OFC Theory: The "Cannibals": Cards that merge draw and value ranges, adding to one row while simultaneously
subtracting from another.
EPT BREAKING NEWS - NO OFC TOURNAMENTS
September 12, 2014 -- As frequent visits to Open Face Odds' tournaments page may indicate, players may be wondering where
the OFC Tournaments the European Poker Tour spread last season are on this year's schedules. We wondered the same thing,
so we got in touch with Neil Johnson, Pokerstars' Global Events representative.
The short answer: they're not being spread. No OFC tournaments are currently planned for London, Prague, PCA, or Deauville. Johnson said
"It should be in Monaco" for the season 11 Grand Final in April 2015.
Why is the EPT going away from a game that is only gaining in popularity? Johnson pointed to the difficulties of running
a Pineapple (3-handed) tournament. He says:
"In reviewing the OFC events last year and talking to a lot of players, the consensus was that almost all players want to
play OFC Pineapple which has to be played three handed and is a significant logistical burden to run as an MTT for
tables, dealers, balancing, etc... No one really wants to run a three handed tourney, especially considering the vast
difference between playing OFCP three handed and heads up while tables are out of balance. It could possibly be run as
a shootout type, but it is a difficult tourney to run logistically although it is by far the most popular form of the
Johnson also pointed out that while cash game participation has been high,
"that didn't really translate into tourney participation." He does admit that the tournament numbers "struggled" partially
due to the players wanting to play Pineapple while the EPT was offering regular Open Face Chinese.
Generally it appears the position of the EPT is that OFC has been relegated to 'cash only' status for the time being.
We'd like to thank Neil for his frank and detailed answers to our inquiry.
We also made a suggestion that we think could help boost OFC tournament interest and significantly diminish the difficulties
in running a tournament. Would an OFC mix-game work? The following variants would play 1 round at a time:
1) Standard (regular) OFC
2) Turbo OFC
3) Pineapple OFC (4-handed table, but button sits)
4) Pineapple 2-7 (button also sits)
September 1, 2014 -- Constant decisions have to be made in Open Face Chinese. Pineapple OFC
is particularly head-scratching, as you will always have at least 3 cards to decide what to do with! You often must
choose between at least two sets, and discarding a card that could improve a row can be frustrating. But a firm grasp of the
math can be a great help in deciding whether to trust - or be suspicious of - your first instincts.
The following spot presents a small dilemma:
The obvious first choice here is to complete the full house for value. Neither opponent is doing very well in the back row, so it appears
that I am well on my way to a back row win and a 6-point royalty times 2.
But what about the middle row? Adding the 4 gives 2-pair, taking a lead against the 55 and hedging against a possible
AA from the villain on the left. And a JJJT back row takes a substantial lead there. So I am adding scoop equity
by two-pairing the middle, as well as giving myself an opportunity to bink a high pair in front and go to Fantasyland.
And, surprisingly, the 3-out JTT is 58% to come in.
I hate to give up the full house royalties, however, so I'm inclined to fill up the boat now. 58% chance of completing also means
42% chance of missing. And there are more outs in the middle overall, 7 in total. What are my odds to
get two-pair or trips the middle if I don't set the 4 now? A whopping 90%, with a 43% chance I hit trip deuces for an extra 4 points.
So after this brief math-check, I can go ahead with my full house, nearly guaranteed to make a hand in the middle which can support a higher pair in the front row,
while also taking the lead in the middle.
The last two cards set are shaded, so you can see each players' last pull. I barely missed Fantasyland, which would have seen
me double-scoop with Aces or Kings in front, giving me a minimum of +40 points PLUS Fantasyland EV (approximately 6-7 points per opponent).
Top left villain binks an Ace on the last pull to avoid the scoop; otherwise
I dominated each row and got close to the max value I could expect without going to Fantasyland, which would have been 24 points.
At the end of the day I went with my initial instinct, but it was nice to back it up with the math.
The hand was a 19-point win, which was just fine in a 3-handed game.
