7 Top Tips for Winning at Chinese Poker
2. Play Pairs Properly
Whilst small pairs won’t do you any good for back hands, they make a very solid middle hand and will almost certainly win a high hand. For the high hand, it’s easy to stick with high cards and spread the pairs and other hands elsewhere, but if you’re strong enough elsewhere and can get a pair into your high hand, then you’re looking good. Never undervalue a pair for the high hand and the middle hand, but at the same time, don’t overvalue them when it comes to a back hand.
3. Play Bonus Hands Where Possible
In Chinese Poker, bonus hands are crucial to your success. You should never chase these hands as it can be dangerous to do so, but there are moments when you can play them without harming your hand and your chances of winning. The key is to always watch out for bonus hands and to be prepared to play them when doing so is safe.
4. Scoop When You Can
We have already mentioned how important it is to avoid being scooped, but at the same time, you should try and scoop your opponent where possible. Take advantage of the times when they have poor cards and — out of frustration — make bad hands. When you sense such an occasion, try and spread your value around so you can get a clean sweep. The points that this brings can give you a huge boost and will go a long way to helping you win the whole thing.
5. Stick to the Rules
Chinese Poker variants are more complicated than Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Draw and other more common forms of poker. It is very easy, therefore, for inexperienced players to stumble over the simplest of rules and to make costly mistakes. This is not one of those games that you can jump straight into and learn as you go. For instance, if you don’t understand the value of each hand and create stronger hands where you are supposed to create weaker hands, then you will forfeit your entire hand and give a huge victory to your opponent. This will not be the end of the game, but one such victory will provide a significant point boost to an opponent who will have an easy run from then on. The rules about hand values are simple, but you would be surprised how many players get them mixed up.
6. Don’t Undervalue Flushes
In Chinese Poker, you will undoubtedly try to make a back hand that is considerably strong than a flush. This is advisable, as a flush is rarely good enough to win the back hand, not when everything from 4-of-a-kind and full-houses can end your hopes of winning. Because of this, many inexperienced players will dismiss flushes instantly, but this can be detrimental, as a flush will work wonders as a middle hand. In fact, if you can get a flush in the middle and get something stronger in the back hand, then you’re on course for a big win. If you can top all of that off with a pair or stronger for your final hand, then you should be looking at a clean sweep.
7. Create a Realistic Bankroll
This applies to all forms of poker, but it can be more important in Chinese Poker as remaining within a budget is a little harder. You need to decide how much you can afford to lose and then put that money to one side. When gambling, many players choose to top-up their accounts weekly or even daily, but if you want to make it as a poker player then you need to learn how to stick with a bankroll that remains as it is when it was created, and is only topped-up when you win. After all, your main goal is to win and to be a profitable player.
An acceptable bankroll amount depends on your expendable income and the amount that you are comfortable losing (you should never assume victory). A typical bankroll for someone earning $50,000 a year, with $2,000 of expandable income left over every month (after bills are paid) would be between $300 and $1,500, with the latter amount accounting for dedicated players who are going to spend a lot of time learning and playing Chinese Poker and therefore want an amount that will justify that time.