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Singapore Mahjong Rules

Winning Special Mahjong


Tiles Bonus Tiles Setting Up Game Play
Hands Hands Terms
Types of Tiles

A complete mahjong set usually contains 144 tiles (136 playable tiles and 8 flower bonus tiles).
The Singapore mahjong set contains 4 additional animal suit tiles making 148 tiles in total.

The 148 Tiles can be divided as follows:

Simples

Circles (饼/筒子)

Numbered from 1 to 9, four tiles of each number, for a total of thirty-six.

Bamboos (条/索子)

Numbered from 1 to 9, four tiles of each number, for a total of thirty-six.


Characters (万/万子)

Numbered from 1 to 9, four tiles of each number, for a total of thirty-six.

Honors

Dragons (箭牌)

Dragons consists of Hong Zhong/中 (Red Dragon), Qing Fa/发(Green Dragon) and Bai Ban/白
(White Dragon). There are four of each tile, totaling twelve.

Winds (风牌)

The 4 Winds are Dong/东 (East wind), Nan/南 (South wind), Xi/西 (West wind) and Bei/北
(North wind). There are four of each tile, for a total of sixteen.
Bonus Tiles

The flowers suit and animal suit are bonus tiles which are not used to build hands but instead are
used as counters for special bonuses.

Flowers (花牌)

The flowers suit is consists of the Seasons set and the Flowers set. Each Season and Flower is
represented by a number, 1 to 4.

The Seasons set consists of 4 tiles, namely (1) Spring/春, (2) Summer/夏, (3) Autumn/秋 and (4)
Winter/冬.

The Flowers set also consists of 4 tiles, namely (1) Plum/梅, (2) Orchid/兰, (3) Chrysanthemum/
菊 and (4) Bamboo/竹.
The Seasons and Flowers coincide with the status of the players during each round, eg. if the
player is at the East position, he will get one tai [一 台] if he receives (1) Spring or (1) Plum. If
another player is at the South position [南风], he will get one tai [一 台] if he has (2) Summer or
(2) Orchid.

Bite [咬] - The player will receive bonus money if he receives both his season and flowers tile,
eg if the player is at the (3) West position and he receives (3) Autumn and (3) Chrysanthemum,
he will collect bonus money from 3 other players. The bonus money is doubled if he gets both
season and flower tiles at the beginning of the game, which is considered hidden or undeclared
tiles.

Special Bonus - If a player manages to get one complete suit of Season or Flower tiles (1 to 4),
he will receive double bonus money from each of the 3 other players and also gain one extra tai
if he can game in that round.

Special Hand - If a player manages to get all 7 or 8 Season/Flower tiles, it is considered a special
hand (Refer to special hands section)

Animal Tiles

The animal suit is unique to Singapore and Malaysia style of mahjong. The animals consists of
the Rooster, Centipede, Cat and Rat. The player will gain one tai for each animal that he draws.
Extra bonus of one additional tai is awarded if a player gets all 4 animals, ie he will get a total of
5 tai and also the bonus money.

Bite [咬] - It is considered a bite if a player gets a set of Rooster[公鸡] and Centipede[蜈蚣] or a
set of Cat[猫] and Rat[老鼠]. Bonus money is awarded to the player.

If the player gets the set right from the start, it is called a hidden bite[谙咬] and bonus money is
doubled. If he draws the set after the game already starts, it is a declared bite and bonus money is
as per normal.

Setting up a Game

4 players sit at the sides of a square table. The 4 winds are put face down on the table and each
player picks one. The one who picks east picks his place, then the others will arrange themselves
around him in an anti-clockwise order according to the card selected in the order south, west and
north.

The one who picks east will also start as dealer.

Each round consists 4 Winds and 16 games (if there is no Bankers' repeat). The number of
rounds to be played should be agreed upon by all players before starting the game.

