Derric Haynie of Open Face Solutions and Ben McClelland of Open Face Odds bring you the first of its kind - a podcast dedicated to Open Face Chinese Poker!

0:00 -- Intros and general nerdiness. Boring mathy books that no one wants to read. How many starting hand combos are there in Open Face Chinese? Range-balancing in 5-card draw, and the difference between a dealt 4-flush in 5-card draw and Open Face. What do you do if you are dealt a flush right away? Derric explains the difference between 85% and 95%. Ben says Fantasyland is not always the way to go.

12:54 -- Back in the Wild Wild West, it was Pocket Cowboys. What do you call the original open face chinese? Traditional, Regular, Standard? Derric is bored by 'regular' OFC. Is OFC solvable? Why Pineapple OFC took over. Heads up is WAY different than 3-handed. Intro to TonyBet's Progressive Pineapple variation. Expected value of 14-card v. 15-card Fantasyland. What's the best AI to play against? Places to play on your phone or PC.

37:37 -- How Progressive Pineapple wrecks current setting strategies! Backing into trips up top. Ben's 100-hand experiment going for trips every time. How Progressive Pineapple will probably help define hand values and setting strategies. Ben and Derric wax philosophic on the vast library of OFC strategy that one day will be written.

44:00 -- Ben challenges Derric to set the hand Ah 2h 4h 8h 8c. Runner-runner flush draw odds. Odds of making a boat with a single pair+kicker start, like 558. A brief intro to Ben's Cannibals and Cooperators classification system. Who is the best type of OFC player? Is OFC more exhausting to play than Holdem? Chess Combinatorics v. OFC "Calculatorics".

57:33 -- High Hand of the Day


CONCEPTS: Hand Quality, Pot Control, Equity Curve, Hand Odds, Split-Pot Freerolling

August 20, 2016 -- Today we welcome in another poker variant to the Open Face Odds family - Stud Hi Lo, also known as Stud 8. Much of the same street-by-street odds analysis we have applied to OFC is useful in other poker variations, so let's get under the hood! Today we'll take a look at this HU spot in a Stud 8 tournament, examining street-by-street odds, starting hand strength and the concept of freerolling in a split pot game.

3rd Street



March 21, 2016 -- The next big thing in Open Face Chinese Poker is here, and it's called 'Side-by-Side' OFC or 'Same Card'.

'Same Card' is dealt like Pineapple OFC, but with the twist of players setting the same hand against each other. The other significant rules change is that everyone sets their hand face down, so all information is 'hidden' until the end. When each player is finished setting the hand (under a time limit), the results are revealed. The hands are then scored against each other simultaneously, and for that reason there is no 'button' or concept of 'position'. If you get to Fantasyland in the 'Spicy Pineapple' app above, you are auto-dealt and auto-set a random 13-card Fantasyland, which adds bonus points to the hand.

Anyone who has played OFC-P knows how differently a hand can play out depending on setting decisions (see Open Face Odds' alt lines series for more on this concept). The example above shows how 5 different players, having been dealt the same cards, came up with 5 completely different ways to play the hand. The wide variety of outcomes to any single hand provides this puzzle for players to solve: Can you outwit and outplay your opponents with the same exact cards? Finding optimal answers to this question is the heart of the game's strategy, but of course it isn't easy. Skills needed to play well include:

  • First-five setting prowess
  • Odds knowledge
  • Familiarity with assorted equities (royalty, scoop, FL, # of players)
  • Ability to 'switch gears'
  • Peer convergence-divergence adjustments
Mastering the skill set needed to play optimally is a challenge, but one thing is crystal clear: a higher skill level clearly translates to winning. And this is where the true brilliance of 'Same Card' OFC emerges: it allows more than 3 players to compete. The Spicy Pineapple app, for example, allows up to 5 players at a time. So why is this so significant? Let's look at why it's a big plus for both online casinos and players.


There is no reason to think an online poker client couldn't offer the game comfortably for up to around 6 or 7 players at a time. Rake now becomes a reasonable incentive for the operator. The fact the entire game is 'hidden information' should ease fears of solvability and bots. And the beauty is all the popular variations of Pineapple OFC can be played as 'Same Card': Pineapple, 2-7, Progressive. Now a wide variety of the game people love to play is available in a format online casinos should love as well.


One of the drawbacks to 'regular' Pineapple OFC is that only 3 players can play at any given time. This creates a high-variance and swingy environment, and while edges can be found, the payoff is limited. So how does 'Same Card' OFC improve the game for players? Let us count the ways:

  • There is more money on the table.
  • It's a lower-variance climate. You can 'come in 2nd' in a hand at a profit, it's not just winner-takes-all
  • Having an edge can be very profitable - instead of one or two players, four or more players can pay you off in any given hand.
  • Misset or fouling now carries more significant consequences (stacking off to four opponents instead of one or two), which promotes higher-level play as well as creating a better balance in risk-reward scenarios.
  • More players creates a better social environment.
  • Tables don't break as easily as in the 3-handed variant.
  • Table wait times are shorter since there are more seats on the felt.
  • 'Same Card' is a very grindable cash game, but also plays extremely well in tournament format.
Although it can only play online because of its unique mechanics, this latest twist on OFC has explosive potential. Aside from potentially tweaking the Fantasyland component of the game, Open Face Odds' opinion of 'Same Card' OFC is it's a nearly perfect OFC multi-player game. There may be future variants that play well online AND in a live casino environment, but this is a brilliant take on Open Face with more than enough pizzazz to please players and online casino operators alike.


Practice with Open Face Odds' training modules and take your game to the next level! Pineapple, Standard, Turbo, Fantasyland trainers available at your fingertips.



Strategy Article

Warren Buffet says "risk comes from not knowing what you're doing". And in Pineapple-OFC, that means MATH. We did our homework and crushed this hand with AA on top.


Strategy Article

Are you sure about your starting-five setting strategy? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you had taken a different path? Alt Lines examines different branches of the same tree. Standard, Pineapple, 2-7 and more.



USE THESE CHARTS TO GREATLY IMPROVE YOUR PINEAPPLE OFC GAME! ONE CONVENIENT PDF INCLUDES: *Up-and-down straight draw *Gutshot straight draw *Flush draw (4 to it) *Runner-runner flush draw (3 to it) *Two-pair-to-full-house *Combo draw, e.g. straight flush draw *Overs pairing: A to AA or AK to AAK / AKK *Pair-plus-kicker-to-full-house or quads: 443 to 44333 or 44443 *Single to trips: J to JJJ