If you'd like your very own set of heads up and 3-handed Pineapple odds charts, you can purchase them here for a couple bucks:
PINEAPPLE OFC CHARTS
A HOME GAME PRIMER - Part I
August 29, 2014 -- Having a few friends over this weekend for a friendly house game of Open Face Chinese? Well here's a few
suggestions on how you can spice up your games with fun variations, and some tips if you are running bad!
Dealer's choice is a great way to run an OFC home game, and you can play 1 hand or 1 round per dealer's game choice.
Following are the main variations of OFC. In Part II we will go over some more complex variations, but let's begin with the main
variants. All rule sets can be found on our Rules page, here -
Open Face Odds' official OFC rules
1) STANDARD OPEN FACE CHINESE: 2-4 people. The perfect variation for teaching beginners. Plays slower
than Pineapple or Turbo, with hands lasting up to 10 minutes. Uses all 52 cards in the deck with 4 players. Dealt
5-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1. Fantasyland: QQ or better in front gets you 13 cards on the next deal. Find a practice module for this variation here:
STANDARD OFC PRACTICE MODULE 2) TURBO OPEN FACE CHINESE: 2-4 people. Plays similar to the standard version, but after you deal the normal starting 5 cards, there are two rounds of 4 cards. All cards
are set (no discards). Uses all 52 cards in the deck with 4 players. This is a faster version of standard OFC, with each hand
lasting only a couple of minutes. Dealt 5-4-4. Fantasyland: same as Standard. Find a practice module for this variation here:
TURBO OFC PRACTICE MODULE 3) PINEAPPLE OFC: 2-3 people. The draw version of the game. Because this variation uses 51 cards for 3 players, a 4-handed game is
not possible. However, you can play with 4 people if the dealer sits out. Dealt 5-3-3-3-3. After your initial 5 cards, you get 4 pulls
of 3 cards, setting two and discarding one face-down. Because of the extra cards, this variation produces bigger hands, and
consequently, bigger pots. It can be a very swingy game. Fantasyland: QQ or better in some games, often KK or better. Generally 14 cards are given
to the Fantasyland player, but we often recommend this rule: QQ Fantasyland gets 13 cards, KK 14 and AA 15. Find a practice
module for this variation here:
PINEAPPLE OFC PRACTICE MODULE 4) PINEAPPLE 2-7 OFC: A newer variation of Pineapple that makes the middle row a lowball hand. Complete rules can be found
on our Rules Page. Generally speaking, this is the easiest
variation to get to Fantasyland with, and it's not unusual to see several or all players in Fantasyland at the same time. Also plays
2-3 people, and is dealt exactly the same as Pineapple. Practice module is the same as the Pineapple Module:
When to call Standard: If an opponent is catching like God and punishing you in Pineapple, you can slow the game down
by calling Standard OFC. The slower speed of this variation stops the momentum and the swinginess. Also, if you consider yourself
good at getting to Fantasyland in Standard, then this should be a variation of choice for you, since Fantasyland value is around 12 points per player.
Keep in mind, however, that a 4-handed game requires you to pay out 3x6 points plus royalties when you foul.
When to call Turbo: If your opponents specialize in Pineapple, a great change of pace that can catch them gambling too hard is Turbo.
Because they are getting 4 cards at once, they often deceive themselves as to their true odds because they're used to
playing Pineapple (where you get 3 cards at a time). It's not the same thing by a long shot. Play this variation super conservatively and
watch your opponents foul till the cows come home. You will reach Fantasyland in Turbo less often than in any other variation, but if you do get there,
the value increases because Turbo is definitely the most foul-prone variant. Look for value in the front row
with a pair of 9's or similar; since you're unlikely to hit many monster hands in the back row, 3 pairs in back, middle and front can boost your
profitability (i.e. JJ, TT, 99).
When to call Pineapple: If your opponents are on the more conservative side or inexperienced, you can clean up by
aggressively pursuing Fantasyland lines. Against inexperienced players, Fantasyland will be worth more as they will foul more often
(and, conversely, against better players Fantasyland will be worth less, as they will foul less often and build their own monster hands
and get to Fantasyland more often. Fantasyland value against a good player is more in the 6-7 point range). And, fouling is less severe if your
opponents are not likely to make Fantasyland or big royalties. If you have an excellent
grasp on the math of the game, you should fear no player, but keep in mind that the variance of Pineapple is steeper than either Standard or Turbo. If you feel you're running good,
this is where you should stay since the pots play bigger. Just keep an eye out for overconfidence or natural changes in momentum.
