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TEXT: American Code Of Laws For Mah-Jongg

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March 29, 2005 4:05:49 PM

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THE AMERICAN CODE OF LAWS FOR MAH-JONGG (1924)

Standardized under the direction of the Auction Bridge and Mah-Jongg
Magazine, and the following committee:
Joseph P. Babcock R. F. Foster Lee F. Hartman John H. Smith
Milton C. Work

Before play begins, the players may select the Mixed-Hand game, the
One-Double game, or the Cleared-Hand game to determine the qualifications
for Mah-jongg. In the absence of a selection, the Mixed-Hand game shall be
played. The details of play are the same in all three games. They differ
only in Mah-jongg qualifications, in the dead wall provision, and in the
scoring. These differences are covered in Laws 45-48, 87, 89, 91 and 92.

The Players
1. A Mah-jongg table is complete with four players, one of whom takes four
different Wind tiles (or the four Wind discs) and shuffles them face down.
Each of the three others then draws a tile, the shuffler' taking the one
that remains. The faces of the tiles determine the players' positions. The
player who draws East has the choice of seats and holds the position of East
for the first game, South sits on his right, West opposite him, and North on
his left.
2. There are no partnerships, each player being for himself.

The Playing Set
3. The Set consists of 136 tiles used in play, and 4 Flowers and 4 Seasons,
the use of which is optional. There are 108 Suit tiles divided into three
suits, called Bamboos, Characters and Dots (Circles) of 36 tiles each; and
28 Honor tiles, of which 16 are Winds and 12 Dragons.
4. The Suit tiles are numbered from 1 to 9. The Winds are East, South, West
and North. The Dragons are Red, White and Green. There are four tiles of
each denomination.
5. The Flowers and Seasons are usually numbered in duplicate from 1 to 4.
They correspond to the four Winds; 1 being East, 2 South, 3 West and 4
North. The Flowers are distinguished from the Seasons by the difference in
the color of the numerals. A group of four Flowers or four Seasons is a
Bouquet. In these Laws the Flowers and Seasons are collectively referred to
as Flowers.
6. When the Flowers are not used, all provisions in the Laws concerning them
become null and void.
Incomplete Playing Set
7. Any game played with a Set which is proved to be incomplete is void,
provided that fact is discovered and announced before any player Mah-jonggs;
but all previous scores made with that Set shall stand.
Imperfect Playing Set
8. A Set which contains tiles not of uniform size, thickness, or color, or
which can be readily identified by the edges or backs, is imperfect, and a
perfect set may be demanded. If the imperfection is discovered after East's
first discard, that game shall be finished and counted.

The Shuffle
9. When the players have taken their seats, all the tiles are placed on the
table, face down, and thoroughly shuffled by the four players
simultaneously.
Building the Walls
10. Each player draws at random tiles to build a wall in front of him, 2
tiles high and 18 stacks long (if playing without the Flowers, 17 stacks
long). The four walls are then pushed together to form a hollow square.
11. If one wall is short and another long, the adjustment must be made
before play begins. If one wall is short, the others being correct, the
missing tiles must be found and that wall reshuffled and rebuilt.
12. Each player shall attend to the wall immediately in front of him,
swinging it into position for the draw and replacing loose tiles drawn
during play.
13. If any tile is exposed during the building of a wall so that its
position is known, that wall must be reshuffled and rebuilt.

Breaking the Wall
14. Two dice, having upon their faces the numbers from I to 6, are thrown to
determine which player shall break the wall, and the total of the two upper
faces shall be the throw. (If Chinese dice are used, the blank face is 1.)
The two dice must fall squarely upon the table or upon the top of the wall;
otherwise the dice must be thrown again.
15. East throws first, counts his throw, and starting with his own wall as
1, counts from left to right, South being 2, West 3, and so on, until he
arrives at the number he has thrown. A throw of 5 or 9 selects East; 2, 6,
or 10 selects South; 3, 7, or 11 selects West; 4, 8, or 12 selects North.
16. The player thus selected then throws the dice, and adds this second
throw to the number thrown by East. He then counts the stacks in his own
wall, from right to left, until he arrives at the stack corresponding to the
total of the two throws; he lifts this stack and places it on the top of the
wall to the right of the opening, the lower tile of the two nearer the
opening, the upper one farther from it. These are known as "Loose Tiles."
Should the number thrown exceed the number of stacks in the player's wall,
the count must be carried on to the wall on his left.

Drawing the Hands
17. Beginning with East, each player in turn to the right takes four tiles
(two stacks) from the end of the wall at the left of the opening. Then each
in turn takes four more tiles, until each has twelve. Each in turn then
takes one tile, making thirteen in hand, and finally East takes a
fourteenth; or East, when he draws his thirteenth tile, may at the same time
take his fourteenth from the top of the third stack.

Incorrect Drawing
18. A player who draws more or less than the correct number of tiles must
correct the error before East's first discard, otherwise he must play with a
Long or Short Hand, as the case may be. When the error is detected before
East's first discard, if the hand is Short, the deficiency shall be
corrected from the open end of the wall. If the hand is Long, no tile in it
having been looked at, the player sitting opposite shall draw the
superfluous tile or tiles face down from the Long Hand, and place them at
the open end of the wall. If any tile has been looked at by the player in
error, he shall play with a Long Hand.
19. A player who takes a stack out of turn, or from the wrong place, must be
stopped immediately and the tiles replaced.
20. A player who, in the act of drawing, exposes a tile which is not part of
his draw, must shuffle the exposed tile with six of the adjacent stacks, and
rebuild that portion of the wall.
21. A player must keep his tiles in such a position that their number may be
readily counted by the other players. If racks are used, the upper edges of
the tiles must be in plain view.

Grounding Flowers Before Play
22. Immediately after looking at his hand each player shall lay upon the
table face up any Flowers he may have drawn and, beginning with East, shall
replace them by drawing an equal number of loose tiles, and continue to
replace in the same way any further Flowers drawn. The South, West and North
players follow this procedure in their proper turns.
23. The Flowers are not part of the playing hand and cannot be discarded. A
player who fails to show and replace a Flower before he makes his first
discard, shall not subsequently be allowed to replace it, but must play with
a Short Hand.

Grounding Fours Before Play
24. A player who holds a Four in his original hand may ground it and take a
loose tile in his turn to replace Flowers.

Order of Play
25. After the Flowers (and Fours) originally drawn have been grounded and
the requisite loose tiles taken, East begins by discarding any one of his
fourteen tiles, laying it face up toward the centre of the table.
26. After East has discarded, it becomes the turn of the player on his right
to draw from the wall, unless the discard is taken by a player to complete a
Set or to Mah-jongg, in which case the player who has taken the discard?if
he does not Mah-jongg?discards, and it then becomes the turn of the player
on his right. Play continues in this manner.

Sets
27. A Set is a Sequence, a Triplet, or a Four.
28. A Sequence consists of three tiles of the same suit in numerical order.
29. A Triplet consists of three tiles of the same suit and denomination, or
three Winds of the same direction, or three Dragons of the same color.
30. A Four consists of four tiles of the same suit and denomination, or four
Winds of the same direction, or four Dragons of the same color.
31. A Concealed Set is composed of tiles drawn from the wall, and held in
the unexposed portion of a player's hand.
32. A Grounded Set is one completed by claiming a discard, and placed face
up on the table.

Using Discards to Complete Sets
33. A discard may be used to complete a Set in one of three ways?by Chow, by
Pung, or by Kong.

