[Contents]

Chinese Special Hands


The Chinese game recognizes a comparatively small number of special hands. This section illustrates the special hands recognized by Shanghai: Second Dynasty's Chinese game.

By their very nature, many special hands must be concealed. It is not possible to meld (expose) a seven-pairs hand since pairs cannot be melded. Each of the hands below is marked as to whether it is Concealed or Exposed, and how much it earns. Sometimes a hand is required to be concealed even if it is possible to make exposures during the course of making that hand -- in other words, if exposed, the hand does not earn "special" status.



Pure Hand
Exposed --- 3 Doubles (3 Fan)
Tiles of one suit only, with no Winds or Dragons.



All Honors
Exposed --- 3 Doubles (3 Fan)
Pungs or Kongs and a pair of Winds, Dragons, and Terminals.



Little Four Winds
Exposed --- 1 Double (1 Fan)
3 Wind Pungs and a Wind pair.
Note: Some rules award a bigger amount for Little Four Winds, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty's Chinese game awards a double for this. Additionally, some rules specify whether the pair is allowed to be the player's Own wind or not, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty awards the double regardless. The double for Little Four Winds is awarded in addition to any other doubles the hand may earn.



Little Three Dragons
Exposed --- 1 Double (1 Fan)
2 Dragon pungs and a Dragon pair.
Note: As with Little Four Winds, some rules award a bigger amount for Little Three Dragons, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty's Chinese game awards a double for this. The double for Little Three Dragons is awarded in addition to any other doubles the hand may earn.


Other special hands and special situations award the player the maximum amount (the "Limit"). You can set the Limit when you set up a new game of Chinese Mah-Jongg. The following section outlines the special situations and hands which earn the limit amount.


LIMIT SITUATIONS


- Heavenly Hand -- When the dealer goes out on the original deal.
- Earthly Hand -- Player goes out on dealer's first discard.
- Kong on Kong -- A player completes 2 kongs and the hand in one turn.
- Gathering Plum Blossom From the Roof -- Player goes Out on a loose tile (a tile replacement from back of wall, for a Flower or Kong). And that tile happens to be a 5 Dot.
- Moon from the Bottom of the Sea -- Player goes Out on the last tile from wall, and that tile happens to be a 1 Dot.
- Scratching the Carrying Pole -- Player goes Out by robbing a Kong of Two Bams.
- Buried Treasure -- Player goes Out with all concealed Pungs, by self-pick. Some rules require that the final tile is for the pair, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty uses a less stringent rule.
- Pure hand, out on self-pick, is a Limit hand.
- Dealer wins 13 hands in a row (dealer loses the deal after 13th win earns Limit). Wall games do not count against the dealer.


LIMIT HANDS



Heavenly Gates
Exposed --- Half Limit
Concealed --- Limit
(Also called: Nine United Sons, Nine Connected Sons, Nine Gates)
Pung of ones and nines, plus a run of 2-8 (all in one suit) plus any one tile of that suit.
Note: some rules hold that this hand is worth Limit only if waiting for a 9-way call. Shanghai: Second Dynasty uses a less stringent rule -- you earn limit for this hand regardless of the calling pattern.



All Winds and Dragons
Exposed --- Limit
Pungs or Kongs and a pair of Winds and Dragons only.



Heads and Tails
Exposed --- Limit
Pungs or Kongs and a pair of ones and nines (Terminals) only.



Unique Wonders
Concealed --- Limit
(Also called: Thirteen Orphans, Thirteen Impossible)
A one and nine of each suit (effectively, a "knitted Pung" of ones and nines) plus NEWS plus one of each dragon plus one additional tile of any of the above (effectively making one pair in the hand).



Big Three Dragons
Exposed --- Limit
(Also: Three Great Scholars)
Pungs of all three Dragons, plus any Pung or Chow plus a pair in the same suit (or a pair of Winds).
Note: Some rules hold that "Three Great Scholars" is awarded only if the fourth grouping is a pung (not a chow), but Shanghai: Second Dynasty uses a less stringent rule.