Rates - In Singapore mahjong, the exponential rate is commonly used. The winning bonus
increases by the double, eg $1 for 1 tai, $2 for 2 tai, $4 for 3 tai, $8 for 4 tai and so on.

All players pay double to the winner if he self-draws (Zi Mo) the winning card or he has a
special winning hand. Otherwise, only the player who discards the winning tile to the winner will
have to pay double.

Dice - Dice are used in mahjong games to determine where to draw the initial 13/14 tiles in each
game. The banker always has the right to throw the dice.
2 or 3 dice are used. For 2 dice, the number on the dice thrown by the banker determines which
wall to draw the tiles from. The player who owns that wall will throw the dice again and the
number shown on the dice this time will be added to the previous number. The total number is
the section of the wall where the players draw the tiles. For 3 dice, it is simpler as the number on
the dice thrown by the banker already determines which wall and which section (on that wall) to
draw the tiles from.

Gameplay

After determining the positions, each players will set up their walls. The banker and the player
directly opposite the banker (at West position) will set up walls of 19 sections (each section
contains 2 tiles, total tiles = 38). The other 2 players will set up walls of 18 sections (total
tiles=36).

After setting up the walls, the banker will throw the dice, and the game kicks off.

Each player will have 13 tiles except the banker who has 14 tiles. The banker will discard a tile
onto the common area (within the 4 walls) to kick off the game. Subsequently, each player will
draw a tile from the wall and discard one from his hand upon his turn. The game is played in the
counter-clockwise direction.

Player's Options during a Game

Eat (or Chow, Chi, Jiak) - to make a suit of running numbers, eg if the player has 2 and 3 wan,
he can eat 1 wan or 4 wan, but only from the player before him (player on his left).

He can also eat 2 wan if he has 1 and 3 wan, or 3 wan if he has 1 and 2 wan; this is termed a "kar
long" and if he needs that eat to win, he will have to draw the winning card himself.

Pong (or Peng) - to make a suit of 3 identical cards, eg if the player has 2 Nan (South) Wind, he
can call for a pong if any of the remaining 3 players throw a Nan Wind.
If the Game Wind is the same as what the player has pong, it adds one more tai to his hand. It
also applies to the Player Wind, which means if the Player Wind is the same as the Game Wind,
the player will have 2 tai if he manages to pong that Wind.

It also adds one tai to pong any of the 3 dragons.

Gong (or Gang) - to collect a suit of all 4 identical cards.

There are 2 types of Gong; one is the hidden gong, which means the player has to draw the 4
identical cards by himself; the other is the declared gong, which means the player already has
pong 3 identical cards before drawing the fourth one on his own or the player has the 3 identical
cards hidden in his hand and the fourth card is being thrown by any of the remaining 3 players.

Declared Gong can be "snatched" by any players waiting for that particular card.

Hidden Gong can only be "snatched" by the Unique Thirtheen

In Singapore mahjong, any players who gong can collect bonus money from the remaining 3
players. The Bonus money is doubled for hidden gong. The rate of the bonus money is usually
equal to the rate of 2.5 tai.

Game (or Hu, Gao) - declaration of a completed hand. The player who discards the decisive tile
to the winner shall pay him double, whereas the remaining two players will pay the normal rate.
All players will pay double if the winner draws the decisive card himself, which is called Zi Mo
(Self Drawn).

Completing each game

There are 3 scenarios in each game:

1. A player other than the banker wins. The banker status will be passed to the next player.
2. The banker wins, so he retains his right of being the banker.
3. The game ends in a Draw. If there is no gongs in that particular game, the banker retains his
banker status. He will have to pass the banker status to the next player if there is at least a gong
in that game.

Draw - In Singapore mahjong, the remaining 15 tiles are unavailable except for the replacement
of tiles during flowers or gong. Once the last 16th tile is drawn and there is no winner, the game
is considered a draw. No payment will be made.

After all 4 players have consumed the role as the banker, a Wind is completed. The Wind is
changed to the next one. When all 4 Winds are completed, it is considered one full round. The
players can request to reshuffle their positions again.