The Chow
34. A player who holds two tiles of a Sequence may chow by taking a discard
that completes that Sequence, if the discard is made by the player on his
left. He takes the two tiles from his concealed hand and grounds them with
the discard that completes the Sequence; he then discards.
35- A player may chow the discard of any player if the Sequence completes
his hand for Mah-jongg.

The Pung
36. A player who holds two tiles of the same suit and denomination may take
any player's discard of a similar tile to complete a Triplet. He takes the
two tiles from his concealed hand and grounds them with the discard that
completes the Triplet. He then discards.
37. Any player who can pung a discard may do so, intervening players, if
any, losing their turns. After the player who has punged has discarded, it
becomes the turn of the player on his right.

The Kong
38. A player who holds three tiles of the same suit and denomination may
take any player's discard of a similar tile to complete a Four. He takes the
three tiles from his concealed hand and grounds them with the discard that
completes the Four; he must then draw a loose tile and discard.
39. Any player who can kong a discard may do so, intervening players, if
any, losing their turns. After the player who has konged has discarded, it
becomes the turn of the player on his right.
40. A player who can kong a discard may, if he prefers, take the discarded
tile to complete a Triplet, holding the fourth tile of the Set in his hand.
At any later stage of the game, but only after drawing from the wall, he may
add this fourth tile to the three already grounded, in order to complete a
Four; he must then draw a loose tile and discard.
41. A player who holds a concealed Triplet and draws from the wall the
fourth tile of the Set, may then, or at any time immediately after drawing
from the wall, ground the four tiles. He turns the end tiles face down to
show that the Set counts as a Four in hand. He must then draw a loose tile
and discard. A Four that has not been grounded before Mah-jongg is announced
counts only as a concealed Triplet.
42. A player who draws the fourth tile from the wall may add it to a
grounded Triplet to make a Four; he must then draw a loose tile and discard.
43. A player who has grounded a Triplet cannot kong the fourth tile of the
Set if it is discarded.

Mah-jongg
44. To Mah-jongg is to win by showing four Sets and a Pair.
45. In the Mixed-Hand game the four Sets and a Pair may be of any kind.
46. In the One-Double game the four Sets and a Pair must score one double,
exclusive of Flower doubles.
47. In the Cleared-Hand game the four Sets and a Pair must be all of one
suit, with or without Honors; or all Terminals, with or without Honors; or
all Honors.
48. A Mah-jongg hand that complies with the above conditions is a Complete
Hand. A player may Mah-jongg in any of the three Games with any one of the
sixteen Limit Hands enumerated in Law 100.
49. A player may complete his hand by drawing from the wall (drawing a loose
tile is drawing from the wall), or by taking a discard made by any player
which completes a Sequence, Triplet, or Pair.

Precedence in Claiming Discards
50. If one player claims a discard for Mah-jongg, and another claims the
same tile to complete a Set, the player who can Mah-jongg takes it.
51. If two or more players claim the same discard for Mah-jongg, the player
who is first in the order of play after the discarder takes it.
52. If one player claims a discard for Pung or Kong, and another player
claims the same tile for Chow, the Pung or Kong has preference, provided
that the claim is made before the two concealed tiles of the Sequence are
grounded by the player who can chow,

Drawing from the Wall
53. If a player has drawn from the wall but has not discarded, the preceding
discard may still be claimed by another player, in which case the tile drawn
must be replaced. But if the player has drawn and grounded a Flower or
completed a Kong, the preceding discard cannot be claimed.
54. If a player exposes the tile he would have drawn, he must take it; if he
exposes any other tile, it must be shuffled with six adjacent stacks, or as
many as may be available, and the wall rebuilt.
55. If a player draws out of turn, or from the wrong end of the wall, or
after he has chowed or punged, the tile drawn must be replaced; but if he
has seen or felt its face, it must be shuffled with six adjacent stacks or
as many as may be available, and the wall rebuilt.
56. If the player whose turn it is to draw touches a tile at the open end of
the wall, as though about to draw it, he must take it. But if he touches or
takes a discard, he may reject it before he discards, even if he has
grounded the tiles to complete a Set.
57. A grounded Set cannot be changed after the player has discarded. A tile
used in a grounded Set shall not be used in another Set or discarded.

Irregularities
58. A player who takes a discard and grounds with it tiles that do not
complete a Set, may correct his error by placing the proper tiles on the
table before he discards. If he does not correct his error before he
discards, his hand is Foul.
59. If a player discovers that he cannot legitimately use a discard he has
taken, he may return it to the table without penalty, provided he has not
yet discarded.
60. A player who can chow a tile erroneously taken, may call attention to
the error and take the tile, provided the following player has not
discarded. If the player in error has already discarded, he must remain with
a Short Hand.
61. A player must not place a discard among his concealed tiles. It must be
laid face up on the table, and the other tiles necessary to form the set
added to it. Should a discard be placed with the concealed tiles, any player
may demand that it be returned to the table, and if it is the turn of the
player in error he shall forfeit his turn.
62. If a player discards two tiles, the first is his discard and the second
may not be claimed by another player. If attention is called to the double
discard before the succeeding player discards, the player in error may take
back the second discard.
63. A discard that has been quitted by removing the fingers from it cannot
be recalled by the discarder.
64. A discard becomes dead as soon as the following discard is made. All
dead discards must remain face up on the table. If a player uses a dead
discard and grounds a Set, the error may not be corrected after the
following player has discarded.
65. If a player discards before he draws he may be required to take back his
discard.

Giving Information

66. A player who has just discarded may be required to name his discard; but
no information may be given concerning any previous discard.
67. A player who calls attention to an error the correction of which would
affect adversely any other player shall, if the error is corrected, forfeit
his next turn to draw from the wall, and in the meantime shall not
participate in the play.
68. A player who mentions any feature of an opponent's play, or his apparent
objective when such mention may be detrimental to the opponent's interest,
or who gives any information concerning a dead discard, shall forfeit his
next turn to draw from the wall, and in the meantime shall not participate
in the play.
69. A player who causes an incorrect call of Pung or Kong by incorrectly
announcing a discard, shall forfeit his next turn to draw and in the
meantime shall not participate in the play.
70. When it is the forfeited turn of a player to draw, the discard made by
the player on his left may be chowed by the player on his right.

Long, Short and Foul Hands
71. A hand containing too many tiles is a Long Hand. A hand containing too
few tiles is a Short Hand.
72. After East has made his first discard, a hand discovered to be Long or
Short shall not be corrected.
73. A hand containing an incorrect grounded Set is a Foul Hand.
74. A player with a Long, Short, or Foul Hand must continue to draw from the
wall and discard in his turn, and may chow, pung, and Kong.
75. A player with a Short or a Foul Hand cannot Mah-jongg, but his hand
shall be counted in the same manner as that of any other non-winner, except
that it can double only for Flowers and doubling Sets.
76. A Long Hand cannot Mah-jongg and shall be scored as zero.

Insurance
77. After a player has grounded three or four Sets of one suit, or Honors,
or Terminals, any player who discards a tile which enables that player to
Mah-jongg with a hand of all One Suit, all Honors, all four Winds, all
Terminals, or all Green tiles, shall pay all losses unless (a) the discarder
has a Waiting Hand (wanting only one tile to Mah-jongg) which would give him
at least three doubles, exclusive of Flower Doubles; or unless (b) the
discarder holds no tiles in his hand except those which may subject him to
the above penalty. But exemption (b) shall be allowed only when the player
who claims it has drawn from the wall, and not after a Chow, Pung, or Kong.
78. After a player has grounded two Sets of Dragons, any player who discards
a Dragon of the third color which is punged by the player with the Dragons,
shall pay all losses if the Dragon-holder then or later Mah-jonggs with the
Limit Hand known as the Three Great Scholars; unless the discarder has a
Waiting Hand or no choice of discard, as described in the preceding Law.
79. When the Insurance penalty is exacted, there is no settlement among the
non-winning hands.