Big Four Winds
Exposed --- Limit
(Also called: Four Blessings)
Note: Some rules award Big Four Winds if one of the Winds is a pair (so long as it's not the player's Own Wind). Shanghai: Second Dynasty uses a more stringent rule.



All Kong
Exposed --- Limit
(Also called: Four Fours)
Four Kongs of anything plus a pair of anything. Note: some players require that all four Kongs be in the same suit, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty isn't quite so strict.



All Green
All the tiles in the hand are green. If the hand includes Green Dragons, it is also considered a Jewel Hand (see Jewel Hands, below, for more on that).


The Snake
Exposed --- Limit
Pungs of Ones and Nines, with a pair of Twos, Fives, or Eights, and two chows, all in one suit).

If the pair is Twos, the chows must be 3-4-5 and 6-7-8.

If the pair is Fives, the chows must be 2-3-4 and 6-7-8.

If the pair is Eights, the chows must be 2-3-4 and 5-6-7.
Note: some writers call this hand "The Wriggling Snake," but there is already a hand of that name in Shanghai: Second Dynasty's Western game, and it is defined differently. So we call this hand simply "The Snake."


OPTIONAL SPECIAL HANDS

Traditionally, the Chinese game did not include the Seven-Pairs hands or the Jewel Hands, but the "globalization" of Mah-Jongg has resulted in many players allowing the use of those hands in the Chinese game. Thus those hands are selectable, as an option, in Shanghai: Second Dynasty.


JEWEL HANDS


To understand the "jewel" hands it is important to keep two concepts in mind. Firstly, the Bamboo suit is comprised of "green" tiles (2, 3, 4, 6, 8) and "red" tiles (1, 5, 7, and 9) - for the purposes of the Jewel hands, the other suits also are broken into similar groups.



The Green Bams (2, 3, 4, 6, 8) - The Red Bams (1, 5, 7, 9)

Secondly, for the purpose of the Jewel hands, each suit is associated with a dragon. The Red Dragon is normally associated with the Craks in the Western and American games, but, in the case of Ruby hands, with the Red Bams, the Green Dragon is associated with the Bams, and the White Dragon is associated with the Dots.


Red Dragon is associated with Craks ("Ruby").
Green Dragon is associated with Bams ("Jade").
White Dragon is associated with Dots ("Pearls")




Jade Hand
Exposed --- Limit
Pungs (or Kongs) and/or Chows of green Bams with a pair of Green Dragons.
Note: Some players require this hand to contain no more than one Chow, but Shanghai: Second Dynasty allows multiple Chows in the Jade Hand. Keep in mind that when you have multiple Chows concealed in the hand (the same hand as seen above), the sorting does not separate the Chows as seen above.



Imperial Jade
Exposed --- Limit
(Also called: Jade Dragon)
Pungs or Kongs (may include no more than one Chow) of Green Dragons and Green Bams, with a pair of Green Bams.
(Note: This hand earns Double Limit in the Western game, but not in the Chinese game.)



Pearl Dragon
Exposed --- Limit
Pungs or Kongs (may include no more than one Chow) of White Dragons and 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Dots with a pair of Dots (those numbers only).
(Note: This hand earns Double Limit in the Western game, but not in the Chinese game.)



Imperial Ruby
Exposed --- Limit
(Also called: Royal Ruby)
Pungs or Kongs of Red Dragons and Red Bams, with a pair of Red Bams.
(Note: This hand earns Double Limit in the Western game, but not in the Chinese game.)


PAIR HANDS



Dirty Pairs
Concealed --- Half Limit
(Also called: Small Seven Pairs)
Seven pairs of anything.



Clean Pairs
Concealed --- Limit
Seven pairs in one suit (Winds or Dragons allowed).



All Pair Honours
Concealed --- Limit
Seven pairs of Winds, Dragons, and/or Terminals (no Simples allowed).

Western players allow other special pair combinations, but in the Chinese game only these three pair hands are recognized (when recognized at all).


Back for other details of the Chinese game:

Chinese Mah-Jongg; Rules & Options

Strategies for Chinese Mah-Jongg

Or on to the next chapter:

Japanese Mah-Jongg; Rules & Options