Making valid combinations
In Open Face Chinese Poker not every combination can be placed anywhere on the field. One card can make the difference between a “dead” or a “live” poker hand. It’s important to keep your hand alive. A dead poker hand is invalid and won’t count.
Dead or valid/live hands
A hand consists of three lines (top, mid and bottom), as you’ve learned in the previous Lesson: Goal of the Game. To have a valid hand you should take into consideration the strength of your poker hand on every line.
- The top line can never be better than the middle line.
- The middle line can not be better than the bottom line.
If one of the above mentioned points is the case, or both are, your hand is considered dead. When your hand is dead, this means that you can’t win any points in this hand. In fact, you will only lose points.
For example: a Flush in the middle and a Straight on the bottom will result in a dead hand. You will automatically lose that hand, unless the hand of your opponent is dead as well.
See the examples below for a clarification between a dead and a live/valid hand.
In the left example, you can see a Flush on the bottom line. A Flush has more value than Trips 4–4–4 that is placed on the middle line. On the top line, there’s only a High Card (A). Starting from the bottom, the bottom line is better than the middle line and the middle line is better than the top line. Therefore, the hand is live or valid.