Settling the Scores
80. Every tile in the Mah-jongg hand must be shown face up. Concealed
Triplets should be identified by placing one of the three face up on top of
the two others. Filling the Only Place, or Drawing the Winning Tile, is
indicated by standing the tile on end. In order to score the bonus this tile
must not be taken into the concealed hand but must be grounded immediately.
81. The Winner's hand having been shown, counted, and admitted as correct,
he shall be paid its full value by each of the three others, regardless of
their scores. If he is East, he shall receive double the value of his hand.
If he is not East, the player who is East shall pay him double. The winner
pays no one.
82. Following a correct call of Mah-jongg, the winner having been settled
with, each of the others in turn to the right then exposes his hand. He
announces it value, subject to correction by his opponents. Each settles
with the others according to the difference between their respective scores.
When East does not Mah-jongg, he pays or collects double this difference.
83. If a player incorrectly announces his score and the error is
subsequently discovered, any settlement made prior to the discovery shall
stand.
84. Any error in counting which is against the claimant should not be
corrected by another player. A player who volunteers such correction may be
called upon to pay to the players who have not settled with the player in
error, the difference between the score claimed and the correct score.
85. After the last payment has been made, no error shall be corrected.

False Mah-jongg
86. If the call of Mah-jongg is found to be incorrect, the hand being
Incomplete, Short, Long, or Foul, the false call ends the game. The player
in error shall pay the full limit to East and half the limit to each of the
others. If he is East, he shall pay the full limit to each of the others. If
the false call of Mah-jongg was induced by the incorrect naming of a discard
and the discard named would have completed the hand, the penalty for the
false Mah-jongg shall be paid to the other players by the player who
incorrectly named the discard. In the event of a false Mah-jongg, East
retains the East position if not the player at fault. If East is at fault,
the East position passes.

Dead Wall
87. In the One-Double game and in the Cleared-Hand game there is no Dead
Wall; the last tile in the wall must be drawn, unless a Mah-jongg has been
previously announced. In the Mixed-Hand game, the last fourteen tiles in the
wall, including the loose tiles, constitute the Dead Wall, and the fifteenth
tile from the end is the last tile which may be drawn under any
circumstances. This fifteenth tile in the Mixed Hand game, and the last tile
in the wall in the One-Double game and the Cleared-Hand game, is the 'last
available tile.'

Drawn Game
88. When the last available tile has been drawn, if it is a Flower is used
to complete a Kong, no discard shall be made and the game is drawn;
otherwise a discard must be made which may be used. If this discard is taken
for a Kong, the game is drawn; if for a Chow or a Pung, another discard must
be made, and so on. If no player Mah-jonggs with any of these discards, the
game is drawn, all hands are abandoned, no one scores, and East retains his
position for the next game.

The Score
89. The scores shall be computed according to the following table of values.
Simples are the suit tiles, from 2 to 8 inclusive. Terminals are the ones
and nines of each suit. Honors are the Winds and the Dragons.
Sequences have no scoring value.


Basic Counts for All Hands
Grounded Concealed
Triplets-Simples 2 4
Triplets-Terminals 4 8
Triplets-Honors 4 8
Fours-Simples 8 16
Fours-Terminals 16 32
Fours-Honors 16 32
Pair-Dragons of any color 2 2
Pair-Player's Own Wind 2 2
Pair-Prevailing Wind 2 2
Pair-Own Wind when Prevailing 4 4
Each Flower or Season 4

Doubles for All Hands
Three (or four) of the following Honors: One Double
Red Dragons
Player's Own Wind
Green Dragons Prevailing Wind
White Dragons

Three (or four) of Player's own Wind when Prevailing: Two Doubles
Player's Own Flower (or Own Season): One Double
Bouquet of four Flowers (or four Seasons):Four Doubles (This includes one
double for player's Own Flower or Season.)

Bonus Scores for Winning Hand Only (except as noted)
Mixed-Hand Game One-Double Game Cleared-Hand Game
Mah-jongg 20 points 20 points 20 points
Drawing the Winning Tile 2 points 2 points 2 points
Filling Only Place 2 points 2 points 2 points
Winning with Last Available Tile or subsequent Discard 1 Double 1 Double 10
points
Winning with Loose Tile drawn after Kong 1 Double 1 Double 10 points
Robbing a Kong 1 Double 1 Double 10 points
All Sequences and a non-scoring Pair 1 Double 1 Double 10 points
No Sequences 1 Double 1 Double 10 points
All One Suit, with Honors 1 Double 1 Double* 1 Double*
All Terminals, with Honors 1 Double 1 Double* 1 Double*
All One Suit, no Honors 3 Doubles 3 Doubles* 3 Doubles*
All Terminals Limit Limit# Limit#
All Honors Limit Limit# Limit#
* These doubles are also allowed to non-winning hands.
#These, hands score 3 doubles for non-winners.

Robbing a Kong
90. A player may Mah-jongg by claiming a tile which has just been added by
another player to a grounded triplet.

All-Sequence Hand
91. A Mah-jongg hand which is all Sequences and a non-scoring Pair shall
still be entitled to the double (or in the Cleared-Hand game to the 10
points bonus), even if the player drew the winning tile, or filled the only
place.
Special Bonus Hands
92. The following hands are entitled to special bonuses: Delayed Call: Any
player, other than East, may, alter East's first discard, turn his entire
hand face down and announce that he requires but one tile to complete it. If
the player draws, chows, or pungs this tile, provided his hand remains
unaltered, he scores one double.
Three Small Scholars: Any completed hand which contains two sets of Dragons
and a pair of the third Dragon scores one double (10 points in the
Cleared-Hand game) in addition to the other doubles the hand contains.
Four Small Blessings: Any completed hand which contains three Sets of Winds
and a pair of the fourth Wind scores one double (10 points in the
Cleared-Hand game) in addition to the other doubles the hand contains.
The Limit
93. The Limit of payment to the winner shall be 500 points, East paying or
receiving double. When the difference between the scores of two non-winning
hands exceeds the Limit, only the Limit shall be paid, East paying or
receiving double.
The East Position
94. East retains his position until some other player Mah-jonggs. In case of
a drawn game or a false call of Mah-jongg made by another player, East
retains his position. If a player incorrectly assumes the East position, the
error cannot be corrected after the wall is broken.
The Round
95. A round ends when each of the four players has once held and lost the
East position. When East loses his position the player who was South becomes
East, he who was West
becomes South, North becomes West, and East becomes North. The players do
not change their seats.

Prevailing Wind
96. During the first round East is the Prevailing Wind; during the second
round, South prevails; during the third, West; and during the fourth, North.

Round of the Winds
97. Four complete rounds make a Round of the Winds.
98. At the end of a Round of the Winds the players again draw for positions
at the table.
Markers
99. The player who is East in each game shall retain the dice, to indicate
his position. A marker may be used to show which Wind is Prevailing.

