Shall I make a new version / house rules?

American, Filipino... Any other rule sets you may have heard of or come across!

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alban lusitanae
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Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by alban lusitanae » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:47 pm

Hi Dragon People :)

After playing a while in many online games and checking several manuals regarding different rules, it is obvious that the worst part of Mahjong is understanding the scoring.

Nevertheless, I still understand it. I am considering the idea of creating the Portuguese Mahjong rules! :D

In fact, considering the portuguese importance in the East in ancient times, one could say it would be nice to have these rules, since it would be a sign of respect for such an ancient tradition.

So tell me: would you take the time to evaluate and read a rule-set made by me? :) I would obviously name any people who colaborated on it on the final document. :)

Cheers

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by Shirluban » Fri May 01, 2009 12:29 pm

There are so many mahjong rules in the world, what is the goal of creating a new one?
Cats don't do タンヤオ (tan-yao) but タニャーオ (ta-nya-o).
World Riichi Championship Rules
Comparison of riichi rules around the world

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by HotelFSR » Fri May 01, 2009 1:38 pm

I would have to agree with Shirluban.

I think this might be a phase every player goes through, myself included.

You\'ll get over it! :)

It\'s likely much harder than you think to improve on rule-sets that professionals have been play-testing for decades. At this point I honestly wouldn\'t consider the idea of flirting with new rules until you get an online rating well over 2000, and even then there\'s not much point. Your take on the rules will alter radically as you evolve as a player, and you probably won\'t want to make up new ones anymore. Certainly not to the point that it warrants a new variation altogether!

What good are new rules, whether good or bad, if nobody plays them?


P.S. You should definitely get extensive experience with real or online four-player games against good players before you draw conclusions one way or the other! CPU controlled arcade machines just don\'t cut it, especially two-player ones...

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by alban lusitanae » Fri May 01, 2009 8:44 pm

well one conclusion most people take and me included is that the scoring is absurd :)

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by HotelFSR » Fri May 01, 2009 9:34 pm

The only thing about it that is absurd is the base points system (Fu).

However, its effect on the game is so small that you could almost do without it. If you want get rid of that, go ahead. It wouldn\'t be all that surprising if Reach mahjong itself eventually does something along those lines to simplify things. Almost every hand is worth either 20, 30 or 40 fu and the payoff difference is generally tiny.

Still...

Removing Fu is a far cry from making a whole new version. I actually think that the scoring besides that is nice and simple, making for a good game. The Chinese MCR version has 80+ hands!

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by alban lusitanae » Sat May 02, 2009 10:50 am

The Chinese MCR version has 80+ hands
I\'m not sure if you find that good or bad. :) btw are the Chinese MCR = International rules (the PDF I got from you guys?). I\'m confused.

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by TobiasOlsen » Sat May 02, 2009 11:46 am

yes, MCR (mahjong competition rules) is the same as those called the international rules and also the ones called the chinese official (CO) rules, or the official chinese (OC).

The scoring system is simpler in those rules, but there are a lot more hands to remember (it is not actually that hard to remember them after playing the game for some time though). But still, both scoring systems make sense in the context of the rules.

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by iandstanley » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:44 pm

HotelFSR wrote:The only thing about it that is absurd is the base points system (Fu).

Almost every hand is worth either 20, 30 or 40 fu and the payoff difference is generally tiny.

Removing Fu is a far cry from making a whole new version. I actually think that the scoring besides that is nice and simple, making for a good game. The Chinese MCR version has 80+ hands!
I\'m inclined to agree with FSR here. Calculating FU is a pain. It\'s fine if it\'s automatic and online but playing by hand has always irritated me. I often have played mahjong with the kids just ditching the scoring because I couldn\'t be bothered stretching the kids patience.

If Mahjong reduced the FU calculation down to 20, 30 or 40 points depending on how you won, I think that there would be a lot of people out there with a big smile. After all an odd 2 pts here or there on the smaller hands rarely make smuch of a difference over the whole game. The big difference is preventing the other players from getting limit hands, extra doubles through careless play and generally learnign to play more defensively.


I also think the MCR rules took the American style scoring hands approach too far they could drastically simplify the rules by dividing the winning hands into special hands and other hands having three hands with 1, 2, or 3 dragon pungs in them just over complicates them and prevents begineers from learning the game. Learning the 80 scoring hands is a pain, particularly seeing I\'ve yet to find a good quick reference sheet (or more likely sheets) that I can play with. Having a book or booklet on hand is a pain.

So the Chinese government wanted to ditch the fabled 400+ hands. All it had to do would be to introduce say a minimum point score plus say 13 special hands and start holding state sponsored tournaments across the country and the old rules would drift into insignificance!

