Chinese poker not open face (1 Viewer)

upNdown

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My buddy taught me a game the other night that he used to play years ago. He said they called it chines poker. You play with two players, or four as partners. Each player gets 13 cards. Object is to get rid of your cards first. Low card goes first, suits matter. You can play your 2c as a single, as a pair, or as part of a 5 card hand. Next player has to follow with a higher single, pair, or 5 card hand - whichever you did. You keep going until it can't be beatem at which point winner starts again, with whatever he chooses - single, pair, or 5-card hand.
Once somebody has played all his cards, the other guy gets points for the cards left in his hand - A are 14, 9-K are 10, everything else is 5.

Sound familiar to anybody? Does this game have a name? Did I get the rules right? Are there more rules?
The one thing that seemed odd is that you could have 4 of a kind and you can't play it as such - that didn't seem quite right.
 

JRald07

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This was the Chinese poker I learned to play in middle school. Same exact rules. It was actually the way I learned the hand rankings of poker. I'm curious if it goes by a different name.

Thanks for this post...Following!
 

quintooo

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played this when I was in elementary-high school. We called it "13"

Those rules were how we played it in my area (San Jose, CA). Didn't count points though, just played to final 2 and did 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place. Quads were allowed though from what I remember
 

LeLe

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:p Yup It's Called Big 2, a bad translation from its Chinese name 大老二 basically meaning 2 are the biggest

This game is designed only to be played by 4 person and the person with 3 of Diamond will start first.

You had to play a stronger hand than the last person and the same number of card

Objective is to win asap, and you collect a bounty from each person for each card they have left and double the bounty if they have more than 10 cards

There's are some minor variants / regional rule

-like some don't allow you to end with 2
-some don't allow you to play 3 of a kind, you can only play single, pair or 5 cards
-Special bounty is collected if you play a hand higher/equal to 4 of a kind
 
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BGinGA

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Learned it years ago as Big Deuce.
 

upNdown

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Well wait. Maybe I’m missing something. But if 2s are high but you can’t finish with them, how do you get them out of your hand?
 

upNdown

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You reset the hand when everyone else pass

So you can start playing with a single 3 for example
I still don't follow.
Say you start with a single 3. Then we each throw a bunch of singles, until you throw your ace. Are you telling me I can't put a 2 on that (and reset) because I can't finish with a 2?
 

ChipFinderSK

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I still don't follow.
Say you start with a single 3. Then we each throw a bunch of singles, until you throw your ace. Are you telling me I can't put a 2 on that (and reset) because I can't finish with a 2?
You would either play a 2 (to reset the board), or pass and save for later use. The “can’t finish with a 2” rule applies only to your last card, the “Uno” card.

Now that I think about it, I think we played that the :3d: was the starter card, like @LeLe alluded to.
 

upNdown

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You would either play a 2 (to reset the board), or pass and save for later use. The “can’t finish with a 2” rule applies only to your last card, the “Uno” card.

Now that I think about it, I think we played that the :3d: was the starter card, like @LeLe alluded to.
Okay, but you'd never play the highest card as your last card - you'd have played that before, so you can reset and dump your low card last.
Weird rule.
 

Stackdclub

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It’s called Dai Di or Big 2

I used to play it in the break room at Hippodrome casino. We would play for 25p a point, I made £595 over the span of three months. Still have the score cards for those sessions from about 8 years ago
 

ArielVer18

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Okay, but you'd never play the highest card as your last card - you'd have played that before, so you can reset and dump your low card last.
Weird rule.

I don't use this rule, but the intent is to drive action. When I play with family for fun, we play until there's a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. When there's money involved, the first player to shed all cards is the winner and the other three pays. When you're playing for fun and your goal is to avoid being 4th, you'll play more conservatively holding onto those big twos for reset potentials.
 

ChipFinderSK

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I don't use this rule, but the intent is to drive action. When I play with family for fun, we play until there's a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. When there's money involved, the first player to shed all cards is the winner and the other three pays. When you're playing for fun and your goal is to avoid being 4th, you'll play more conservatively holding onto those big twos for reset potentials.
We played 1 winner, everyone else pays. 25c per card held, double if more than 10 cards.

A lot of times if you knew you couldn’t win (multiple low single cards), the goal was to dump as many cards as you could to avoid the 2x penalty. For these hands, using a 2 early made sense so you could gain control, and drop a 5-card hand.
 

Stackdclub

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We played
1-7 cards 1point per card
8-10 cards x2 points
11-12 cards x3 points
13 cards x4 points “Getting Quadded”
Also the 3d led ONLY on the first hand of the session, after that the winner leads with whatever they like.

It’s brutal, the best strategy is if you can’t immediately see a win combo you shed a 5 card hand to get under.

Breaking high pairs to be able to play flushes or straights that use up your low smash cards.

In a four player game you don’t need to be aiming to win, you just need to avoid the multipliers and aim for second place in the hand, the wins will show up.
 

Marius L

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Played this when I was an exchange student in Beijing! It was a fun game
 

allforcharity

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I used to play Big 2 to pass the time between classes at university. Taught a lot of people it. But it's been so long that I've forgotten the rules.

Chinese poker/13 card poker is a different beast entirely, and I learned it growing up while watching the elders play most weekends of the year (as well as mahjong ).
 

CrazyEddie

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My buddy taught me a game the other night that he used to play years ago. He said they called it chines poker. You play with two players, or four as partners. Each player gets 13 cards. Object is to get rid of your cards first. Low card goes first, suits matter. You can play your 2c as a single, as a pair, or as part of a 5 card hand. Next player has to follow with a higher single, pair, or 5 card hand - whichever you did. You keep going until it can't be beatem at which point winner starts again, with whatever he chooses - single, pair, or 5-card hand.
Once somebody has played all his cards, the other guy gets points for the cards left in his hand - A are 14, 9-K are 10, everything else is 5.