Limit Hands
100. A player may Mah-jongg who can show a Limit Hand conforming to any of
the sixteen specifications listed below. When a Limit Hand is shown it
scores 500 (1000 for or against East). When playing without a limit, a fixed
value must be agreed upon for these hands.
I. Hidden Treasure (Four Triplets and a Pair)
A Hand consisting of four concealed Triplets (or Fours) and a Pair (all
tiles must be drawn from the wall).
II. All Honors (All Winds and Dragons)
Four Triplets (or Fours) and a Pair; the hand being composed exclusively of
Winds and Dragons.
III. All Terminals (All Ones and Nines)
Four Triplets (or Fours) and a Pair; the hand being composed exclusively of
Terminals.
IV. All Green
Four Sets and a Pair; made up from any of the following tiles: Green
Dragons; twos, threes, fours, sixes and eights of Bamboos.
V. Three Great Scholars (Three Sets of Dragons)
Triplets (or Fours) of each of the three Dragons? Red, White and Green; any
Set and Pair complete the hand.
VI. Four Large Blessings
Triplets (or Fours) of all four Winds, and a Pair of any sort.
VII. All Kongs
Four Fours of a Kind, and any Pair.
VIII. Nine Gates (Calling Nine Tiles)
A concealed hand of all one suit in the following formation:?1, 1, 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9,?when completed by any tile of the suit, either by
draw or discard.
IX. Thirteen Orphans
A hand consisting of one of each Wind, one of each Dragon, one 1 and one 9
of each of the three suits; with a tile which pairs with any one of the
above.
X. Hand from Heaven
When East Mah-jonggs before discarding.
XI. Hand from Earth.
When a player, other than East, Mah-jonggs with East's first discard.
XII. Moon from the Bottom of the Sea
When a hand is completed by drawing the last available tile in the wall, and
this tile is the one of Dots.
XIII. Plum Blossom on the Roof
When a hand is completed by a loose-tile draw after a Kong, and this tile is
the five of Dots.
XIV. Scratching a Carrying-Pole
When a hand is completed by Robbing a Kong and the tile taken is the two of
Bamboos.
XV. Kong on Kong
When a player draws a loose tile after showing Four of a Kind, and the loose
tile completes a second Four of a Kind, he must take another loose tile. If
the second loose tile completes his hand, he scores the limit.
XVI. Heavenly Twins
A hand consisting of seven different pairs of Honors (one pair of each Wind
and one pair of each Dragon) ; or seven different pairs of all of one suit.
The final tile may be drawn, or a discard may be taken.
XVI (a). Seven Twins
A hand consisting of seven different pairs of one suit and Honors scores
half the limit. The final tile may be drawn or a discard may be taken.

LAWS FOR MORE OR LESS THAN FOUR PLAYERS
Two-Hand Game
With the following modifications, the Laws of Mah-jongg govern the play and
scoring:
The two players sit opposite each other, and are alternately East and West,
the positions changing after each game, regardless of which player wins.
The original East position may be determined by shuffling and drawing two
Wind tiles, or by a throw of two dice.
Each player builds the section of the wall in front of him and also the
section on his right.
In throwing the dice to determine which player shall bread the wall, an odd
number selects East and an even number West.
A discard cannot be chowed.
The non-winner pays the full amount of the winner's score. East does not pay
or receive double.

Three-Hand Game
With the following modifications, the Laws of Mah-jongg govern the play and
scoring:
The West Wind tile is omitted in the preliminary shuffle and draw for seats.
The position of the players and the order of the play for the first game is
East, South, North, and there is no West player. When the first East loses
his position, there is no South player for the second game; when the second
East loses his position, there is no North player for the third game.
Each player builds the section of the wall in front of him and draws at
random twelve tiles from the thirty-six tiles remaining on the table.
East then throws the dice to determine who shall break the wall, counting
the actual players. The player selected takes the first two tiles, so that
he holds fourteen, and the other players take one each.

Game with Five Players
With the following modifications, the Laws of Mah-jongg govern the play and
scoring:
A suit is shuffled with the four Wind tiles before drawing for seats. The
player who draws the suit tile sits out until the end of the first game.
At the end of each game, whether won or drawn, East retires, and the player
sitting out takes his place and becomes North in the next game.

Game with Six Players
With the following modifications, the Laws of Mah-jongg govern the play and
scoring:
Two suit tiles (a one and a nine) are shuffled with the four Wind tiles
before drawing for seats.
The players drawing the two suit tiles sit out. At the end of the first
game, whether won or drawn, East retires; the player who drew the one takes
his place and is North for the second game. At the end of the second game
the second East retires and the player who drew the nine takes his place and
becomes North. Thereafter, East retires at the end of each game, and the
player who has sat out the longer re-enters the game and becomes North.
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 1:17:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Hi

Geez... This is *mighty* interesting stuff! Where did you find it???




On 29-03-2005 22:05, in article
4249b51f$0$30429$9a6e19ea@unlimited.newshosting.com, "Foster Hartman Work"
<mahjongg@rules.co> wrote:

> THE AMERICAN CODE OF LAWS FOR MAH-JONGG (1924)
>
> Standardized under the direction of the Auction Bridge and Mah-Jongg
> Magazine, and the following committee:
> Joseph P. Babcock R. F. Foster Lee F. Hartman John H. Smith
> Milton C. Work





|
|Martin Rep
|The Independent Internet Mahjong Newspaper
|Mahjong News:
|www.mahjongnews.com
|The Dutch Championship Riichi Mahjong:
|www.riichi.tk
|The Golden Dragon Hong Kong Mahjong Club:
|www.gouden-draak.nl
|Mahjongpagina:
|http://mahjong.pagina.nl
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 1:17:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Foster Hartman Work"
> <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote:
>
>> THE AMERICAN CODE OF LAWS FOR MAH-JONGG (1924)
>>
>> Standardized under the direction of the Auction Bridge and Mah-Jongg
>> Magazine, and the following committee:
>> Joseph P. Babcock R. F. Foster Lee F. Hartman John H. Smith
>> Milton C. Work

"Martin Rep" <mrep@mahjongnews.com> wrote...
> Hi
>
> Geez... This is *mighty* interesting stuff! Where did you find it???

The "American Code of Laws" is readily found in several books of 1924,
Martin.

- Foster on Mah Jong (Mah Cheuk Mah Chang Pung Chow) by R. F. Foster
- Standardized Mah Jong by Lee Foster Hartman
- Mah-Jongg Up-To-Date by Milton C. Work

I don't know who mahjongg@rules.co is, or what s/he hoped to accomplish by
posting this, but it's just old stuff that's easily found in the library (or
on my bookshelf).
By the way, there's no www.rules.co website. And it's obvious that "Foster
Hartman Work" is not the poster's real name. You can see a photo of Foster,
Hartman, Work, and the other 2 guys in FAQ 11 on my site and also on Jim
May's website. I have photos of some of the covers of all 3 of the above
books in FAQ 3b on my site.

Tom
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 2:22:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Tom Sloper wrote:

> The "American Code of Laws" is readily found in several books of 1924,
> Martin.

Right, but it was never posted online until now. Hence my effort.

FYI, this is not the simplified "Red Book" game that Babcock originally
introduced. It was devised by a committee of game experts to solve the
confusion by creating a standardized set of rules everyone could refer to.

There are three games covered here: You might recognize the Mixed Suit game
as the American Classical ruleset in Four Winds. There's also a one-double
game and a cleared-suit game, intended for people who wanted those rules.

> - Foster on Mah Jong (Mah Cheuk Mah Chang Pung Chow) by R. F. Foster
> - Standardized Mah Jong by Lee Foster Hartman
> - Mah-Jongg Up-To-Date by Milton C. Work

Correct. I have all these books and compared the later two to create the
text you see here.

> it's just old stuff that's easily found in the library (or on my
> bookshelf).

Sure, although most libraries won't have those books and finding them on the
used book circuit can be pricey. Curiously, while Parker Brothers endorsed
these rules, they don't appear in Hasbro's massive online collection of game
rules. Too bad they have fallen into such obscurity.

> And it's obvious that "Foster Hartman Work" is not the poster's real name.

Yeah, the pen name is lifted from the three experts' names. (I thought it
would be too corny to throw "Babcock" into the mix.)

