OKBET CASINOS | 'No Mercy' Isabelle Mercier's Open-Face Chinese Poker: Part Nine: Homing In on Fantasyland

OKBET CASINOS | ‘No Mercy’ Isabelle Mercier’s Open-Face Chinese Poker: Part Nine: Homing In on Fantasyland



Isabelle Mercier – Welcome back to my “Open-Face Chinese No Mercy Little Guide,” everyone! In earlier chapters, we covered the game’s history, its fundamental principles, and the major advice for improving your OFC game. We have also studied whole OFC hands in order to cover many aspects simultaneously.

Now is the time to concentrate on a single topic, which is the ultimate objective of this game: catching a trip to Fantasyland!

Getting into Fantasyland

At the most recent TonyBet Poker OFC Championship in Prague, there were both an OFC “Pineapple” Main Event and a “Progressive” side event. In this column, I will cover both of these forms of Fantasyland.

In all instances, the only way to get entry to Fantasyland is to place a pair of queens or better on the top line without fouling your board.

When you visit Fantasyland in Pineapple, you will get 14 cards to build up your board, however in Progressive, the amount of cards you receive will change depending on your top line. In Progressive, you will get 14 cards for a pair of queens, 15 for a pair of kings, 16 for a pair of aces, and 17 for any trips.

Realize that 17 cards represents about one-third of the deck. It is quite uncommon to draw a Fantasyland, but if you do, you will likely have several options for setting up your hand. That is, assuming you can manage to hold and see all 17 cards in your hand simultaneously while playing live, haha!

Remaining in Fantasyland

There are ways to remain in Fantasyland for another round, and these methods are same in both the Pineapple and Progressive variants of OFC. To remain in Fantasyland, you must put a minimum of quads on the bottom or middle line, or trips on the top line.

You may ask why you can reach Fantasyland by putting queens on top, but not by placing a straight flush on the bottom, yet a straight flush would let you to stay in Fantasyland for another round if you are currently in Fantasyland.

Well, from my perspective, a hand like quads in the rear will not provide an initial trip to Fantasyland since the objective is to have a really powerful hand on top (a pair of queens or better) that must be defeated by your bottom lines. The “pyramid” kind of begins at the top, and the basic foundation of your hand will determine this. Otherwise, you could just use quads in the rear, jacks in the center, and sixes on top to get entry to Fantasyland, which would be a little ridiculous.

Conversely, if you are currently in Fantasyland, it would be much too simple to just install another pair of queens on top to stay there! It seems to me that you would remain there forever! Therefore, in this instance, the pyramid begins from the bottom, since you will need a very solid bottom row to remain in Fantasyland.

The only exception is when you arrange travels on top, which may be surpassed by higher journeys in the center and more (better) excursions at the rear. In this situation, the back line wouldn’t be very powerful, but it is still uncommon to achieve three sets in Fantasyland, and doing so will enable you to stay there. Note that in the Progressive version, regardless of whether you began with 14, 15, 16, or 17 cards in Fantasyland, you will only have access to 14 cards if you return there.

A Sample of History

According to my study, it is widely acknowledged that the game’s origins are in China, as are the origins of games that are comparable to Chinese poker. These kind of games have apparently been played in China for more than a thousand years!

Approximately 10 years ago, the game is reported to have moved from Finland to Russia along with professional poker player Alex Kravchenko, which explains why it was often referred to as “Russian Chinese Poker.” Some accounts claim that American player Brandon Cantu took this game to the Aviation Club in Paris, where he played for hours with Shaun Deeb, before bringing it back to the United States and spreading it there.

It seems that poker player Daniel Weinman discovered the San Remo version of Fantasyland Pineapple and presented it to Jason Mercier, who shared it with Deeb before taking it back to his home state of Florida. The rest is already ancient history, since this is the most popular variation of Chinese poker.

Who created the precise rules and variants of OFC is a bit of a mystery, but the game is so addicting that I can only conclude that the developer was a genius!


Professionals will tell you that the objective of this game is to reach Fantasyland for the enormous payout it offers. This is why placing a pair of queens on top immediately at the beginning of the hand, despite the danger of fouling, will be the correct move the majority of the time.

Occasionally, though, it will not be the ideal move to place queens or better on top later in the hand, especially if you have a very powerful bottom row, like as a straight flush. In fact, that row will earn you a 15-point bonus if you don’t foul, so you may not want to risk losing it by putting two queens on top if it would be tough to cover the cards on your middle row.

Next time, we will examine several Fantasyland situations and the available alternatives in more detail. In the meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a beautiful Brandon Cantu quote: The beauty of this game is that everyone differs on the same points, but the true beauty is that everyone might be correct!

Stay tuned for more of my “OFC No Mercy Little Guide” next time!

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