Sound familiar to anybody? Does this game have a name? Did I get the rules right? Are there more rules?
The one thing that seemed odd is that you could have 4 of a kind and you can't play it as such - that didn't seem quite right.
This is one of many games that are generally known as "climbing games", a category similar to but distinct from, for example, "trick-taking".

Climbing games are very popular in Asia, which is why your friend probably learned this game as "Chinese Poker". I'm not familiar with a climbing game commonly known by that name; undoubtedly that's a name that a small local group started calling it as they began teaching it to other people.

The description closely matches a game commonly known as "Big Two". Like most traditional and folk card games, there are countless variations played in different regions or by different groups, but the core game mechanics you've mentioned sound like they're a good fit for Big Two. Big Two is probably one of the most popular of climbing games, although that's hard to know for sure for anyone outside of Asia.

Here's the Pagat page for Big Two: https://www.pagat.com/climbing/bigtwo.html

Here's the Pagat page for climbing games in general: https://www.pagat.com/climbing/

There's a somewhat popular climbing game in western countries that's often known as "President/Asshole"; it's pretty simple compared to most of the other games, which undoubtedly helps its popularity. A commercial version of that same game (with a small but important change to the card distribution) is called The Great Dalmuti, which board gamers have probably heard of. Another commercial climbing game that's had success in the west is called Tichu, which board gamers have likewise probably heard of - and it is, by the way, an excellent game.

Big Two is pretty simple and straight-forward, and it's a lot of fun. Highly recommended.
 

CrazyEddie

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There’s a commercial version out there under a different name(Tichu) but here’s the wiki rules

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_two


Commercial game

https://funboardgames.org/2011/04/i-can-teach-you-tichu/
Tichu and Big Two are both climbing games and so are superficially similar, but they're actually quite different from each other, in the same way that Bridge and Oh Hell are different from each other. Tichu is more complicated, and has more interesting gameplay. It's also a partnership game, which adds a whole new layer of strategy.
 

CrazyEddie

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Another good climbing game is Clubs. It's super-simple so you can teach it to anyone, but it has a surprising amount of depth and strategy. It's a commercial game with a nonstandard deck, but you can also adapt it to use a standard deck without losing anything important from the gameplay.

BGG page: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/125924/clubs

For a standard deck, instead of fifteen cards 1-15 in four suits, you'll have 13 cards A-K (ace low) in four suits. It'll still work fine.

Rules in brief:

3-5 players. Deal each player ten cards and set the rest aside. You can also play with six players and deal each player eight cards. The player on the dealer's left will lead to the first trick.

The two goals are to a) go out (play all of your cards) before other players and b) capture Clubs cards in tricks you win.

When you lead to a trick, you can lead a set of cards (a meld) consisting of either a) one or more cards of the same rank or b) two or more cards in a run (suits don't matter). In turn after that, each player on their turn can either play or pass. To play you must play a meld of the same type and size as the lead; i.e. play pairs on pairs, play trips on trips, play a run of two on a run of two, etc. You have to play a higher rank; i.e. a pair of sevens on a pair of fours, or a run of 6-7-8 on a run of 4-5-6. You can't change the size of the meld, i.e. you can't play quads on a pair, and you can't play a run of four on a run of three.

The trick continues around the table with players playing or passing until all players but the current trick-winner pass. This means that the trick might go around the table several times, unlike in standard trick-taking games where it only goes around once. Once everyone else has passed, the trick winner (i.e. whoever made the last play) takes the trick and leads to the next one. If any clubs were played on the trick, the winner keeps them, and will score points for them at the end of the hand.

If you don't have a valid play, you must pass. You never have to play; you can always pass even if you have a valid play. If you pass during a trick, you can still play on the same trick later if it comes back around to you.

Anyone who plays their last card is out of the hand; the rest of the players continue playing without them. Players who go out get bonus points; the sooner they go out, the more bonus points they get.

The hand ends when only one player is left with cards. That player scores zero points; they get no points for clubs even if they've captured some, and they get no bonus points for going out. The other players score points for the clubs they've captured and bonus points for going out early.

Scoring:

Clubs captured:
  • Ace: 5 points
  • 2/3: 4 points each
  • 4/5/6: 3 points each
  • 7/8/9/10: 2 points each
  • J/Q/K: 1 point each
Going out early:
  • Last out (last player still with cards): 0 points, and no points for clubs
  • Second-last out: 2 bonus points
  • Third-last out: 5 bonus points
  • Fourth-last out: 8 bonus points
  • Fifth-last out: 10 bonus points
  • Sixth-last out: 12 bonus points
So, for example: the first to go out in a four-player game will get 8 bonus points.

Double-or-nothing: A player with a strong hand can declare "Double or Nothing" anytime before they play their first card in the round. They are thereby betting that they will be the first player to go out that round. If they succeed, they score double points both for their clubs and their going-out bonus. If they fail, their score for the round is zero, no matter when they go out or how many clubs they take.

Give it a try! It's fast, easy, and fun, but requires some tactical thinking and awareness. There's a fair degree of luck in any single hand - strong hands will score high, weak hands will score low - but if you play several hands the luck of the draw will average out and the better players will come out ahead. For games like this I like to play one hand per person, i.e. one "orbit" so that everyone has a chance to be the first on lead. At the end of one orbit tally up the scores, and if you're feeling gambly then have the losers pay the winners based on the difference in their scores.
 
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