FHW
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 2:31:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Tom Sloper wrote:

> The "American Code of Laws" is readily found in several books of 1924,
> Martin.

Right, but it was never posted online until now. Hence my effort.

FYI, this is not the simplified "Red Book" game that Babcock originally
introduced. It was devised by a committee of game experts to solve the
confusion by creating a standardized set of rules everyone could refer to.

There are three games covered here: You might recognize the Mixed Suit game
as the American Classical ruleset in Four Winds. There's also a one-double
game and a cleared-suit game, intended for people who wanted those rules.

> - Foster on Mah Jong (Mah Cheuk Mah Chang Pung Chow) by R. F. Foster
> - Standardized Mah Jong by Lee Foster Hartman
> - Mah-Jongg Up-To-Date by Milton C. Work

Correct. I have all these books and compared the later two to create the
text you see here.

> it's just old stuff that's easily found in the library (or on my
> bookshelf).

Sure, although most libraries won't have those books and finding them on the
used book circuit can be pricey. Curiously, while Parker Brothers endorsed
these rules, they don't appear in Hasbro's massive online collection of game
rules. Too bad they have fallen into such obscurity.

> And it's obvious that "Foster Hartman Work" is not the poster's real name.

Yeah, the pen name is lifted from the three experts' names. (I thought it
would be too corny to throw "Babcock" into the mix.)

FHW
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 2:12:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Foster Hartman Work" wrote:
>
> There are three games covered here: You might recognize the Mixed Suit
> game
> as the American Classical ruleset in Four Winds. There's also a one-double
> game and a cleared-suit game, intended for people who wanted those rules.


It's all Chinese Classical. With optional minimum requirements ("table
rules"). The mah-jongg wars were fought between folks who wanted the easier,
more casual, KFC game and hardcore players who didn't want beginners making
cheap hands while they were nearing a valuable hand. We see the same sort of
thing going on today on Yahoo (where the hardcore HKOS players enforce a
3fan minimum). And we've had players ask here on the newsgroup "how do we
deal with conflicts between casual players and hardcore players?" The two
types of players can't easily get along - and this led to the decline of
interest in mah-jongg by 1924.

The "code of laws" tried to reconcile casual players and hardcore players
but the attempt was too little, too late, and the mah-jongg craze died out
within five years of the game's introduction.

--

Tom Sloper - Game Designer, Producer, Consultant

- The Mah-Jongg FAQs. Information and bulletin boards about the game of
mah-jongg. http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq.html
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 5:34:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote in message
news:jNedne1bO8ZpE9DfRVn-pg@comcast.com...
> It's all Chinese Classical. With optional minimum requirements ("table
> rules"). The mah-jongg wars were fought between folks who wanted the
> easier, more casual, KFC game and hardcore players who didn't want
> beginners making cheap hands while they were nearing a valuable hand.

That's why there were three different games. I can't see why it wouldn't
have worked. After all, Texas hold 'em and five card stud can co-exist, as
do the official and parlour versions of Japanese mahjong.

> We see the same sort of thing going on today on Yahoo (where the hardcore
> HKOS players enforce a 3fan minimum).

Anybody ever try complaining to Y! about this?

> two types of players can't easily get along - and this led to the decline
> of interest in mah-jongg by 1924.

Blame the decline on the marketing issue: the game grew too hot, too fast,
and too many companies glutted the market with sets bearing different names
and rules. Plus the game reached the US during one of the faddiest moments
in human history.

> The "code of laws" tried to reconcile casual players and hardcore players
> but the attempt was too little, too late, and the mah-jongg craze died out
> within five years of the game's introduction.

One issue is that many remaining players kept cooking up stranger and
stranger house rules, ultimately evolving into an entirely new species: the
NMJL game with annual cards.

You seemed to be a little annoyed that I posted the American Laws, but I
don't think you give them enough respect. They are probably the most
authoritative rule set ever published in the USA, especially since the
Millington book was not officially released in North America.

FHW
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 3:53:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Foster Hartman Work" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote:

> One issue is that many remaining players kept cooking up stranger and
> stranger house rules, ultimately evolving into an entirely new species:
> the NMJL game with annual cards.

That happened 13 years after the craze died. The women figured the men had
messed things up, so they made their own game - less mathematical, with
prettier patterns. Game was made by women to be enjoyed by women. I am woman
hear me roar, stuff like that.

> You seemed to be a little annoyed that I posted the American Laws

1. I don't think they're relevant today - historically interesting, yes, but
hardly anybody in America plays CC these days. It's mainly a European game
now.

2. I did momentarily lose sight of the fact that not everybody knows what's
in the books shown in FAQ 3b. And that there is enlightenment in first
seeing the document that was created to attempt to put an end to the
mah-jongg wars (and failed to do so). But I see that now.

3. And I'm suspicious of people who wear masks. When I'm standing in line at
the bank or something, if someone walks up to me with a human face, smiling,
and talks to me, I respond in a reasonably human and receptive manner. But
if he comes up to me wearing a mask that hides his face, I get all
suspicious and edgy - is it strange of me to react that way?

> I don't think you give them enough respect. They are probably the most
> authoritative rule set ever published in the USA, especially since the
> Millington book was not officially released in North America.

Sure, okay. As far as CC is concerned, anyway. A lot more folks in America
play Western, American, or Asian ethnic variants. If we're going to
promulgate a set of rules, why not the new official Chinese rules?

Tom
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 5:05:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:

> I don't think they're relevant today - historically interesting, yes, but
> hardly anybody in America plays CC these days. It's mainly a European game
> now.

Hardly anybody in America plays mahjong, period. But the old game is
beautiful thing and it deserves recognition. The American Laws sought to
standardize and translate the Asian game into an English-speaking context.
Plus it is in the public domain.

FHW
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 5:16:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:

> 3. And I'm suspicious of people who wear masks. When I'm standing in line
> at the bank or something, if someone walks up to me with a human face,
> smiling, and talks to me, I respond in a reasonably human and receptive
> manner. But if he comes up to me wearing a mask that hides his face, I get
> all suspicious and edgy - is it strange of me to react that way?

I had no idea that posting mahjong rules on a mahjong newsgroup would prove
so controversial.

Simon Davosi
The artist formely known as Foster Hartman Work
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 12:31:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote...
>
> Hardly anybody in America plays mahjong, period. But the old game is
> beautiful thing and it deserves recognition.

Deserves recognition as the set of rules from which the other ways of
playing evolved. But hardly beautiful. Recently I had folks asking me for
help figuring out how to score the darned thing... (^_^) CC scoring is the
most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.

> The American Laws sought to standardize and translate the Asian game into
> an English-speaking context.

No, dozens of books had already done that. Read one 1920s book and you've
read them all (in terms of the rules). The Laws were trying to bridge the
chasm between the casual players and the hardcore players, by showing that
the casual option (mixed hand) and the hardcore options (cleared hand,
one-double) were all part of a rich tapestry.

> Plus it is in the public domain.

OK.
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 12:32:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

> "Tom Sloper" <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>
>> 3. And I'm suspicious of people who wear masks. When I'm standing in line
>> at the bank or something, if someone walks up to me with a human face,
>> smiling, and talks to me, I respond in a reasonably human and receptive
>> manner. But if he comes up to me wearing a mask that hides his face, I
>> get all suspicious and edgy - is it strange of me to react that way?

"Foster Hartman Work" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote...

> I had no idea that posting mahjong rules on a mahjong newsgroup would
> prove so controversial.
>
> Simon Davosi
> The artist formely known as Foster Hartman Work

Welcome, Simon.
Tom
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 3:35:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote in message
news:M7ednYQEpujUVNPfRVn-vw@comcast.com...