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by iandstanley » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:06 pm

MCR follows along the modern trend of having scoring elements (hands or part of hands) totting up points to get a certain minimum requirement (which certainly makes for a better game). In Japanese rules you have to make a minimum number of doubles whereas MCR takes the route of making a minimum number of points (8).

Ari-Ari/Riichi style rules have a simpler set in my opinion to learn. The MCR rules state 81 fans or scoring elements (some descibe special hands like all green and nine gates ..... others describe pieces of a hand like two concealed kongs ... and yet more describe features of the hand rather than combinations of sets e.g. all fives and upper fours).

Learning to play MCR effectively requires a lot more effort in learning the combinations than most traditional or modern rules.

I bought the MCR book by Pritchard and it still took me several attempts before I could be bothered reading the hands.

By the way is there anyone out there with a decent quick reference of the MCR fans?

There is a layout in the MCR rules in Appendix 8 and a quick list on the back ... but I\'m still struggling with the hands. What I really need is an A4 sheet like EMA\'s riichi reference sheet. Any ideas?

That\'s probably why I took to the Ari-Ari / Riichi rules so quickly.

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by Tom Sloper » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:34 pm

Ian, I have some links to MCR/CO/OIRB info in FAQ 22 on my site, and at http://www.sloperama.com/tour/rulebook.htm

I also have some downloads you may grab from my site, but I don\'t put that URL on the Internet. Email me and I\'ll send you the link.

Tom Sloper

[Edit] P.S. The Pritchard book is not the best resource on that game\'s rules. The author of that book never even went to a tournament where those rules were played.
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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by iandstanley » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:41 pm

Tom Sloper wrote: [Edit] P.S. The Pritchard book is not the best resource on that game\'s rules. The author of that book never even went to a tournament where those rules were played.
Yeah, since finding the english mcr rules as a download on EMA I have placed it back on the shelf. It only comes down if I can\'t figure out a rules between the official 2006 MCR booklet, Your Errata, Per Starback\'s Beyond Green and Mai Hatsune\'s Strategy Guide ... which generally means it sit son the shelf.

BTW thanks for putting your book together

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by iandstanley » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:40 am

I would keep to the main rules/scoring and select which rules are ari/nashi (see Jenn\'s corner #27)

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by GRDavies » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:33 pm

iandstanley wrote:I also think the MCR rules took the American style scoring hands approach too far they could drastically simplify the rules by dividing the winning hands into special hands and other hands having three hands with 1, 2, or 3 dragon pungs in them just over complicates them and prevents begineers from learning the game. Learning the 80 scoring hands is a pain, particularly seeing I\'ve yet to find a good quick reference sheet (or more likely sheets) that I can play with. Having a book or booklet on hand is a pain.
Years ago i made such a reference sheet, but alas i can\'t find it anymore and it was in Dutch. The real problem with learning MCR is the available literature. There\'s only one and that\'s the book of Mai Hatsune, it\'s the best, but the way i see it, it has it little flaws. I suspect Mai Hatsune has made the classical error that because she has a nack / a talent for it and because it comes easy for her it should come easy for others. That or she had some specific audience in mind (maybe Riichi playing Japan), the book / author expects a certain level of play and that\'s why the book is not the best for the beginning player (who wants to learn MCR).
The other literature are the scorebooks and they all use the same grouping style, the combinations are grouped together by numeric value, which is a matter of choice, but unless you have a photographic memory or have a nack of learning it this way, this hardly works for the most of people.

My scoresheet had another grouping, namely grouped by relevance. If you\'re still interested in a handy scoresheet which fitted on a A4 (letter), say the word and i\'ll try to recreate the scoresheet (in English off course), maybe with one A4 of explaination of the idea behind it.

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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by Tom Sloper » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:30 pm

GRDavies wrote:
Years ago i made such a reference sheet, but alas i can\'t find it anymore and it was in Dutch...
My scoresheet had another grouping, namely grouped by relevance. If you\'re still interested in a handy scoresheet which fitted on a A4 (letter), say the word and i\'ll try to recreate the scoresheet (in English off course), maybe with one A4 of explaination of the idea behind it.[/quote]
If it was on the Internet, I probably have a copy of it. Remember the filename? Was it a PDF?
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Re:Shall I make a new version / house rules?

Post by GRDavies » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:31 pm

Don\'t think so as i said i was the creator of that sheet and never published it, unless you or somebody else planted some spyware app to get hold of the contents of my harddrive (who would be interested in that? ;) ).

Well actually i found my sheet and i also found another sheet based on the same principle and i beliefe it was created by Sjef Strik. The problem is that i only have paper copies, but maybe you got a copy of that one Tom.
In the lower right it has the signature: \"SS/V01\".

I will try to contact Sjef, maybe he has a digital copy.

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