Rules of chinese poker. Point structure. Fantasyland. Mis-set hand.

Chinese poker is the game for two to four players which represents a sort of mixture of poker and patience. The game took from poker necessity of competition with opponents in making up the best poker hands step by step, and from patience – openness, regularity and the system of fighting for points.

To play Chinese poker, you need a standard pack of cards with 52 cards, from two to ace, with no jokers, and the suits are equivalent.
The minimum of participants is 2. The maximum is 4 (3 for Pineapple).

The queue of the lead in the hand is defined by button, as well as in poker. The game lasts for a few hands until the first round of the button is completed.

There are no bet rounds in Chinese poker. The game is played on points (units), and the main purpose is to collect as many points as possible. Upon the players’ agreement, before the game starts, monetary cost of one unit is defined (for instance, 1$ per unit), and the counting is made at the end of the game.

Every player takes one seat at the table, with 3 boxes of 13 cards in total (5 cards in back and middle boxes and 3 cards in front box).

X | X | X
X | X | X | X | X
X | X | X | X | X

By the end of the hand a poker combination shall be laid down in every box. After that the poker combinations are compared, and the unit charge is made.

Units structure and royalties

The units in Chinese poker are charged under two criteria:

  1. Coupled comparison of the opponents’ combinations: back-, middle- and front-boxes of the opponents are compared. For winning in each pair one player gets points as a plus, and the opponent gets the same number as a minus. The defeat in all the three boxes is called Scoop. The player loses more points if there is a Scoop.
  2. Royalty Charges. Players get extra bonuses – royalty points – for strong combinations like Set, Straight, Flash, Full house, etc. The combination strength influences the number of points (the stronger combination – the more points you get), and the box where it was made up (front – the most, middle – a bit less, back – the least).

Mis-set Hand

Every variety of Chinese poker has its main rule for resulting combinations.:

  • For standard combinations in Chinese poker the combination strength in the boxes shall be diminished from back-box to front-box, e.g., in back-box the combination shall be the strongest, in middle – average strong, and the weakest – in front.
  • Lowball (2-7 varieties) – shall have weaker front-box than back-box, and middle-box must have a combination no stronger than 10 high.

If, by the end of the hand the resulting combinations have been made with the main rule violation, the players’ hand is deemed “mis-set”, they don’t get the royalty and loses the scoop.


Fantasyland is the convention that creates additional purpose in the game: to make up a combination higher than QQ (KK in 2-7 variations) at the front-box. In this case, the player gets an opportunity of laying down the cards in privileged mode – in the next hand of fantasyland mode, provided, that the player’s hand isn’t mis-set.

While the fantasyland a player gets 13 cards closely at the beginning of the hand (plus extra card or two in Pineapple variety) and compeltes his/her own hand. The opponents play the same hand in classic mode, not seeing the cards in the hand of fantasyland player.

In drawing fantasy button is not shifted, the queue of the leads stays the same as in the previous deal. This way, the game is prolonged for one hand.

Upon the players’ agreement, the game can go with repeated fantasy. In playing with repeated fantasy, the player laying down the fantasy can also get it in the next deal if he/she make four of a kind, street-flash or royal flash at the back-box, or set at the front-box.