Chinese Way Rules
Chinese way is the “original” way Big Two is played. Chinese way Big Two is also the most common way of playing the game. It is distinguished from Vietnamese style by an extensive five card combo system based on poker. There are many other ways to play Big Two, but most of them are basically the same as Chinese way except for some little details.
The ranking of the suits in Chinese way is the same as poker. Diamond is the smallest. Then it goes to Clubs, Hearts and finally to the Spades, which have the highest value. This means that the smallest card in Chinese way is the diamond 3 and the largest card is the spade 2.
Ways to put down cards
There are many ways to put down card or cards in Chinese way Big Two. You can put down singles, pairs, triples, four of a kind or five card combos. Since there are many five card combos in this style of Big Two, they will be explained on a seperate page. Here are the non-combo ways of getting rid of your cards. The most number of cards a player can get rid of in one turn in Chinese way is five cards.
This is pretty much a no-brainer. The player picks a card from his hand and puts it out. Whew. Wasn’t that difficult? Snide comments aside, the single cards are ranked by their number by their suits. A player can beat another single by using a card with a higher numerical value or if the card has the same number as the card that the player is trying to beat but has a higher suit. Remember from the Rules page that 3 is the smallest and 2 is the largest card. For those who still don’t understand, I’ll give you an example: The 7 of spades beats the 7 of hearts which beats the 5 of spades. Singles can only be beaten by other singles, which means nothing can beat a 2 of spades.
Pairs are a pair of cards (duh) that have the same numerical value. For example, a diamond 4 with a club 4 is a pair. Pairs are ranked by the highest card in the pair. This means a pair with a spade as one of its cards beats the other pair with the same numerical value. An example of this would be a pair made of diamond and spade 5 would beat the other pair of 5 with clubs and hearts. Of course, pairs of a larger numerical value beat pairs with a smaller value regardless of suit. Like singles, only pairs can be used to beat other pairs.
Triples, aka three of a kind, is basically three cards with the same numerical value. Three 3s or three 8s are examples of triples. Triples are ranked only by their numbers, since there is only one triple for one number. Oh yeah, only triples can beat other triples.
Four of a Kind
Four of a kind is all four cards with the same number put out together. They have basically the same rules as triples. Note that in some variations of Big Two the four of a kind has to have a fifth card attached to it and used as a combo.
A combo in Chinese way Big Two is a combination of five cards. The combo system has a defined hierarchy and is based on the game of poker. Only combos can be used to beat combos, but they don’t have to be the same type of combo to beat each other. I’ll list the combos from the lowest ranking to the highest.
A straight is a combo made of cards that are not in the same suit but in consecutive numerical order. For example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is a straight, so is 10, J, Q, K, A. The value of a straight is determined by its last card. The last card in 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 is the 7. Note that the last card is not necessarily the highest card in the straight. So 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 can beat 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 even though the latter had a 2, which has very high value. Some people do rank the straight by its highest card.
There is a rule in straights that you should know. The ace and a 2 cannot be in the same straight with a face card (J, Q, or K). For example, A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is a valid straight, but K, A, 2, 3, 4 is not. This only applies if the A and the 2 are in the same straight. In some variations, even A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is not allowed.
Straights rank the lowest in the combo hierarchy, but they can come handy when you need to get rid of some small cards. Sometimes they will be the only combos in the game, so don’t underestimate their uses. According to the rules explained above, a straight that ends in diamond 5 is the smallest straight and the straight that ends with the ace of spades is the largest straight.
A flush is 5 cards that are not in consecutive numerical order but are in the same suit. For example, 3, 5, 6, 8, J of diamonds is a flush and so is 9, 10, Q, K, A of hearts. Some people determine the value of a flush by its highest card. The way I play is that the suit determines the value first. Only if two competing flushes are of the same suit then the highest card is used. For example, 3, 5, 8, 10, J of spades beats 7, 8, 9, Q, K of hearts which in turn beats 3, 4, 6, 10, J of hearts. The lowest flush has diamond 8 as its highest card and the highest flush contains the all powerful spade 2 .
A full house is triple with a pair. Three 5s with a pair of 6s is a full house, and so is three Qs with a pair of 4s. The value of a full house is determined by the numerical value of the triple in the combo. This means that full house of 3s is the smallest full house and full house 2s is the highest. Full house is the highest valued combo that is still pretty common when playing Big Two. The higher ranked combo are quite rare.
Four of a Kind
This combo is made of all four cards with the same numerical value with one other card the player chooses. Four 9s with a J is a four of a kind. Four Ks with a 3 is also a four of a kind. This combo is ranked by the number of the four numerically identical cards, which means four 3s is the smallest and four 2s are the biggest. Four of a kinds are pretty rare.
A straight flush is a straight and a flush at the same time. The five cards that are in the combo are in the same suit and also in consecutive numerical order. For example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of clubs make a straight flush. Straight flushes follow the rule of straights in that the value is ranked by the last card and ace and 2 can’t be in the same straight flush with a face card. Straight flushes are extremely rare and usually can’t be beaten by the opponents. A royal flush is a straight flush made of 10, J, Q, K and A. The royal flush of spades is the largest combo of all and cannot be beaten by anything.