I just couldn't resist!

Japanese Reach Mahjong Rules. Strategy, news, sets - anything!

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:34 pm

Oh my, I just picked up my 3rd mahjong set, this one having even smaller tiles than my 2nd one, but this one has scoring sticks.
There are 152 tiles (16 extras). The 4 white dragons and the 4 blanks are wrapped separately, so you can choose to use the blank ones as haku, and there are 12 other tiles in the set. I went to wikipedia-mahjong tiles and Tom Slopers FAQ 7e, "Those mysterious special tiles that come in some mah-jongg sets", and discovered the following:
There are 4 flower tiles plus a cat, a mouse, a rich man, and a pot of gold. The last 4 tiles (green rectangles) are jokers (百搭 bǎidā --a hundred uses).
The middle 4 are also considered flower tiles. There are some really strange rules associated with them.
http://www.sloperama.com/mjfaq/special.htm
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... JWilds.jpg

As you can see, the tiles have a brown backing (I'm told bamboo but I guess it could be wood) and there are 4 small circular disks, one for each wind. I assume these are either seat markers which you move around the table, or round-wind markers, since there is no round-wind indicator.

The set was bought in China 10 years ago and was never opened. When a friend of a friend overheard that I play mahjong, she gave it to me......for free.
( I really need to teach a class or something. What am I going to do with 3 mahjong sets?)

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Shirluban » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:13 am

Nice set!
And with quite uncommon tiles! :D

As you can see, the tiles have a brown backing (I'm told bamboo but I guess it could be wood)

If you can take a good picture of the tiles' side and bottom, I should be able to tell. ;)

Also, I'm curious about the sticks. They seem to have an unusual dots pattern.
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: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:52 pm

I tried my best but the tiles are still in the cellophane wrapping. They seem to have a series of lines running across them when viewed the long way and a pattern of all dots when viewed the short way.
The sticks are in 2 almost identical packages of 40 sticks each. (total of 80)
There are a total of 32 three-one sticks
There are a total of 35 two-dot sticks
There are a total of 9 eight-dot sticks
There are a total of 4 twelve dot sticks
This distribution doesn't seem like it's going to work for riichi

I was under the impression that all chinese sets had 144 tiles. The jokers and animals took me by surprise. The rich man and pot of gold really had me baffled until I read Sloper's FAQ 7e. (and there are more of those kinds of tiles, I guess you don't get them all)
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Last edited by or2az on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Barticle » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:57 pm

I'm sure your collection of tile-sets will continue to grow, especially if the prices follow this trend - next time someone will pay you to take it. ;)

The end dots and "butterscotch" colour are good indications of bamboo.

In his book Teach Yourself: Mahjong David Pritchard highlights the predator/prey relationship in these extra tiles - cat / rat, chicken / centipede, fisherman / fish and old man / pot of gold. If a player declares a prey tile when an opponent holds the corresponding predator then "bad luck" (?), but there's also a points penalty for not declaring them before the end of the hand.

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:28 pm

next time someone will pay you to take it.

That's funny... and I hope you're right. ($20 to $5 to free)
Maybe I'll get lucky and it will be a Japanese set with red fives.

I read some of that stuff about the tiles on Tom Slopers website FAQ 7e linked above. I'll repeat some of it here for those who might be curious.
CAT captures RAT
FISHERMAN captures FISH
RICH MAN [Zhao Gong Ming] captures POT OF GOLD
COCK captures WORM
If you pick a RAT flower, and nobody has yet exposed a CAT flower, you are likely to keep it concealed in the hand as long as possible. If you have to expose it, it's possible that someone else will have the CAT flower and will expose it, capturing your RAT. Then they nave two flowers, and you have none.

Thanks for your perceptive comments. Did you happen to read all that rinshan kaihou stuff in "kana vs koromo".

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Barticle » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:55 pm

Some of it. :P

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Shirluban » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:17 pm

The pictures' quality is not quite what I hopped for. :(
(Tip: Natural sunlight gives way better results that electric lighting.)
But thanks to your comments, it seems to be indeed bamboo: lines on the size and dots at the end are very good indicators, as well as the color and lines on the back side.

