Big Two Poker

Big Two (Big 2) is a Chinese poker game originally called Dai Di. The game has many names in various languages, but the most common besides Big Two are Big Deuce or Deuces in the English language. The object of the game is to try and get rid of your cards before all other players at the table.

How to Play Big Two

Big Two is designed for 4 players but variations can be made to the game to play with 2 or 3 players. To simplify things we will discuss the game based on the 4 player scenario. The game starts off with each player at the table being dealt 13 cards (exactly ¼ of a 52 card deck). Typically the player with the lowest card in the deck (the 3 of diamonds) will lead off, but some players have different variations on this depending on if hands have already been played (sometimes the winner of the previous hand will lead). The game is played in a series of rounds which usually involves around 10 games.

Card Ranking Order

The value of cards is ranked in the following order with 2 being the most powerful card in the game:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, 2 in order of suits: diamonds, clubs, hearts then spades

The starting player of the round will then lead out with their hand (which can be one of the many combinations):

Single Card Hand – The player can play a single card (for example the 3 of diamonds). With single card hands the suit of the card are important as cards are ranked in the order of diamonds, clubs, hears, then spades. Other players can then play other single card hands on top (for example a 3 of clubs or higher). This goes on until someone plays the highest possible card in the deck which is the 2 of spades.

Two Card Hands or a Pair – Players can also play a pair of cards for example 2 3’s. If another player has the same pair of 3’s, the one with the 3 of spades is the higher hand. This is also beat by any higher pair.

Three Card Hands or 3 of a Kind – This hand is beat by any higher 3 of a kind.

Four Card Hands DO NOT EXIST in Big Two

Poker Hands or 5 Card Hands – Lastly players can play any typical 5 card poker hands and the hands can be beaten by one another in the following order. These are:

Straight – A straight is any 5 cards in order with the lowest being A2345 and the highest being AKQJT. If two players have the same straight, the one of the higher suit wins.
Flush – A flush is 5 cards of the same suit. The highest card in the flush is used to decide the higher flush if there are two hands of the same suit. Higher suits beat flushes of lower suits, for example a spades flush beats a flush of any other suit.
Full House – A full house is the combination of 3 of a kind and a pair (ie. 55577). The higher full house is decided by the hand with the higher 3 of a kind (for example: 44455 is beaten by 777KK).
Four of a Kind – A four of a kind is like the name says, 4 of the same cards with any extra card to make it a 5 card hand.
Straight Flush – A straight flush is a flush containing 5 cards in a row. The lowest possible straight flush would be A2345 all diamonds, with the highest being a Royal Flush of Spades which would be AKQJT all spades.

Scoring in Big Two

Once one player gets rid of all of his cards the play is stopped and penalty points are calculated. The penalty is one point per card in your hand if you have 9 cards or fewer, two points per card if you have 10, 11 or 12 cards, and three points per card (i.e. 39 points) if you have all 13 of your cards left at the end. Typically stakes are set at a $ value per point, so if you had all cards left you would owe $39.