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April 21, 2014 -- Today's Open Face Chinese Poker hand is Pineapple-OFC. For complete rules and scoring specifics see our Rules Page. Open Face Odds observes variable-value Fantasyland for Pineapple, so front-row QQ qualifies for 13-card FL, KK front is 14-card FL, and AA+ is 15-card FL.

The hand dealt is 9c Qh 6h Qs 5s.

Three alternate lines are taken for an out of position player, heads up. The hand scores are calculated three ways: 1) Royalties + scoop equity + Fantasyland EV (in a vacuum); 2) Against the actual opponent hand it faced; 3) In the case of an opponent foul. Comments for each alternate line are made while the hand is being played and are notated below the sets.

FIRST FIVE





Many players would see two Queens and immediately set for Fantasyland. We'll try it and see what happens.

When setting QQ+ immediately in front, I prefer a two-row draw such as a small pair in back and an Ace or King in the middle to support the set, but we'll just 'go for it' and try this double-gutshot in back and hope to catch running KK or AA, or some two-pair combination, in middle. The double-gutshot has some flexibility since we can catch two-pair or trips.


The more conservative set sees the QQ9 in back going for a full house, with unders in the middle that can expand into two pair, trips, or a straight.

It's important to realize that just because the QQ is set in back does not mean that Fantasyland cannot be reached. We shall see!

Odds to make a full house in back: 38%. Odds to two-pair the middle: 49%. Odds to catch running AA or KK in front: 27%.


This set straddles the line between aggressive and conservative. Each flush has ~58% chance to come in. In this case it is nearly irrelevant how to arrange the different suits; the pip difference between 5 and 6 will almost never come into play.

This set seeks value right away, essentially giving up the Fantasyland draw. Since so many cards are needed for the flushes, broadway cards will most likely be used there rather than in the front row.


PULL 1





Opponent has been dealt As 4s 9s 6s (back row) with 8c in middle. Whether we set for two-pair or a straight in the back makes little difference here. Our main goal is to get to Fantasyland, and neither two-pair, trips, nor a straight will win the row against a flush, which the villain has a 92% chance to complete. Our goal is not to scoop but to find value in Fantasyland, so we are okay with giving up the back row.

The seemingly safest play is to set the 55 pair in back, leaving 6 outs (82%) to catch two-pair or trips. However, with no Ace or King in the draw, a live Jack should be placed in the middle, leaving the potentially awkward scenario of catching JJxx in middle against 55xx in back.

The 4-out 7777, on the other hand, is still a 67% favorite to hit, so we feel comfortable to keep 'going for it'. This set's risk was always higher to begin with, and sometimes you have to stay on the 'risk edge' throughout the hand to get where you want to go.


This plan is straightforward. Still going for a full house in back, making two-pair+ in middle, with additional royalties in front and perhaps a backdoor trip to Fantasyland.


Not thrilled to see villain with 4 spades, or that the middle row pips are higher than the back row, but we can keep going one or two more pulls before changing gears. The heart flush still looks good, based on villain drawing no hearts at all, and our needing just runner-runner with 9 cards to come (78%).


PULL 2





The double-gutshot has come in, and the straight gives us more flexibility going forward, since two-pair with middle or high cards won't foul now. We still need a lot of help, though, with runner-runner JT only ~30% to hit, and runner-runner AA or KK even less likely.


The strength of the conservative route is lowering the risk of fouling. The weakness, however, is the risk of getting scooped.

At the moment, it's not looking great for this hand. However there are still front royalty scoring opportunities, and remember that TT scores 5 points and JJ scores 6, both better than a back-row flush or middle-row straight.


We can afford to go one more street to find out if we will catch a high broadway heart.

The strength of the double-flush set is a high middle row royalty (8 points), and sometimes a scoop for 18+ points. The weaknesses, however, are its inflexibility and often-weak front row. If you're going for two flushes, you shouldn't be giving up before the 3rd pull, and often you'll have to go all the way to the 4th pull to determine your fate!


