If old people become senile, they become confused, can no longer remember things, and are unable to take care of themselves. People having such a symptom is said to be suffering from senile dementia. It is not uncommon for us to obtain the information from the newspapers that a certain great diplomat or a favorite movie star suddenly had such an illness at old age. Therefore, prevention is better than cure. Why not try our best to avoid such happening when we are getting older?
Recently, I just happened to know that people who habitually like playing mahjong are not so easy to get that kind of an illness than those who never play mahjong at all. On the other hand, old people who never play mahjong are advised to be more careful. Maybe that's the reason why old people in the aged homes are always advised to play mahjong.
I wish to take this opportunity to introduce 5-person mahjong as follows:
The 5-person mahjong system has been in existence for ages, but it is not popular because no one likes to be a standby player (i.e. the 5th player) who only receives 1/8 of what the winner wins. My new system is different from the traditional as the standby is scheduled to be awarded with 25% of what the winner wins, payble by the other 3 losers. Each of the 5 persons has a chance to be a standby player in every 5 rounds. Therefore the system should be very fair.
The rates have been proved to be reasonable and acceptable . The advantages are:
'East', 'South', 'West', 'North' and 'Red Chung' to represent each round and each partner will play 5 rounds before starting another 5 rounds and so on..
In playing 5-person mahjong, each of 4 players (A, B, C & D) at the East Round (1st round) has a double fans for his holding triple "East" but the player destined to be the first fool (F) will not have the chance. Therefore in the 5th Round, we will call it " Red Chung Round" so that the first fool will be given a double fans for his holding triple " Red Chung". In order to show a clear picture of the rotation of players, it is better to list out the postion of 4 players at each round as follows:
Both in Hong Kong and Chung Shan, China, there is a kind of special mahjong table which is operated by computer. It was said that it was originally invented by the Japanese. I tried twice with my friends. It was very interesting, as the players don't have to mix and place the 4 square castle walls. The machine does everything. There are 2 sets of mahjong. Once the game has started, the other set will mix together underneath the table for about 3 - 5 minutes. When the game finishes, one of the players is required to press a button, a hole opens automatically in the centre of the table. The 4 players should push all mahjong down to the hole. Almost immediately, the 4 square castle walls stand up just in the same way as done by the players. Then the bank can start a fresh game by pressing the dices which are stored in the covered centre hole. The table is still not popular because it costs over HK$10,000.
|Arng tiong||Red Dragon|
|Barn||Chinese characters for "ten thousands" (one of the suits)|
|Chap sar yeow||Limited hand of Thirteen Wonders|
|Chay what||Green Dragon|
|Chee||to take thrown card (tile) from the proceeding player|
|Chek sek peng ho||Limited hand of one-suit sequences|
|Cheo kong||Robbing a kong (fours)|
|Cher monfg||self-drawn card|
|Khang tiong||Central-sequence card|
|Kharm Kharm ho||Limit hand of concealed triplets|
|Khia chong||Rention of starting hand|
|Kong Kong ho||Limit hand seconddrawn at end wall|
|Kong siong||to win from card drawn from end wall|
|Kow sian mon||Limit hand of Nine Saintly Gates|
|Pai||card or tile|
|Pek Parng||White Dragon|
|Peng ho||all sequence game|
|Pian chian||Ending sequence card|
|Pow arng tiong||Red Dragon Penaalty Caution|
|Pow chay||Fresh or Green, Card Penalty caution|
|Pow Chat What||Green Dragon Penalty Caution|
|Pow Chee||Character Penalty Caution|
|Pow Kow Cheong||Same-suit penalty Caution|
|Pow lum||South Wind Penalty Caution|
|Pow Park||North Wind Penalty Cautin|
|Pow Pek Parng||White Dragon Penalty Caution|
|Pow Sai||West Wind Penalty Caution|
|Pow tiong||East Wind Penalty Caution|
|Pow tua pai||Big card Penalty Caution|
|Pow Yeow Kow||Aces and Nines Penalty Caution|
|Puak how||Draw game|
|Sikew siong||insufficient cards|
|Sok||Bamboo (one of the suits)|
|Tai siong||Excess cards|
|Tai sum guan||Limit Hand of the Three Dragons|
|Tan teow||card to complet pair of the "eyes"|
|Tee ho||Limit hand from the first thrown card|
|Thong||Marbles (one of the suit)|
|Tian ho||Limit hand of original 14 cards|
|Tiow chong||"skip fishing"|
|Tua pai||Character cards|
|Yeow kow||Aces and Nines|
The original design of mahjong was for 4 players but certain players find it more excited when it is played by three of them. As playing of mahjong is so common that it is unnecessary to write anything about it except introducing the way Hong Kong People are playing nowadays. As people here like excitement, they always prefer to play more fans creating greater contrast. No matter 8 fans or 15 fans, the system is all the same.
Any player issuing a card sufficiently makes another player win has to bear the whole responsibility to pay all the charges which include his own share and that of the other 2 players. Therefore, all former penalties may be ignored except "12 tiles". By 12 tiles, it means that if any player issues a tile to make a player display 12 tiles on the table, he掞l have to bear the whole responsibility for paying all the penalty involved for the player's successful self-drawn tile.
The Bank (Starting hand) has no advantages at all as in the old days. He is the one to throw the dices to decide which player is to take the first pair of tiles in turn. In case any player wins by a self-drawn tile, all the other 3 players should pay equal share. One additional fan will be added to a self-drawn tile. It is always important for each player to compromise the minimum, the maximum fans and the number of fans for each term before starting to play the game. Normally they would agree the following number of fans:
The following are only known to the old & specialist but seldom occurred in practical playing:
To start with, each player will be distributed with 100 sets of chips, and each set covers 100 units making a total of 10,000 units.
|9 purple chips at 10 set each:||90 sets (9000 units)|
|9 red chips at 1 set each:||9 sets (900 units)|
|9 yellow chips10 units each:||90 units|
|10 white chips at 1 unit each:||10 units|
Total : 100 sets (10,000 units)
If the 4 players agree to regard $0.3 for each unit, the total chips as a start for each player: $0.30 x 10,000 = $3,000.
The calculation of 15-fan mahjong (see note 2) is quite standard and systematic depending on how many fans one wins. If we are going to play 15 fans, it means the maximum no of fans one wins is 15 regardless of the winning tiles turns to be 16 fans or more. No one would play for endless fans as it would involve a very large figure after multiple calculations. Hereunder is a list of calculations for 15-fan winners:
© 2019, Kevin & Connie Lacobie Some graphics by: www.Vecteezy.com