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Classical Chinese Mahjong Rules


The Special Hands

There are many special hands documented, however Classical Chinese Mahjong, as I understand it, has only a handful of special hands as listed below. Variations that extend the special hands are not shown here.

Classic Special Hands

The Wriggling Snake – A complete clear suit hand consisting of a set of 1’s, 9’s, a pair of 2’s, 5’s or 8’s and two sequences of the missing numbers.

Imperial Jade [5,13,17,18,19] – all green tiles. Four sets (threes or fours) and a pair composed of any of the following wholly green tiles; Green Dragons, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 8 Bamboo. 1, 5, 7, & 9's can not be used. A 2, 3, 4 straight is allowed; green dragons but it is not obligatory . [13]

Nine United Sons [4,5,7,13,17,18,19] (Nine Gates, Calling Nine Cards, Nine Sacred Lamps of Lotus, Nine United Sons ): A concealed calling hand of all one suit in the following formation 1,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,9,9 that can be completed by any tile of the suit, either drawn or discarded. Must be entirely concealed, except last tile which can be discard or drawn.

Fig. 9 . Calling Nine Tile Hand.

Thirteen Unique Wonders [4,5,7,17,18] (The Thirteen Odds - Thirteen Grades of Imperial Treasure – Thirteen Odd Majors, consisting of a one and nine from each suit, one of each Dragon, one of each Wind, and a pair to any of these 13.

Fig. 8. Thirteen Odd Majors Hand.

The Heavenly Twins [5,13,18] : Seven different pairs of Honours (one pair of each Wind and each Dragon); or any seven different pairs of one suit. The final tile may be drawn or claimed on a discard. NOTE: This hand is in the American Code but is NOT recognized by the Chinese. (see fig. 23 and 24) Note that this IS in ref [1].

Heavenly Twins[18]- 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.

Seven Twins[18]- 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.

Ref [9]

  • Nine Gates = limit
  • Thirteen Terminals/Thirteen Unconnected = limit
  • (But both are recognized only on first round, for dealt hand. These
  • hands cannot be "built".)

ref [10]

Chinese versions universally recognize "Thirteen Terminals", the hand with one pair of terminal or honour ("major") tiles and one each of the 12 others. In Chinese Classical, this is the only irregular hand commonly recognized.

From ref [3]: Nine gates, and Thirteen orphans, AND any hand with 5 or more doubles or 32 points plus 4 doubles.

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