PULL 3





The only real choice now is to set the King in the middle and hope for another one on the last pull (or a miracle two-pair JJTT). The chance for a 3-out K to hit is 29%.


Finishing out the front row with K-high and still hoping for the back-row boat and a two-pair+ middle.


Hallelujah, the high heart came, as well as another to complete the back row flush.



PULL 4





Foul and a -10 point loss after villain makes back-row flush.

Generally, a front-set pair of Queens in the first five cards is hard to support if you don't have at least one overcard and/or a pair. As you could see at any point in the hand, we were always below 50% probability to hit the cards we needed, or "swimming upstream against the odds".

The real lesson here is that catching QQ in your first five cards isn't always a ticket to Fantasyland. Distributing the risk and draws between the middle and back rows gives you a better shot at supporting an aggressive set like a QQ, KK or AA front row. So, while QQ/x/569 is risky, a hand like QQ/A/34 or QQ/K/44 is a better starting hand to try this play.


SCORING (VACUUM)
ROYALTIES: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: -6
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: -6

SCORING (V. ACTUAL HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: -4
SCOOP EQUITY: -6
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: -10

SCORING (V. FOULED HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: 0
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: 0

A slight loss at -3 points after paying off villain's made flush.

The conservative set was safe, but as I mentioned earlier, scoopable. In this case, the pair of 5's in the middle and the KJT front won their rows, but generally I wouldn't bet on those sub-hands to hold up.

However, the advantage to the conservative route is that in case of an opponent foul, you have gained +6 points in addition to setting the hand in a way that could potentially reap more rewards, i.e. Fantasyland or front-row pair royalties. And, against the actual hand (villain made flush in back, nothing else), the conservative set was 7 points better than the riskier set on the left, when the risky set fouls.


SCORING (VACUUM)
ROYALTIES: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: -1
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: -1

SCORING (V. ACTUAL HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: -4
SCOOP EQUITY: +1
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: -3

SCORING (V. FOULED HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: +6
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: +6

A +1 point win. and nearly a +9 win if the middle-row flush had materialized, and +10 if villain fouls, which would represent a 20-point swing from the fouled hand on the left.

The back-row royalties cancelled out the villain's, and we won the middle and front rows, tipping the scoop equity to +1, and in this case, it WAS the scoop equity that provided a margin of victory.

This margin may seem trivial in your home game or at a casino cash table; however, late in a tournament it could be a deciding factor.


SCORING (VACUUM)
ROYALTIES: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: -1
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: -1

SCORING (V. ACTUAL HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: 0
SCOOP EQUITY: +1
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: +1

SCORING (V. FOULED HAND)
ROYALTY EQUITY: 4
SCOOP EQUITY: 6
FL EV: 0
TOTAL SCORE: 10



NEXT ALT LINE: Pineapple



Pineapple Odds Charts here: Downloads Page

*SCORING DETAILS

The royalty # is an aggregate of all 3 rows (see scoring chart here). The scoop equity # gives the likelihood of a scoop or being scooped, a range of 12 points from +6 to -6. The FL EV is Fantasyland Expected Value; in other words how many points you will generally score in the Fantasyland round if you qualify. Open Face Odds works with a variable-value system for Fantasyland in Pineapple OFC. At this time we value Pineapple FL at 13-card: 2.3 points, 14-card: 6.2 points, 15-card: 12.4 points.

To run your own simulations or just for practice, try Open Face Odds' training modules, where you can practice setting for Pineapple, Turbo, Fantasyland, and other situations. Click any of these links to find a module:

Pineapple v. 14-card Fantasyland
Pineapple v. 15-card Fantasyland
Pineapple Heads Up
Standard OFC v. 13-card Fantasyland
Turbo Heads Up
Training Page Home
TRAINING MODULES









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