When to call 2-7: When you need a change of pace or just an injection of fun into the game, call this most interesting variation. Because a perfect lowball middle
of 75432 sends a player to Fantasyland, some players will wait too long to complete the middle and foul. Our advice is when you are dealt a great lowball first-five, like a
742 for example, you should go for the perfect lowball, but if your starting hand isn't that great then be happy with a 10-high middle, and instead find
value in Fantasyland or with trips in front, which is a very makeable hand in the 2-7 variation. Also, an 8-high middle pays 2 points, the same as trips
in the other variations, and small royalties like this can boost your overall game profitability.
JUMBO PINEAPPLE OFC
August 15, 2015 -- So, we went into the laboratory and didn't come out until we created the Frankenstein of OFC - Jumbo Pineapple!
It plays exactly like Pineapple (except you use all 3 cards on the very last pull), with the notable exception of having
a mega-tower of 4 rows - all using 5 card hands!
For those of you who needed more than just regular Pineapple.
ALT LINES: 2-7 PINEAPPLE HAND
April 6, 2014 -- This Alt Line analyzes 3 different sets of the hand pictured below. The starting 5 cards are classified
as semi-cooperators, and cooperate they did (except in one set, showing in this instance the risk of playing too conservatively
in Pineapple OFC).
As in the all the Alt Line series, hand scoring is broken down into royalty equity, scoop equity, and Fantasyland EV.
HOME GAME UPDATE
March 31, 2014 -- Last night's Open Face Chinese session went down 3-handed, and featured these variations
in a dealer's choice rotation:
Turbo Pineapple 2-7
Catch-44 (see last week's post for rules)
As you can see, 2-7 was the new addition to the mix. This variation features a lowball middle, with KK+ to qualify
for Fantasyland. The middle must be 10 or better, and a perfect 75432 takes you to Fantasyland as well.
Fantasyland was dealt 14 or 15 cards, depending on the quality of the FL make: KK gives 14 cards, AA+ and the
75432 give 15. Fantasyland
repeats are the same as Pineapple: trips in front or quads+ in back (lowball middle must be placed while in FL).
9-high middle is worth 1 point, 8-high is 2, 7-high is 4 points, and we gave 6 points for the 75432. Since you lose
the flush and boat royalties with the introduction of the lowball middle, some compensation was given. We considered
a 10-point royalty for the perfect lowball, but it seemed to hit very often so we settled on 6 points, the same score as
a back row full house, or JJ up front. In our rules section we have put it in as a flexible 6-10 points to be decided
on by individual house rules.
Oh yeah, and the worst Fantasyland we've ever seen!
We play variable-value Fantasyland for all Pineapple games, so QQ gets you 13 cards, KK-14 and AA-15. Needless to say, this hand didn't fare
HOME GAME UPDATE
March 24, 2014 -- Last night saw a 3-handed Open Face Chinese mix at the OFO house game, with the following variations in rotation, selected
by dealer's choice:
STANDARD: The 'original' version, dealt 5-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1
TURBO: Dealt 5-4-4 (set all cards)
SEMI-TURBO: Dealt 5-2-2-2-2 (set all cards)
PINEAPPLE: Dealt 5-3-3-3-3 (discard 1 of 3 post-deal)
PINEAPPLE TURBO: Dealt 5-6-6 (discard 2 of 6 post-deal)
*PINEAPPLE SEMI-TURBO or **CATCH-44: Dealt 4-4-4-4 (set the first four, discard 1 of 4 post-deal)
*Invented by the OFO research team **named by Q-Tip Josh.
Variable-value Fantasyland was used in each game, so QQ got you 13-card Fantasyland, KK 14 and AA+ 15.
Catch-44 was a popular choice throughout the evening, as were Pineapple and Turbo.