Rules for start

Chinese rules and all the many variations.

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chalwa
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Rules for start

Post by chalwa » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:23 am

I wanted to learn chinese rules also, but i\'m wondering with which one I should start? MCR, taiwanese or some other? Can someone tell me what are major diferenecers between them and from riichi?

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Re:Rules for start

Post by HotelFSR » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:34 am

I\'m also interested to learn. I think there are a lot more hands involved.

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Re:Rules for start

Post by WorTeX » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:20 pm

Played everything a bit so here are my opinions..
I suggest that you try MCR, I want to learn it too, so popular in europe.

MCR(Hard): Bunch of hand combinations, hard to remember them all, the main difference compared to riichi probably is that open hands are more usual, and you can\'t really \"defend\" unless you discard flower tiles. Over 80 hands alltogether, and minimum of 8 points for hand make it a bit difficult. Only played in MahjongTime so have no idea about how the scoring or else goes, I just try to make a playing hand.
1-dot 4-dot 7-dot 2-crak 5-crak 3-bam 6-bam :west :north :east :south red-dra green-dra white-dra
For example, this is actually a hand, greater honors and knitted tiles if i remember correctly.

Taiwanese(Medium): more tiles in your hand, combinations quite easy to remember, similar to riichi, I\'d like to try this more before I comment, but it\'s nice.

Hong Kong(Easy): really simple, if thinking compared to riichi theres only 3 possibilities or so, Toitoi, Honitsu, or Chow hand with flower tiles and selfdraw, the scoring is really simple but there aren\'t lots of hands. I wouldn\'t recommend this, this is too simple for a \"pure\" riichi player, it has it\'s moments but in the end it\'s just really simplified version of mahjong.

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Re:Rules for start

Post by Tom Sloper » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:04 am

There are several criteria you need to use when deciding which variant to start with.

Do you have other friends who play, or do you know where there are players you can join? If so, you need to learn the variant they play.

Do you want simple rules?
Do you want a gambling game?
Do you want to play in international tournaments?

http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/mjfaq02a.htm
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Re:Rules for start

Post by Benjamin » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:49 am

Tom\'s site is the place to go for this sort of question.

If you\'re looking for the rule-set that\'s most similar to riichi, I\'d recommend MCR.

By the way, I think what Wortex is talking about is 3-fan Hong Kong style. There are other Hong Kong styles.

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Re:Rules for start

Post by oxoboxo » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:37 am

Ive first played taiwanese style before learning riichi; I would say if you can play riichi, you can play pretty much any other style. Riichi seems to be the most complicated and restrictive style out there.

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Re:Rules for start

Post by Benjamin » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:01 pm

HotelFSR wrote:I\'m also interested to learn. I think there are a lot more hands involved.
Man, if you don\'t like the tsumo bonus in Riichi you\'re gonna HATE MCR. You get almost triple the points for self draw, even if it\'s not hidden!

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Re:Rules for start

Post by Shirluban » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:45 pm

oxoboxo wrote:Riichi seems to be the most complicated and restrictive style out there.
MCR is a good concurent for the most complicated rule title.
At a first glance it would seems simple, when you goes deeper in the scoring system ... :angry:
WorTeX wrote:MCR(Hard): Bunch of hand combinations, hard to remember them all, the main difference compared to riichi probably is that open hands are more usual, and you can\'t really "defend" unless you discard flower tiles.
88 hand combinations.
Exactly: 88 in MCR version 1998, + 1 in MCR version 2006, for a total of 88 combinations (yes, I\'ve write 88+1 = 88).

Open hands are more than very common, since you don\'t get many points for a concealed one: only 2 points (4 if tsumo) over the minimum requirment of 8 points to go out.


Benjamin wrote:Man, if you don\'t like the tsumo bonus in Riichi you\'re gonna HATE MCR. You get almost triple the points for self draw, even if it\'s not hidden!
In fact MCR gives generaly only a x1.5 bonus for tsumo (the exact bonus factor depend on the initial hand value).

Many here would also hate the "last tile" scoring pattern:
4 points for wining on the last exemplar of a tile.
For exemple,
exposed : 1-bam 2-bam 3-bam
concealed: 4-bam 5-bam 6-bam 1-crak 2-crak 3-crak 4-crak 6-crak 3-dot 3-dot
With a 5-crak, this hand worth:
All chow: 2 points
Double chow (123): 1 point
Double chow (456): 1 point
Small suit (123 456sou): 1 point
(you can\'t count the second small suit 123 456wan)
Middle wait: 1 point
-----------
total: 6 points, too less to win.
With tsumo, it\'s 7 points, still too less.

If a 5-crak is discarded you can not declare a win, since you wouldn\'t have the minimum 8 points.
It you draw a 5-crak you can not declare a win, since you wouldn\'t have the minimum 8 points. You\'d better discard your own wining tile.
If a third 5-crak pass you still can not declare a win.

When the 4th 5-crak show up, you can now win, thanks the 4 points for "last tile".

What a silly rule!
Cats don't do タンヤオ (tan-yao) but タニャーオ (ta-nya-o).
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Re:Rules for start

Post by Tom Sloper » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:31 pm

Chinese Classical is the worst, as regards to scoring. Add up the points and apply doubles to the score of the winner. Then each non-winner scores his hand, and players pay one another based on whose is higher/lower/how much. No wonder the mah-jongg craze died in 1924...