The sticks are made of bone.
I guess one of the "eight-dot" is supposed to be a "two-dot", but I can't find what the intended value could have been.
I mean, how are you supposed to get a round total with 8, 9, 2, 1 sticks per player?!?

or2az wrote:This distribution doesn't seem like it's going to work for riichi

With a few hand-work it could!
Make 8 "three-one" and 1 "two-dot" and you'll have a standard riichi distribution!
(But with non-standard dots pattern, so it doesn't sounds like a very good idea after all.)
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: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:15 pm

guess one of the "eight-dot" is supposed to be a "two-dot", but I can't find what the intended value could have been.
I mean, how are you supposed to get a round total with 8, 9, 2, 1 sticks per player?!?

Using red and white enamel spray paint, and a toothpick;
I changed an "eight-dot" to a "two-dot" and also changed 4 of the "three-ones" into a "two-dot".
The result is now per player: (standard riichi distribution!)
1 stick.....10,000............(the twelve dot)
2 sticks....5000 each........( the eight dot)
4 sticks....1000 each..........(the three-ones)
10 sticks....100 each..........(the two dot)
That's a total of 25,000 points each, leaving 12 extra of the 1000 point sticks.

Caution: WET PAINT
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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:49 am

Now that I'm actually playing live games using scoring sticks, and since I decided not to use red fives with my riichi converts, I changed the distribution and values a little. The extra two 1000 sticks per player seem to make the transfer of points easier. So far, I have not run into any problems.
I went for 20,000 each, instead of 25,000. (Now there are only 4 extra sticks instead of 12)
The result is now per player:
1 stick.....7000............(the twelve dot)
2 sticks....3000 each........( the eight dot)
6 sticks....1000 each..........(the four dot)
10 sticks....100 each..........(the two dot)

Also, referring to a comment above,
I'm curious about the sticks. They seem to have an unusual dots pattern.

I found a depiction of the dot pattern in the "Pritchard" book.
He refers to them as old style tallies ((illogical to Western eyes") as opposed to modern style tallies.
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He also states that in sets sold today (2001 printing), in China and Hong Kong, and rarely exported, there are only 3 values, represented by 3 different colors, and without markings. I'm not familiar with this but it sounds a lot like poker chip style, 12 in one color, 16 in another, and 40 in a third color.

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:33 am

Saw this mahjong set in an ANTIQUES store for $175

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but decided on this one for $25. Once again, I just couldn't resist.
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This one is medium sized (148 tiles) and I'm curious about the white dragon. On my large set, the letter P is in the top left outside the blue rectangle. This one has the letter B dead center in the blue rectangle. Any significance to this?
The red and green are the same, with C (chung) and F (fa), respectively.
Is the P for Pai, and the B for Bai Ban?

Also, all numbers (and letters) on the tiles are engraved in red (as opposed to blue).
Manufacturers decision?

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Barticle » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:46 pm

You'll look very smart arriving at a match with your briefcase! Everyone will know you mean business. :)

I think the central position of the letter is simply a practical consideration given the relative sizes of the tiles and the rectangular marking.

Millington lists pai, po, pak, p'ak, peik, pah, ba and bah as variants of "white" in various Chinese dialects (and pai pan as "white plank").

I would say the red colour is simply easier to see and the manufacturing facility would already have red paint for other markings. Also red is an auspicious colour.

Is there any indication of where your new set was made?

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:01 pm

Is there any indication of where your new set was made?

Not really. There was a magazine article on mahjong in the set from Victoria, B.C., Canada, written in 1994, but this could have been added afterwards.

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Everyone will know you mean business.

I do mean business, but I got beaten yesterday by one of my "converts" with an open dealer mangan (junchan, san shoku, dora 2). She was hoping that I would be the one to discard her winning tile (she knows how I hate that!). I wasn't. It was tsumo.
I had to laugh. I was so proud of her.

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:51 pm

Bought another Mahjong set ($30). I just couldn't resist.
This one is in the same type case as my Ist one but just slightly smaller and with a green backing. (148 tiles)
The tiles are also very WHITE, as opposed to the yellowish tint on my other large set. Not sure why? Maybe age, or what it's made out of? (I prefer the monotone yellowish variety)
Also can't figure out how those chips are to be used. !0 green, 9 yellow, 5 red, and still sealed.
(Maybe they are used when scoring doesn't matter, just winning, where green is like a 1 unit coin, yellow a 2 unit coin, and red a 4 unit coin, who knows? After all, it is an export set. I've seen AMERICAN MAHJONG players just using Quarters when they win.)

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby Gnom » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:42 am

The yellow tint can be from age, depending on the matter used... Especially if the previous owner used to gamble all night while smoking tobacco ;-)

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Re: I just couldn't resist!

Postby or2az » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:55 pm

Good point but I don't think that's it, the smoking that is.


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