Winning Hands

Below are the normal winning hands (not considering the bonuses contributed by the flowers and
animals).

1 Tai

臭平胡 - a hand which consists entirely of 3-card sets of consecutive numbers (eat) and a pair of
eyes

门清 - a hand without any declared sets (some players do not recognise 门清)
Note: 鸡胡 is not recognised in Singapore mahjong (鸡胡 is a hand which consists of a mixture
of 3-card sets of consecutive numbers and 3-card sets of same numbers, and without any animals
or own wind, dragon or flowers)

2 Tai

碰碰胡 - a hand which consists entirely of 3-card sets of same tiles (pong/gong) and a pair of
eyes

混一色 - a hand which consists tiles of the same suit and includes Winds or/and Dragons

4 Tai

平胡 - a hand which consists entirely of 3-card sets of consective numbers (eat) but without any
flowers, animals, own wind or dragon

清一色 - a hand which is made up entirely of tiles of the same suit


Bonus Tai (+1 Tai)

抢杠 - a hand that is completed by a card from a declared gong by other players

花上自摸 - a hand that is completed by a replacement card after receiving a flower or animal

杠上开花 - a hand that is completed by a replacement card after a gong

海底捞月 - a hand that is completed by the last available tile

Note: 河底捞鱼 is not recognised in Singapore mahjong (河底捞鱼 refers to the hand that is
completed by the last tile that is discarded)

Bonus Tai (+2 Tai)

小三元 - a hand that is made up of the 3 Dragons, but one of the Dragons is the eye (some
players may rule that this hand is maximum tai)

混么九 - a hand that is made up of 1s or/and 9s of any suits and includes Winds or/and Dragons

Others
清一色平胡 - a hand that is made up entirely of tiles of the same suit with consecutive numbers
(eat) and without any animals or own flowers (Because of its difficult, some players rule that this
is a special hand and all players shall pay double to the winner, whether he self-draws the
winning card)

一炮二响 - a scenerio where 2 players complete their hands from the same card discarded. In
Singapore mahjong, the player next in turn to the one who discards the card will be the winner.

一炮三响 - a scenerio where 3 players complete their hands from the same card discarded. This
is a rare and controversial situation in which there are many variations of rules:

a. the players next in turn to the one who discards the card will be the winner

b. the game is considered a draw

c. the one who discards the winning card will have to pay double to each of the 3 winners, where
the amount is according to each individual winner's hand

诈胡 - a scenerio where a player claims he has completed his winning hand but in fact, he has
not done so or there is a mistake in his hand. Usually he will be penalised to pay the maximum
rate (but not double) to the other 3 players.

Note: 七对子 is not recognised by Singapore mahjong (七对子 is a hand which consists of 7
eyes)

Special Hands

十三幺 / Unique Thirteen


Winning Hand: Maximum

The Unique Thirteen, when all 13 cards are collected, has the highest possibilities of winning
among all special hands, ie 13 possible winning cards. It consists of each of the 4 Winds, each of
the 3 Dragons, and the first and last of the 3 suits of Wan, Tong and Shuo.

Requirement:

No pong/gong is allowed.

Note:

If the player has all but one missing card (there is a pair among any of the remaining 12 cards),
example 1 tong; if he games 1 tong, it is still considered the special hand of Unique Thirteen
even though he did not actually wait for all 13 cards.

Unique Thirteen is the only special hand that can "snatch" a hidden gong; ie if a player is ready
to game a Unique Thirteen, he will win if any of the remaining 3 players gong (hidden or
declared) the winning card which he is waiting for.

大四喜 / The Four Fortune (Major)

Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:

All Winds must be in suit of 3 (pong) or 4 (gong).

The suits can be hidden or declared.

Note:
If 3 suits are declared, eg Dong (East), Nan (South), Xi (West) are pong, the last suit of Bei
(North) is considered resticted, and anyone who throws Bei resulting in the gaming of The Four
Fortune will be bao (pay for others to the winner).

