States in 2012, but what about the game from which it derives, a game without which there would be no OFC Poker?

The history of Chinese Poker is not as clear as the history of many other games, but one thing that we do know is that Chinese Poker has a lot in common with Pai Gow, a game that has been around for nearly a thousand years. It is highly likely that Chinese Poker was created around the same time as Pai Gaw, and it remained in China, the country of its birth, for hundreds of years. Some have argued that during the nineteenth century, when many Chinese labourers made their way to the United States, they took Pai Gow with them and this game merged with standard games of poker (such as Draw and Stud) with which Chinese Poker emerged. Some argue that it was created several hundred years previous, offering high-stakes gamblers much more opportunity than Pai Gow did, but the truth is that no one knows for certain.

The game made it to the West in 1995, when it appeared in the World Series of Poker. The WSOP wasn’t as big back then as it is now, but it still attracted a lot of attention, with poker players all over the world signing up for the many events. In hindsight, Chinese Poker seems like an odd inclusion as it was yet to take off in the West, and perhaps this is why it was removed from the schedule just 2 years later. It had developed a small following by that time though and one of the many stories coming out of that time is of poker professional Barry Greenstein losing $1.5 million playing the game against Ted Forrest.

It was also reported to be popular with Phil Helmuth and other professionals such as Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson. These are the players who had played in the big casinos and on the big tours in the East and so perhaps were more accustomed to the game because of that. The game was also played sporadically throughout Las Vegas at the time, hailed as a patient game that required a great deal of skill and strategy whilst offering the potential for big wins at the same time.

Chinese Poker has never really taken the world by storm, but it has proved to be very popular with high rollers who want some extra excitement. For many years it was popular in Finland and in Russia, and it was here where OFC was first developed, tweaking the rules and the layout of the game. OFC moved at a pace that Chinese Poker could only have dreamed of, and in just a few years it had enveloped much of the poker world.

It is clear that OFC is now way more popular than standard Chinese Poker, and that’s because it appeals to people from different walks of life, to people who are accustomed to Pai Gow, Draw, Stud and more. Whereas Chinese Poker offered gamblers something extra than Pai Gow, OFC poker gives even more, and you could also argue that Pineapple OFC is the next evolution of this game, although the differences between that and standard OFC are very minimal. It is worth remembering that without Chinese Poker then OFC wouldn’t have seen the light of day, so this game deserves as much respect as we give OFC, and if you have yet to play it, then our advice is to at least try it.

The poker world is embracing OFC Poker, and even die-hard Hold’em and Omaha fans are converting, with more and more turning to the game on a daily basis and making it the fastest growing poker variant in the history of the game. Despite this, it is still not available on the biggest and longest established poker sites. You can play it on mobile apps developed are smaller websites and companies, but the only big and trusted one to date is TonyBet, run by poker professional and general loud mouth Tony G.

That could be changing though, because the voices of OFC Poker fans are beginning to be heard. The online casinos are also taking cue from the land-based casinos who have noticed a significance surge in the popularity of this game over the last couple of years. If you go back to 2011, or even to early 2012, you wouldn’t find a single table playing OFC Poker game on the entire Las Vegas Strip, or even in the greater state of Nevada for that matter, but fast forward 12 months and this had changed drastically. In many casinos OFC is more prevalent than other poker variant, except for Hold’em. There are big money tournaments and regular cash games, and the number of these games available, along with the amount of people signing up for them, is on the up.

It was a matter of time before the online world decided that they wanted a piece of the action, and there is reason to believe that they are already planning to implement this game into their programs, working busily behind the scenes to jump on the OFC bandwagon as soon as they can. At the end of 2013, a petition opened on the Two Plus Two website — the biggest and most well-known poker site on the internet — to get Open-Face Chinese Poker onto Pokerstars, and rumour has it that Pokerstars agreed to implement the game into their software if enough people signed the petition. So how big would this be for the game? Put it this way, Hold’em wouldn’t be the game it is today without Pokerstars. It was helped by other websites as well, but those are no longer around and although the market share was split between Absolute Poker, Full Tilt and Pokerstars in the past, Absolute folded, Full Tilt were bought out by Pokerstars and Pokerstars itself is now the big daddy in the poker world.

If OFC poker moved to Pokerstars then it would be a matter of time before the biggest tournaments, currently aimed at Hold’em, also made the move. This game only made it to the United States in 2012, and just a year later it was taking over the biggest tours and tournaments. Where there used to be an occasional table and event for mixed games, Badugi and generally those games that few people play, there are now half a dozen tables and events for OFC, and soon it will stand side by side with Hold’em. OFC Poker has because brome the “other” game, a gap that was filled with everything from Stud to Draw, Badugi and 3-Card in the past.

TonyBet has already introduced the online world to OFC Poker, but as this is a relatively new site, people seem unwilling to make the switch. TonyBet is very reputable and very slick, but even those into OFC are still reluctant to make the move and instead are sticking with Hold’em and with Pokerstars, but as soon as the petition reaches a worthy number, and as soon as Pokerstars updates their software to allow for OFC tournaments and cash games, then the world domination of the game will be complete.