American is the worst, as regards to learning curve. Hardest game to learn as a beginner. And way out of whack with all the other forms (no chows, flowers used in the hand, a yearly card that lists the hands that can be played this year...).
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chalwa
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Re:Rules for start

Post by chalwa » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks for answers. There are almost no ppl in poland (exept those who I teached riichi) that play mahjong... MCR sound interensting, and it will be good for me if i want to play in tournaments in europe, so I will try it :]

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Re:Rules for start

Post by Shirluban » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:44 am

Oupps!
It\'s 81 combinations in MCR, not 88 like I previous said.

Gomemazai.
Cats don't do タンヤオ (tan-yao) but タニャーオ (ta-nya-o).
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Re:Rules for start

Post by kamieniarz » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:38 pm

I started my little mahjong adventure with Chinese classical rules but I quickly dropped them for MCR. It’s true that the multitude of scoring patterns can be daunting at the beginning but as you go along it proves to be a really creative style of play. Well, I for one really enjoy it! Good way to learn the rules is to play a mahjong computer game - try to do the scoring of every hand yourself and then compare it to what the CPU has to say.

And yes, there are hardly any mahjong players in Poland. I tried to get my family and some of my friends interested but it didn’t work out so all I can do right now is to play against my computer. So as you can imagine I’m in a dead end with no prospects of development :)

Glad to hear you’ve done much better out there. Keep up the good work!

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Re:Rules for start

Post by iandstanley » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:48 pm

MCR is written with a competition flavour (naturally) and attempts to reduce the luck factor with varying amounts of success. The scoring hands are slightly imbalanced but not as bad as WSoM and some other variations.

MCR follows Riichi with penalising the discarder more but you still get stung:
* on discard (extra points + basic points) x3 (non-discarders still pay extra points)
* on self draw: extra-points x3 + basic points

where extra points=8 and the basic points=fan (hand value)

As you can imagine if you are used to riichi where you do not get penalised for other peoples discards then you are in for a disappointment

With MCR is has a set of 81 fans (scoring elements which define:

1. the complete hand (e.g. 13 orphans)
2. part of the hand (e.g. 3 kongs)
3. attributes of the tiles in the hand without determining the type of set (e.g. all green; upper tiles; Upper Four)

The allowable combinations can mount up and can be hard for the beginner to realize what he can claim e.g. http://mahjonghand.appspot.com/?sit=h+1 ... =Calculate

Despite all this it is becoming very popular in China and is the official standard there. The MCR rules where written by a committee that included China, Japan, USA, Germany, France, Holland, and Hungary and was a complete overhaul of the traditional chinese rules. It has a distinct flavour with hints of the japanese game popping up in the odd rule.

The rules are available in many places as a download http://mahjong-europe.org/rules/ or purchased http://www.dajamahjong.nl/index1.html to name but two.


In choosing you really want to take a look at Tom Slopers faq on choosing which is very well prepared.

Traditional Chinese though the original (?) is rarely played by anyone as it stands and is subject to so many house rules you really need to check the house rules and allowed special hands in advance. It is a good one to know it you are travelling abroad any where as it is the base for a lot of other variations. If you are travelling Tom\'s faq gives a good idea of which variations are common where.

As a Brit, if you are thinking of coming to the UK and you want to know what we play here (in order of popularity). Mahjong (trad chinese) became massively popular (with the uppper-middle/upper classes) in the 1920s when it came from the USA but virtually disappeared by WWII. Every game shop (speciality wargames or boardgames rather than toyshops) in the 1960s to the late 1980s always seemed to stock a copy (95% of the time from Gibsons games). Nowadays only a handful of shops stock them

1. Trad Chinese rules supplied in the sets box (with a varying set of special hands)

----- probably accounts for over 90% of players -----------

2. I\'m guessing that MCR must rank second

3. Riichi becoming popular with those who have played it (first UK Riichi tournament in Guildford this August) A UK supplier has blundered ordering mahjong sets and now stocks Riichi sets not realising the difference. http://www.witzigs.co.uk are the only UK supplier of Riichi sets in the UK

4. A few sets of Futami Kogeisha sets where imported (1961 to early 70s) to the UK which contain Ari-Ari rules but they are rare in the UK. You may turn out to be very lucky and play against someone familiar.

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Re:Rules for start

Post by Tom Sloper » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:11 am

iandstanley wrote:MCR ... hands are slightly imbalanced but not as bad as WSoM ...
I\'d be very interested in hearing how you arrived at that conclusion, Ian. The concept of balance is very interesting to me.
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Re:Rules for start

Post by Poochy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:24 pm

If you just want an easy-to-learn rule set to start with, I recommend Taiwanese (and not just because that was what I started with). There\'s no minimum hand point count needed to win, so you don\'t have any pressure to memorize the entire hand point list, plus the hand point to score conversion is a linear function (X points for winning plus Y points per hand point, with X and Y agreed on at the start). As a bonus, the hand point list is fairly short and is somewhat similar to the list for Reach rules.

Meanwhile, Japanese Reach rules tend to be a bit harder to learn and has probably the most complex strategy of any Mahjong variant. But at the same time, Reach also seems to be much more popular than any other variant for video games, so it\'s much easier to find a game to practice with.

Whatever you do, don\'t start with Chinese Classical - the scoring system is ridiculously convoluted.

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