There are 2 scenerios in which a player can game The Four Fortune: (1) He has already 4 suits of
the 4 Winds and is waiting for the eye (some players may consider 4 suits of the 4 Winds as an
immediate win, thus this rule must be agreed upon before starting the game). (2) He has 3 suits
of 3 Winds and a pair of the last Wind and 2 other tiles (can be a pair or 2 running numbers); if
he games other than the last Wind, it will be consider The Minor Four Fortune (see below)

小四喜 / The Four Fortune (Minor)

Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:

3 of the Winds must be in suit of 3 (pong) or 4 (gong).

The suits can be hidden or declared.

Note:

In the example (picture above), let's say the player has the 3 suits of Winds (Dong, Nan, Xi), 1
pair of the remaining Wind (Bei) and 1 and 2 wan. If he games 3 wan, it's considered The Minor
Four Fortune. Nevertheless it is still the maximum winning hand.

大三元 / The Three Dragons (Major)

Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:
3 of the Dragons must be in suit of 3 (pong) or 4 (gong).

The suits can be hidden or declared.

Note:

In some cases, this hand is considered an immediate win if the player gathers all 3 full suits.
Others will require all 14 tiles to be able to make out a winning hand, thus this rule has to be
agreed upon before starting the game.

If 2 suits of dragons are declared through pong or gong, the last dragon is considered restricted
and anyone who throws the last dragon resulting in the gaming of The Three Dragon will be bao.

小三元 / The Three Dragons (Minor)

Winning Hand: Maximum or 5 tai (depending on the house rules)

Requirement:

2 of the Dragons must be in suit of 3 (pong) or 4 (gong) with 1 of the Dragon being the eyes.

The suits can be hidden or declared.

Note:

In some cases, this hand is considered an immediate win if the player gathers all 3 full suits.
Others will require all 14 tiles to be able to make out a winning hand, thus this rule has to be
agreed upon before starting the game.

If 2 suits of dragons are declared through pong or gong, the last dragon is considered restricted
and anyone who throws the last dragon resulting in the gaming of The Three Dragon will be bao.

字一色 / All Honours


Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:

All cards in this winning hand must be of either the 4 Winds or the 3 Dragons.

Pong/Gong is allowed.

Note:

If the player has pong/gong 3 declared suits (either the Winds or the Dragons), the Winds and
Dragons are considered restricted. Anyone who throws the restricted card resulting in the gaming
of All Honours will be bao.

8 Flowers

Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:

If a player gathers 8 flowers, he is considered the winner immediately.

If he gathers 7 flowers and the last flower appears to any of the remaining players before the
game ends in a draw, he also wins immediately.

Note:

The player with 7 flowers will not win if the last flower is hidden in the last 15 tiles. However,
upon the draw (game is played until the last 15 tiles), he has the authority to ask the rest of the
players to show their cards to ensure no one hides the last flower in their cards. If one of the
players hides the flower, he is considered cheating and will be bao.

Upon receiving the last flower, the player can choose to risk and hide the flower, hoping the
remaining 2 players can game before the game ends in a draw. Of cos, he will have to pay the
heavy penalty if his plan backfires.

九莲宝灯 / Nine Gates of Heaven

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Nine Gates of Heaven is a special hand that, beside the Unique Thirteen, has the highest
possibility of winning. All 1 to 9 of the particular suit can be the winning card.

Requirement:

All tiles must be of the same suit.

No eat/pong/gong is allowed.

Note:

If the player has all but one missing card (and a pair in any cards from 2 to 8), example 5 wan; if
he games 5 wan, it is still considered the special hand of Nine Gates of Heaven even though he
did not actually wait for all 9 cards.

绿一色 / The Green Bamboo

Winning Hand: Maximum


The Green Bamboo is a special hand that, as the name implies, has only green colour and no
other colours (typical mahjong tiles' words and pictures are made up of blue, red and green
colours).