> CC scoring is the most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.

Japanese modern?

Chinese classical has the distinctive of adding up points between players,
which keeps the game compelling as a non-gambling game.

>> The American Laws sought to standardize and translate the Asian game into
>> an English-speaking context.
>
> No, dozens of books had already done that. Read one 1920s book and you've
> read them all (in terms of the rules).

This was a distillation created _by recognized gaming experts_ to reduce the
confusion created by the fact that Babcock had no way to control his claim
to intellectual property. This was, to my knowledge, his last word on the
subject before he went off to Yale Law School. And Foster and Work are still
remembered as bridge experts.

SD
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 6:05:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

> "Tom Sloper" wrote...
>> CC scoring is the most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.

"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote...
> Japanese modern?
> Chinese classical has the distinctive of adding up points between players,

For Japanese, you look it up on the chart (or memorize the chart) and that's
that.
For CC you have to do math not only for the winner but also for the
non-winners as well - I've heard from a lot of people who found that
daunting.

> which [scoring system] keeps the game compelling as a non-gambling game.

Huh. So HKOS and other variants evolved, not to simplify the scoring, but to
facilitate gambling?

>>> The American Laws [were]
> ...a distillation created _by recognized gaming experts_ to reduce the
> confusion created by the fact that Babcock had no way to control his claim
> to intellectual property.

Interesting!

> This was, to my knowledge, his last word on the subject before he went off
> to Yale Law School.

Didn't know he did that. And I haven't seen any other words from him at all
after the Laws (except maybe for patent applications). Can you suggest any
resources for learning more about Babcock's life?
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 7:07:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Tom Sloper" wrote...
> For CC you have to do math not only for the winner but also for the
> non-winners as well - I've heard from a lot of people who found that
> daunting.

I think the heart of CC mahjong is that non-winners can collect points. So,
in theory, you can call "Mahjong!' in virtually every hand of the game and
still lose. (And you can always set a house rule that only winners collect,
if you wish.)

Ask yourself: do you want a game that focus on collecting strong _sequences_
or on quickly collecting winning _hands_? There's no right or wrong answer,
although it seems that every variation since CC has chosen the latter. I
think the best way to make MJ work without putting money at stake is to go
with the former. It depends on the players and the situation.

I don't like the situation now in which "American" mahjong means charlestons
and jokers, while no one notices that the original game existed.

> Huh. So HKOS and other variants evolved, not to simplify the scoring, but
> to facilitate gambling?

Dunno. Do many Asians play mahjong as anything other than a gambling game,
except on a computer?

>>>> The American Laws [were]
>> ...a distillation created _by recognized gaming experts_ to reduce the
>> confusion created by the fact that Babcock had no way to control his
>> claim to intellectual property.
>
> Interesting!

A corporate history of Parker Brothers called "The Game Makers" by Philip
Orbanes gives a few pages to the business of 1920s mah-jonng. It says that
George Parker turned down Babcock after Mah-Jongg failed to test well. Then
after the boom started, Parker reversed himself and bought up the rights. He
made a lot of money, but he also gound it impossible to fight off the host
of knock-offs, even though he controlled the intellectual property. When the
mah-jongg bubble burst, Parker was still in good shape because he wasn't
making the sets in-house.

The book also claims Babcock originated the idea of sticking Arabic numerals
of mah-jongg tiles.

> Can you suggest any resources for learning more about Babcock's life?

Wish I could. Some American Studies grad student might do well to produce a
doctoral dissertation on the mah-jongg craze.

SD
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 7:38:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote...
>
> I don't like the situation now in which "American" mahjong means
> charlestons and jokers, while no one notices that the original game
> existed.

I have my way of naming 25 or so variants of mah-jongg (see FAQ 2b).

In my opinion, to call the rules described in "the American code of laws" by
the name "American" ignores the fact that the same rules were used in China,
Japan, and Europe at the time - and ignores the fact that another set of
rules is very widely used in America today. I find it logical to call those
old rules "Chinese Classical" and to call today's American rules "American."
If there's a significant difference between CC and the American Code of
Laws, what is that difference?

> A corporate history of Parker Brothers called "The Game Makers" by Philip
> Orbanes

I've met him. He's definitely knowledgeable.

> gives a few pages to the business of 1920s mah-jonng. It says that George
> Parker turned down Babcock after Mah-Jongg failed to test well. Then after
> the boom started, Parker reversed himself and bought up the rights. He
> made a lot of money, but he also gound it impossible to fight off the host
> of knock-offs, even though he controlled the intellectual property. When
> the mah-jongg bubble burst, Parker was still in good shape because he
> wasn't making the sets in-house.

Thanks for the tip. I've now ordered that book.

> The book also claims Babcock originated the idea of sticking Arabic
> numerals of mah-jongg tiles.

This is news? Read FAQ 11 yet?

Tom
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 12:33:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <M7ednYQEpujUVNPfRVn-vw@comcast.com>,
Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>help figuring out how to score the darned thing... (^_^) CC scoring is the
>most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.

Complexity is in the eye of the beholder.
One reason I have no interest in modern variants, notably CO, is that
I can't face learning how to score them (and therefore, I can't face
learning enough to work out what a good hand is).
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 9:03:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Simon wrote:
> > The book also claims Babcock originated the idea of sticking Arabic
numerals of mah-jongg tiles.

Actually, Babcock also claimed that he originated the idea of sticking
Arabic(English) numerals on Mah-jongg tiles. But where did he claim
this?

In the Preface (dated Shanghai, China 1923)of his small hardback book
'Babcock's Rules for Mah-Jongg, The Red Book of Rules', (1923), he says
"In 1920 the English index numbers for the tiles were first introduced
by the author...". IMO, the word 'introduced' is not a claim that he
was the 1st person to put English numerals on MJ tiles. However, in a
signed letter in The Saturday Evening Post, December 15th, 1923, he
claimed "...inventing what I call "index playing symbols." These are
the English letters and numbers in the corners of the tiles which
appear on all sets used in the United States today."
But does this mean, unequivocally, that he was the originator of the
idea of putting English numerals on the playing pieces?

Foster, in his book 'Foster on Mah Jong', (1924), raises this point on
page 158. According to Foster "...he does not say it had never been
done before." Foster then goes on to provide anecdotal evidence for an
earlier date of November 18th, 1918, for the appearance of Arabic
(English) numerals on MJ pieces. Further, Foster provides testimony for
the year 1914 and similar cases "... going back nine or ten years."

Finally, Chiang Lee in his "Mah Jong and How To Play It, 1923?, also
provides anecdotal evidence for an English engineer called Walker,
stationed in Suzhou, having put English numerals on the tiles for his
wife and children and his friends in Shanghai.

For me, this casts an element of doubt when attempting to date a MJ
tile set to a period before 1920.

Cheers
Michael Stanwick
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 4:51:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Tom Sloper wrote:

> In my opinion, to call the rules described in "the American code of laws"
> by the name "American" ignores the fact that the same rules were used in
> China, Japan, and Europe at the time...

The Laws were sanctioned by an American company, created by an American
committee, and issued to regulate American play. The American Code is an
actual set of rules; most of the books from the 1920s are handbooks that
teach the rules.

> and ignores the fact that another set of rules is very widely used in
> America today.

And multiple sets are widely used among the Chinese today. That's why we use
the word "classical." (Babcock and Foster only talked about "Mah-jongg.")
Curiously, Four Winds features different rulesets for American, European and
Chinese classicals.

> This is news? Read FAQ 11 yet?