If you want to get on board and sign the petition then head on over to the 2+2 forum. You can also email Pokerstars directly at support@pokerstars.com, pleading with them. The more people that do this the sooner they will take action. In the meantime we would still advise that you check out TonyBet, as there are a lot of question marks about the legitimacy of other OFC Poker apps and games that use a real money system, whereas TonyBet is as clean, honest and as regulated as you would expect for a million dollar website.

TonyBet has fairly unique origins and a backstory that you don’t often get with other sports books and online casinos. The website was started by loud mouth and poker professional Tony G, but we’re not talking about something he just put his name and his likeness to, he actually started the site himself. Tony G began his career as a shrewd businessman and then moved into poker, and when his love of gambling began to take hold, and to boost his already weighty bank balance, he invested in sports and gambling.

Whereas many online poker sites are typically started in Caribbean islands, avoiding tax laws and sometimes even gambling laws, TonyBet began life in Lithuania, which is where Tony G was born. This, coupled with his aforementioned love of sports, is the reason that TonyBet sponsors the Lithuanian basketball team.

TonyBet is a solid site that uses top-of-the-range poker and gaming software and has been going steady since 2009, establishing itself as one of the biggest and best emerging sports books, casinos and poker rooms around. In fact, TonyBet has technically been around longer than that as it was initially known as OmniBet, which Tony G bought and rebranded.

TonyBet is licensed by the Estonian gaming authorities and the website is as secure as you can get. They take deposits through a range of methods, including credit and debit cards, and they have regular promotions and bonuses that new players and existing players can take advantage of.

Sports Book and Casino

One of the main advantages of TonyBet is that it’s more than just a poker room or a casino and also has an extensive sports betting feature that allows you to bet on everything from American Football to European Basketball. Players are given a deposit bonus to help them on their way and they can use any winnings to fund their poker or casino accounts.

The software for the sports book itself is very slick and easy to navigate, much like the popular SkyBet website and leagues above slow and tedious sites such as Ladbrokes and Betway. There is also a live betting feature, where players can bet on the games as they play out, gambling on next scores, total points and much more.

If you want something a little different, then there is a fun little game called Bet on Poker. This is not quite as good as the real thing, but it is certainly interesting. Here players are faced with a live dealer who deals cards into several spaces on the table in front of her, creating “hands” that the players can then gamble on. They can bet before and during the hands and the bets revolve around the quality of the hands, so for short odds they can bet that a pair or two pairs will be shown, whilst for bigger odds they can take a punt that a flush, straight or full house will be shown. The dealers tend to be young and very attractive women, and there is also a screen behind them showing the latest live sporting fixtures. There are also similar live versions of lottery and dice games available on the site, complete with more eye candy.

The casino itself has a number of classic table games available, and there are also a great number of slot machines, from standard slots to bonus slots, video poker and more. There is even a section devoted to virtual scratch cards, where players can simulate the joy of scratching a card to reveal a huge jackpot.

The Piece De Resistance

Although it pretty much ticks all of the boxes, the main selling point of TonyBet, and the one thing that sets it apart from every other website of its type, is the fact that you can play OFC Poker. In fact, this is currently the biggest gambling website that facilitates the game of OFC Poker, and has done a great job of paving the way for many others to follow.

The tournaments are not always full, but there are smaller cash games that usually are and there are also big guaranteed tournaments that are advertised well in advance and tend to draw a considerable crowd. The software itself is even better than many of the OFC Poker apps out there, and the fact that you can play for real money completely blows them out of the water.


There is very little wrong with TonyBet. We’re a little biased because as much as we love OFC Poker, the idea of playing it when there is no money involved is a title tedious, so TonyBet came to our aid there. This is the biggest and best source of real money Open-Face Chinese Poker anywhere on the internet, and it does not disappoint. The sports book and the casino is also great, and there are some unique and exclusive live games that add something a little different and a little extra to your gambling experience.

TonyBet is a gambling experience, with everything you could need under one roof, and although we do admit to being biased due to them catering for our adoration of OFC Poker, we are not lying when we say that this is also one of the best sports books and casinos that we have played in.

With such a new game, and one that has yet to break into the mainstream, it can be hard to find a community of people that loves the game as much as you do and devotes as much of their time to learning and perfecting it as you do. These communities are cropping up all of the time though and big poker boards are also expanding into OFC, embracing this new and exciting game with open arms.

One of the best communities out there at the moment is Flop Turn River. This site covers most forms of poker in general, but has a dedicated section for Open Faced Chinese Poker where fans of the game can discuss strategies, tournaments and more. In general, the poker forum on Flop Turn River has over 1.1 million posts and the OFC section is growing all of the time. They also have their own competitions.

So head on over and check it out, make sure you get in early because OFC is sure to take off and this community is already becoming the home for the game and its players.