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How to Play Big Two Card Game (AKA Chinese Poker)

Updated on March 14, 2012

Big 2 is a game that my friends and I like to play when we have a deck of cards handy. Some people call this game Chinese Poker because it originated in Asia. People in the East may know it as Giappuniza or Ciniza. This game uses common poker hands in a new and different way. The game can be played with any amount of players, but it is best when there is between three and five participants. The rules for a two-player game are a little different than a game with more players. Scroll down to see the rules for the two-player version.


For a game with three or more players, deal the entire deck out to the participants. If there are any extra cards, put them off to the side.

For a game with two players, deal out 38 cards, leaving fourteen of them in the center of the table for the players to pick from.


In this game, two is the highest card (hence the name, Big Two). The cards are valued by number, rank and suit. The rank of the card suits is in alphebetical order as listed here:


Clubs have the lowest value and spades have the highest.

The player with the lowest card, the three of clubs, plays first. They can play it as a single card, a pair or part of a five-card hand that would be used in poker. The five-card hands are listed below in order from least value to most.

The first player uses the three of clubs in their first hand. After that, the next player can play anything ranked higher than the last hand. If the player put a single card, the following players must play single cards until the round is over. If they put pairs, everyone has to play pairs until the round is over. If they play a five-card hand, however, the players following them must play a five-card hand. Each play should be higher than the last, meaning if I put a full house with three nines, a player can beat my hand with a full house with three cards higher than a nine or a four-of-a-kind.

The round is over when a player passes because they cannot beat the hand. When this happens, move the cards away from the center of the table. The person who played the last hand gets to start the next round with whatever they want.

If you are playing with two players, when a person passes, they have to pick up a card from the pile.

The ultimate goal of this game is to get rid of all of the cards in your hand. When a player doesn't have anymore cards, they win.


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    • brittanytodd profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittany Kennedy 

      7 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thank you, Derdrie. Yes, you must get rid of all the cards in your hand. In the 3+ version, you can pass if you can't play and the person who gets to start the hand usually find a way to win.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Britt: What a clear, logical, precise presentation on the way to play Big 2! It sounds like it could be really fun no matter what the numbers. Is it possible though not to have any cards left when you play with 3+?

      Thank you for sharing, voted up, etc.,


    • brittanytodd profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittany Kennedy 

      7 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thanks, HSB. It's very fun once you get the hang of it.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I have never heard of this game. it sounds very interesting. I will share it with my husband and see if he wants to try to play.


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