Big Two Poker (Pusoy Dos) Online Lessons
Big Two Poker is a climbing card game that originated in coastal China around 1980. It soon became very popular in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, and has even spread to some western countries.
In climbing games, each player in turn must play a higher card (or combination of cards) than the previous player. A player who cannot or does not wish to beat the previous play can pass.
Big Two Poker has several alternative names:
- Da Lao Er is Mandarin Chinese and literally means "big old two"
- Choh Dai Di or simply Dai Di in Cantonese
- Bu Bu Gao Sheng in Taiwan
- Pusoy Dos is the usual name used in the Philippines. This translates into English as "Poker Two" - "Pusoy" being the Filipino name for Poker.
Big Two Poker Game Rules
Your goal to win is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards, by playing them to the table. They can be played singly or in certain combinations. If you cannot be first to play all your cards, then your next aim is to have as few cards as possible when another player finishes.
The game is best played with four players using a standard 52-deck card. The cards ranking from high to low: 2-A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 . There is also an ordering of suits - from high to low: spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds.
There are four (4) types of play combinations one can use:
Single cards. Cards rank from two (highest) down to three (lowest), between cards of the same rank a higher suit beats a lower suit.
Pairs. A pair of equal ranked cards - twos are highest and threes are lowest. Any higher ranked pair beats one with lower ranks. Between equal ranked pairs, the with the highest suit wins - for example 2s- 2d beats 2h-2c because the spade is higher than the heart.
Triples. Three equal ranked cards - three twos are highest, down to three threes, which is the lowest triple.
Five-Card Combination. Any five-card combination following the poker hand rankings: Straight, Flush, Four of a Kind (plus any card), Straight Flush, and Royal Flush.
The playable combinations are similar to poker hands, but there are vital differences. For one, there's no "two pair" combination, and although a four of a kind needs a fifth card to complete, a triple cannot be accompanied by extra cards unless of course you are playing a full house hand.
Also, a combination can only be beaten by a better combination with the same number of cards: a single card can only be beaten by a single card, a pair by a better pair and a triple by a better triple. You cannot use a triple to beat a pair or a straight to beat a triple. In the five-card combination, the rule of the poker hand rankings applies.
Dealing The Cards
The cards are normally dealt counter-clockwise. Any player may deal first, in the following games the winners of each hands will deal next. He shuffles the cards and the player to the dealer's right cuts the deck. After cutting the card, the dealer lifts the top card from the pack to determine who will be dealt the first card. Then count the players starting with the dealer until the rank of the exposed card is reached.
The dealer deals out the cards, one at a time, counter-clockwise until everyone is holding13 cards.
The player holding three of diamonds (3d) will start the play. He can either play it as a single card or as part of a combination. The player to his right is next and so on.
When it's your turn you must either pass or beat the previous cards by playing a higher combination of the same number of cards. All cards are placed face up at the center of the table. This process continues for several circuits if necessary, until a player have exhausted all his cards. As soon as this happens, the play ends and the hand is scored.
A reminder, you are never under any obligation to beat a card or set of cards just because you are able to - you may always choose to pass and keep your high cards for a better play. Passing does not prevent you from playing when your turn comes round again.
The remaining players will score penalty points for the cards remaining in their hands. The penalty is 1 point per card if you have 9 cards or less, 2 points per card if you have 10 to12 cards, and 3 points per card (i.e. 39 points) if you have all 13 of your cards left at the end. The winner, having no cards, gets no penalty points.
In the Philippine variation of Pusoy Dos, the game is normally played with positive points rather than penalties. The winner scores 1 point and the others score nothing. However, if you win and your last play includes a deuce (two) you score 2 points; if it contains two deuces you score 4 points, if it includes three deuces you score 8 points, and if you were to win by playing all four deuces you would score 16 points.
When playing the version that goes on until only one player has cards left, the person who runs out of cards first wins five points, the second player wins 3 points, the third wins 1 point and the last one gets nothing at all.
Like any other card game, Big Two poker is often played for money. Before starting to play the players agree a stake - for example $1 per point. If the person playing after you has only one card left, you should take these tips to stop them from winning:
- If single cards are being played, you should play your highest card.
- If it is your turn to lead, you should lead a combination more than one card if possible; otherwise you should lead your highest card.
Big Two Poker has many variations. But the rules mentioned here are the most basic and most followed.Back To Top