Chinese Poker Rules

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Traditional Chinese Poker is a poker game played for points rather than bets. Each player is dealt 13 personal face-down hole cards. Players then arrange these cards face-down to form 3 different poker hands, which are then revealed and compared.



  • Traditional Chinese Poker, also called Regular, can be played by as many as 4 players.
  • Each player is dealt 13 hole cards.
  • Players arrange their hole cards on the layout in rows to make 3 poker hands, arranged in order of ascending rank. These hands are called the top, middle, and bottom:
    • Top hand: A 3-card poker hand, which may only rank as a high card, a pair, or three of a kind. Straights and flushes do not count. It must rank lowest of the 3 hands.
    • Middle hand: A standard 5-card poker hand. It must rank higher than the top hand.
    • Bottom hand: A standard 5-card poker hand. It must rank the highest of the 3 hands.
    • A Chinese Poker hand that breaks these rules (by having a top hand stronger than the middle hand, or a middle hand stronger than a bottom hand) is a fouled hand and automatically loses.
  • Players confirm their card arrangements, and hands are revealed, compared, and scored.



  • Beginning clockwise from the button, each player exchanges points with the remaining players in order.
  • Two players’ individual hands are first compared to each other for scoring, row to row (top against top, middle against middle, and bottom against bottom), with the better hand winning each comparison.
    • 1 point is awarded to the winner of each of the three hands.
    • 1 overall point is also awarded if either player wins at least two of the three hands.
  • Additional bonus points called royalties are then awarded for certain strong hands:
    • Straight Flush (bottom or middle): 4 points
    • Four of a Kind (bottom or middle): 3 points
    • Three of a Kind (top): 2 points
    • Full House (middle): 1 point
  • If both players qualify for royalties that are in different rows (for example, a Full House middle against a Four of a Kind bottom), the royalties are awarded to both players and offset the total points owed.
  • If both players qualify for a royalty in the same row (for example, a Full House middle against a Four of a Kind middle), the royalties do not offset and only the stronger hand is awarded the royalty points.
  • The awarded points and royalties for both players are tallied and offset, and any points owed are paid.
  • Another exchange is scored until all players have exchanged with all other players in the hand.

When selected, the Payouts checkbox at the table displays full details about the exchange of points at the conclusion of each hand.

Chinese Poker is played for table stakes. The amount a player has at the table determines the maximum win or loss possible in one hand.
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