Choi Dai Di (The Big Two)

This card game is Chinese by nature, though it's not Chinese poker. This game in English is called The Big Two.

Players: 3 to 5 players. Works best and usually played with 4 players (with 13 cards each).

Cards: Standard deck of 52 cards.

Ranking: 2 (high) A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 (low).

Suits: Spades (high), hearts, clubs, diamonds (low).

Object: To get rid of your cards as soon as possible.

Deal: Dealer deals cards, one at a time, starting with the player to his left, going clockwise, until all the cards have been dealt.
Some deal the cards, starting to the player to his right, going counter-clockwise until all the cards have been dealt.

Play: Player with the 3 of diamonds starts the game. The next player must put something higher than the previous play with the same number of cards from the previous play (A 4 of clubs beats a 3 of diamonds, but does not beat a pair of red 3's. Nor can a pair of black 4's beat a 3 of diamonds. Also, when pairs of the same denomination are played next to each other, the one with the spade prevails. Example: 9 of clubs-9 of hearts pair has been played. If the next player to play has the other 2 9's (ie, 9 of spades and 9 of diamonds, he can play that, because of the 'spade rule.'). Now, if someone plays a pair of 9's of which one of the cards is a spade, then the next player has to play at least a pair of 10's to beat this pair of 9's or he must pass. Passing does not bar him from playing next time up. Play continues until everyone passes. At that point, the player who was last to play gets to start play with anything he chooses next hand.

Therefore, the chart shows what kind of playable plays are acceptable when a pair is placed:
Key For Pairs:
Play #1: Other pair of the same rank.
Play #2: Higher pair rank-wise/Pass.
A pair with a diamond-club: Play #1 (heart-spade), Play #2
A pair with a diamond-heart: Play #1 (club-spade), Play #2
A pair with a diamond-spade: Play #2
A pair with a club-heart: Play #1 (diamond-spade), Play #2
A pair with a club-spade: Play #2
A pair with a heart-spade: Play #2

Note that when playing a pair of the same rank with the spade to beat the previous pair, the next player's turn is not skipped like in the game of President.
When someone starts out with a three of a kind, it can only be beaten by a higher three of a kind.
When a five-card poker hand gets played, the chart below illustrates valid five-card poker plays and what beats it:
Five Card Poker Hand Determined By What beats this hand Comments
Straight Highest Card of the Straight..so a straight led by the 8 of spades would beat one led by the 8 of hearts, which would in turn be beaten by one led by the 9 of diamonds. Higher Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush Highest hand is AKQJT, which makes A2345 low.
Flush Highest Card of the Flush..so a flush led by the 8 of hearts would be beaten by one led by the 8 of spades, which in turn would be beaten by one led by the 9 of diamonds Higher Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush
Full House The Three of a Kind portion...so a full house with 77755 would beat a full house with 666JJ Higher Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush
Four of a Kind The Four of a Kind...fifth card does not matter, therefore 66667 beats 55559 Higher Four of a Kind, Straight Flush
Straight Flush Highest Card of the Straight Flush...so a straight flush led by the 8 of hearts would be beaten by one led by the 8 of spades would in turn be beaten by one led by the 9 of diamonds. Higher Straight Flush See under Comments for Straight. Normally, Royal Flush (AKQJ10 of one suit) is the highest hand.

Therefore, the valid plays in this game are of 1, 2, 3 or 5 cards...Two Pair is not allowed, the pairs have to be played seperately.

Variation #1: There is a variation that the player with the 3 of diamonds always start a hand, no matter where s/he finished last game.
Variation #2: Some allow 2AKQJ as a valid straight (flush), which would in turn beat AKQJT. With this variation, they may choose whether or not A2345 (which is lower than 23456) is a valid straight (flush).

Winner: The winner is the first one to get rid of all the cards. But play goes on until everyone but one player is left with cards. That one player is the loser.

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Page last updated on: August 13, 2006

Links

John McLeod's Big Two/Choh Dai Di Page


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