We're talking about events from eight decades ago. Nothing is news! :) 

SD
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 6:28:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

> Tom Sloper wrote:
>> In my opinion, to call the rules described in "the American code of laws"
>> by the name "American" ignores the fact that the same rules were used in
>> China, Japan, and Europe at the time...

"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote
> The Laws were sanctioned by an American company, created by an American
> committee, and issued to regulate American play. The American Code is an
> actual set of rules; most of the books from the 1920s are handbooks that
> teach the rules.


So, what's the difference between the American code and CC?
Anonymous
April 3, 2005 10:56:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Tom Sloper said:
> So, what's the difference between the American code and CC?

According to the Four Winds documentation:
"The American classical rules are rather close to the rules of classical
Chinese Mah Jong, though its scoring is slightly simplified. On the other
hand, the rules introduce some new special hands, especially seven pairs
[Seven Twins] hands, that were not used in the classical Chinese Mah Jong.
The American rules were often modified by applying either a minimum point
requirement on the winning hand (so called 1-double game), or requiring that
the winning hand may not contain mixed suits (so called Cleared hand game)."
http://www.4windsmj.com/kb/help/4whelp.htm

Millington lists these special hands from CC as missing in AC: Wriggling
Snake, the Concealed Clear Suit, East's 13th consecutive mahjong, among
other variations. He also praises the Code as "remarkably successful in
attempting the seemingly impossible." (Complete Book, 140; his critique of
the American Code runs between pp. 138-146.)

Simon Davosi

--
American Code Of Laws For Mah-Jongg: http://tinyurl.com/445ld
April 4, 2005 12:12:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Julian Bradfield wrote:
> In article <M7ednYQEpujUVNPfRVn-vw@comcast.com>,
> Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>
>>help figuring out how to score the darned thing... (^_^) CC scoring is the
>>most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.
>
>
> Complexity is in the eye of the beholder.
> One reason I have no interest in modern variants, notably CO, is that
> I can't face learning how to score them (and therefore, I can't face
> learning enough to work out what a good hand is).
>
I would agree with this
I haven't found a local group to play mj with, and when I have persuaded
the family to play, most of the time, and arguments, have been about the
scores. I accept mj could really be played with any rules that a group
mutually accept, but it would be nice to play ca game that had wider
commonality.

DW
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 1:20:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

>> Tom Sloper said:
>>> So, what's the difference between the American code and CC?
>
>"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote
>> According to the Four Winds documentation:
>> "The American classical rules are rather close to the rules of classical
>> Chinese Mah Jong, though its scoring is slightly simplified. On the other
>> hand, the rules introduce some new special hands, especially seven pairs
>> [Seven Twins] hands, that were not used in the classical Chinese Mah
>> Jong.

OK, seven-pair hands, that's one.

>> The American rules were often modified by applying either a minimum point
>> requirement on the winning hand (so called 1-double game), or requiring
>> that the winning hand may not contain mixed suits (so called Cleared hand
>> game)."

Anybody playing CC can do the same thing. The count is still one...

>> Millington lists these special hands from CC as missing in AC: Wriggling
>> Snake,

Not really a CC hand (added after the 1920s by Millington)...

>> the Concealed Clear Suit,

Same as above...

>> East's 13th consecutive mahjong,

Ditto.

>> ...among other variations.

In other words, no MAJOR differences between the "American Code" (which
merely defines CC as it was known in the 1920s) and Millington's CC. If I
visit a table in Hong Kong where they play HKOS rules with "discarder pays"
and another table in Hong where they play HKOS rules with "discarder pays
double," it's hardly worth calling that two entirely different games. There
is a difference, and players have to be aware of the different table rules
when going from one table to the other - but they both play HKOS.

Same here. American Code is CC with different options.
--
Tom
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 2:52:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Tom Sloper wrote

> American Code is CC with different options.

Tom, so what? I never said it was an entirely different game. I said it was
a formalized version of the American game from the 1920s. How it compares to
Chinese Classical is beside the point. Even if it were the EXACT same thing,
my recognition of the 1924 Laws' importance would still be valid.

The American Code is a standardized ruleset developed by recognized game
experts, which accepted the then-popular variants while keeping the
integrity of the original game. It is not a gambling game and it lets losing
hands collect points. Best of all, it provides an actual list of rules,
rather than a handbook explaining the rules, intended for an American
audience.

Now that the 1924 Laws are online, anyone can use them without digging
through library stacks or used book shops. They don't belong in the dustbin
of history.

Simon Davosi

--
American Code Of Laws For Mah-Jongg: http://tinyurl.com/445ld
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 3:18:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote...
> How it compares to Chinese Classical is beside the point. Even if it were
> the EXACT same thing, my recognition of the 1924 Laws' importance would
> still be valid.
>
> The American Code is a standardized ruleset developed by recognized game
> experts, which accepted the then-popular variants while keeping the
> integrity of the original game.

Okay, okay...

> Best of all, it provides an actual list of rules, rather than a handbook
> explaining the rules,

Took me a while to see the distinction. But yes. In writing design documents
for video games (and in writing contracts for the development of video
games), it's always important to number the paragraphs and sections for easy
reference. (And they even number every line in key religious tomes.)

> intended for an American audience.

Sorry, I don't see this as significant (perhaps that's what I've been
saying?).

> Now that the 1924 Laws are online, anyone can use them without digging
> through library stacks or used book shops. They don't belong in the
> dustbin of history.

Okay, good! But this online location you mentioned. Newsgroups are
ephemeral. And aside from Google, I don't know of any place where newsgroup
posts can be reliably seen online via a web browser. Planning to put it on a
website somewhere? Need help with that? (That's an offer of help, if you
want it.)

Tom
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 1:41:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <p5ydnUJd4NUyXc3fRVn-rQ@comcast.com>,
Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>>"Simon Davosi" <mahjongg@rules.co> wrote
>>> Millington lists these special hands from CC as missing in AC: Wriggling
>>> Snake,

>Not really a CC hand (added after the 1920s by Millington)...

??
Wriggling Snake exists in English books from 1924.
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 2:32:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> Wriggling Snake exists in English books from 1924.

Is that right? Do you know of one offhand I can check? And if so, I wonder
why it's not listed in the Code? If you're saying it's listed in one or more
books printed in England, maybe the news just never made it over here...

Tom (wrong again as usual!) (^_^)
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 10:26:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <iPudnfklX_rA58zfRVn-pw@comcast.com>,
Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Wriggling Snake exists in English books from 1924.
>Is that right? Do you know of one offhand I can check? And if so, I wonder

Hm. I may have to withdraw that statement. It's mentioned in the
Queen's Club Rules, but is actually there another name for Nine Gates.
The book I first looked at is in the office, and I shan't be there for
a couple of days, so I'll look again when I am and see whether the
same applies there.

On the topic of limits, Chiang Lee's book says, of thirteen wonders,
that "some European players" claim that a pair must be obtained to one
of the thirteen, but that this is not sound Mah-Jong, because thirteen
wonders is not a normal Mah-Jong hand anyway, so needs no pair. Thus
one gets the limit as soon as one has the thirteen tiles.
Have you ever heard of anybody playing this way?
Anonymous
April 4, 2005 10:26:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote
>
> On the topic of limits, Chiang Lee's book says, of thirteen wonders,
> that "some European players" claim that a pair must be obtained to one
> of the thirteen, but that this is not sound Mah-Jong, because thirteen
> wonders is not a normal Mah-Jong hand anyway, so needs no pair. Thus
> one gets the limit as soon as one has the thirteen tiles.
> Have you ever heard of anybody playing this way?