Requirement:

All tiles must be of the same suit of Shuo and only 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 are allowed.

Fa, the Green Dragon, must be inside this special hand (either in pair or 3 or 4)

Eat/pong/gong is allowed (Eat applied to 2 3 4 Shuo only).

Note:

As long as the player's hand consists of Fa and any of the 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 Shuo, it is considered
as the special hand of The Green Bamboo.

清幺九 / Pure Terminals

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Pure Terminal is a special hand that consists of only 1 or 9 of the three suits of Wan, Tong
and Shou. If mixed with some cards from the 4 Winds or 3 Dragons, it is known as the Mixed
Terminals . The payout is only an additional of 2 tai.

Requirement:

Only 1 or 9 of Wan, Tong or Shou.

Pong/gong is allowed.
十八罗汉 / Four Quartets

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Four Quartets is a special hand that has 4 gongs (hidden or declared).

Other Special Hands

Heavenly Hand

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Heavenly Hand is the ultimate of all special hands. It refers to the player who is at the
Zhuang position games immediately he receives the 14 cards.

Requirement:

Any combination is allowed as long as it can make out a winning hand.

Earthly Hand

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Earthly Hand refers to the winning hand of any player who games at the first card thrown
(first card of the game is thrown by the player who is at the Zhuang position).

Requirement:

Any combination is allowed as long as it can make out a winning hand.

Humanly Hand

Winning Hand: Maximum

The Humanly Hand refers to winning hand of any player who games in the first round.

Requirement:

Any combination is allowed as long as it can make out a winning hand.


Note:

If there is any eat/pong/gong in the first round, it is considered reset and the winning hands of
any players who games after the pong/gong will not be considered the Humanly Hand.

Gong Gong Hu

Winning Hand: Maximum

Requirement:

2 or more consecutive gongs (hidden or declared) followed by drawing the winning card.

Any combination is allowed as long as it can make out a winning hand.

Note:

If the player draws a flower or an animal in between the gongs or the winning card, it is still
considered Gong Gong Hu.

Other Mahjong Terms

Eyes - A pair of similar tiles. All winning hands need eyes to be completed. The player either has
the eyes already in his hand, or he is waiting for one.

Kar Long - Kar Long refers to any particular single card the player is waiting to complete his
winning hand, eg the player needs 6 Wan when he has 5 and 7 Wan. 3 Tong is also considered a
Kar Long if the player has 1 and 2 Tong. A player cannot Hu if he has no tais and is waiting for a
Kar Long to complete his winning hand.

Bao - Bao is a situation when the player hit a restricted card to the winner, and he shall be
penalised in paying his share (double) as well as for the other 2 players. Certain cards become
restricted in some situations, such as:

1. Bao Da - When a player already has 4 or more declared tais, eg 2 animals, 1 flower of his own
and 1 declared set of Green Dragon (any card that will contribute in adding more tais will be
restricted, eg the Winds and the Dragons)

2. When a player pong 2 sets of Dragons (the third Dragon become restricted)
3. When a player pong 3 sets of Winds (the fourth Wind will be restricted)

4.When a player eat/pong/gong 3 declared sets of the same suit (Wan, Tong or Shuo) (the cards
of that particular suit will be considered restricted)

5a. Bao Sheng - When the wall has only 5 available tiles left (last 15 tiles are unavailable except
for replacement for flowers), a card that is thrown by any player which leads to a win and is a
Sheng card (not found in the common tiles area) will be considered restricted, and the player
who throw the card will be bao.

5b. Bao Gong - When the wall has only 7 available tiles left, a Sheng card thrown by any player
that leads to a gong will be bao.

5c. When the wall has only 5 available tiles left, a Sheng card thrown by any player that leads to
a gong and then subsequently a Zi Mo (the player gongs and self draws his winning tile from the
replacement tiles) will be bao.

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