The only way I've heard of this hand being made is that it must have
fourteen tiles (as all hands must be) - and that the 14th tile should be a
duplicate of one of the other 13. The only variations on that I've heard of
until now are in regards to whether the duplicate can be had before the last
call (or it should be a 13-way call, waiting only for the duplicate).

Cheers,
Tom
Anonymous
April 5, 2005 1:02:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

DW wrote:
> Julian Bradfield wrote:
> > In article <M7ednYQEpujUVNPfRVn-vw@comcast.com>,
> > Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
> >
> >>help figuring out how to score the darned thing... (^_^) CC scoring
is the
> >>most complicated scoring in all of mah-jongg.
> >
> >
> > Complexity is in the eye of the beholder.
> > One reason I have no interest in modern variants, notably CO, is
that
> > I can't face learning how to score them (and therefore, I can't
face
> > learning enough to work out what a good hand is).
> >
> I would agree with this
> I haven't found a local group to play mj with, and when I have
persuaded
> the family to play, most of the time, and arguments, have been about
the
> scores. I accept mj could really be played with any rules that a
group
> mutually accept, but it would be nice to play ca game that had wider
> commonality.
>
> DW

Speaking of complexity and "can't face learning ...", I'd point you all
to an article in the Dec. 2004 issue of the IEEE Computer magazine.
The article is called "Interface Quotas and Internet-Derived Value" by
Bob Colwell. It basically proposes that we all have a limit on how
much "stuff" we can learn and retain, when we reach our limit, we
cannot learn new tricks.

Anyway, back to MJ, if DW wants to learn a simple (easy scoring) form
of MJ, then there is nothing easier than HKOS. I think you and your
family will find HKOS to be a very simple and friendly game, much
easier to score than CC and CO. And there is a large community of HKOS
playersif you want to play with others. Good luck.
Anonymous
April 5, 2005 6:52:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

<d_lau@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:1112716978.647090.22760@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...> Anyway, back
to MJ, if DW wants to learn a simple (easy scoring) form
> of MJ, then there is nothing easier than HKOS. I think you and your
> family will find HKOS to be a very simple and friendly game, much
> easier to score than CC and CO. And there is a large community of HKOS
> playersif you want to play with others. Good luck.
>

HKOS and CC are both nifty games. With CC, you can go out with a low-scoring
hand and pre-empt your opponent who may be collecting a limit hand. You can
do this in Japanese, so long as you either call reach or tsumo with a
concealed hand. HKOS, like the one-double game in the American Code, is
stacked against chicken hands. The nice thing about HKOS is that it retained
the flowers and seasons. And that you can actually find humans who play it.

Simon Davosi

--
American Code Of Laws For Mah-Jongg: http://tinyurl.com/445ld
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 3:39:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk (Julian Bradfield) writes:

>>> Wriggling Snake exists in English books from 1924.
> Hm. I may have to withdraw that statement. It's mentioned in the
> Queen's Club Rules, but is actually there another name for Nine Gates.
> The book I first looked at is in the office, and I shan't be there for
> a couple of days, so I'll look again when I am and see whether the
> same applies there.

Nope, I was right the first time.
The Wriggling Snake, as defined by Millington, appears in:
E.G. Reeve, "Advanced Mah Jong", published by the author (1924).

This is a book of some obscurity. Neither the British Library nor the
Bodleian nor Cambridge possesses a copy!
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 3:39:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

"Julian Bradfield" <jcb@inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote
>
> Nope, I was right the first time.
> The Wriggling Snake, as defined by Millington, appears in:
> E.G. Reeve, "Advanced Mah Jong", published by the author (1924).

Wow, that's some good detective work, Julian!

> This is a book of some obscurity. Neither the British Library nor the
> Bodleian nor Cambridge possesses a copy!

Nor do I. (^_^)'

Tom
Anonymous
April 6, 2005 11:13:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

In article <bumdnUtXmdzIjcnfRVn-ow@comcast.com>,
Tom Sloper <tomsterSPAM@sloperamaSPAM.com> wrote:
>> The Wriggling Snake, as defined by Millington, appears in:
>> E.G. Reeve, "Advanced Mah Jong", published by the author (1924).
>Wow, that's some good detective work, Julian!

More serendipity than detective work. All I did was pick up the book
lying on my desk (where it has been ever since I bought it some months
or years ago, I forget) and check the table of contents for "Wriggling Snake"!
On a cursory look through, it seems to have some interesting things to
say. I'll add it to my list of books to prepare a summary of...but
don't hold your breath.
Anonymous
April 7, 2005 1:43:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Simon Davosi wrote:
> <d_lau@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:1112716978.647090.22760@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...>
> > Anyway, back to MJ, if DW wants to learn a simple (easy scoring)
form
> > of MJ, then there is nothing easier than HKOS. I think you and
your
> > family will find HKOS to be a very simple and friendly game, much
> > easier to score than CC and CO. And there is a large community of
HKOS
> > playersif you want to play with others. Good luck.
> >
>
> HKOS and CC are both nifty games. With CC, you can go out with a
low-scoring
> hand and pre-empt your opponent who may be collecting a limit hand.
You can
> do this in Japanese, so long as you either call reach or tsumo with a

> concealed hand. HKOS, like the one-double game in the American Code,
is
> stacked against chicken hands. The nice thing about HKOS is that it
retained
> the flowers and seasons. And that you can actually find humans who
play it.
>
> Simon Davosi

The original complaint was about the complexity of the CC scoring
system and the difficulty in finding players, so I was just trying to
point DW to a simpler scoring game.

I am curious what you mean by "HKOS is ... stacked against chicken
hands.", can you clarify please. Thank you.
Anonymous
April 7, 2005 4:11:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

<d_lau@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:1112892231.971620.117770@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> The original complaint was about the complexity of the CC scoring
> system and the difficulty in finding players, so I was just trying to
> point DW to a simpler scoring game.

My point was that CC is not necessarily complex, since CO has 81 special
hands and Japanese Modern has reach, dora, chombo, yaku, etc.

(Oh, BTW, the next time I try to get a local table game going, I will try
for HKOS since it is simple and plenty of people around me already know it.)

> I am curious what you mean by "HKOS is ... stacked against chicken
> hands.", can you clarify please. Thank you.

What I meant was that in HKOS, the baseline is one fan, meaning the chicken
hand counts as nothing. It is still a great game, of course, although it
involves different sorts of strategies.

Simon Davosi

--
American Code Of Laws For Mah-Jongg: http://tinyurl.com/445ld
Anonymous
April 8, 2005 12:21:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.mahjong (More info?)

Simon Davosi wrote:
> <d_lau@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:1112892231.971620.117770@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> > I am curious what you mean by "HKOS is ... stacked against chicken
> > hands.", can you clarify please. Thank you.
>
> What I meant was that in HKOS, the baseline is one fan, meaning the
chicken
> hand counts as nothing. It is still a great game, of course, although
it
> involves different sorts of strategies.

Hmmm... We must be playing two different kinds of HKOS. The version of
HKOS that I learned and play, the baseline is the chicken hand -- i.e.,
simply completing the 14-tile in any combination. The fahns are added
on top of the baseline. That's why in my mind, there is nothing
"stacked against chicken hands" with the original HKOS. Since I
learned this style of HKOS from people from HK (and I've played it this
way when I was in HK), I'd assume that that is the popular definition
of HKOS (at least with the HK people/players). Maybe you learned to
play "HOKS" on Yahoo!, where some players like to set minimum fahn
limits, that's why you think the game is stacked against chicken hands?
If you want to learn HKOS, you should really look into the fantastic
program from Nine Dragons -- and as an added bonus, you can now also
play CO with a new "patch".
!