February 1, 2004
Hong Kong Old Style (HKOS). Today's column features a game I played this week while beta-testing the new Hong Kong Mahjong Version 6.0 by Nine Dragons Software. My opponents were Miko, Wing Yin, and Leslie. The game was set to permit chicken hands but penalize false win declarations (I didn't choose "thrower pays for all"). I was East.
I hope it's obvious that my best choice was to go for all chows. My first discard: N. S also threw a wind. Then Leslie (N) punged 8C from W, and threw another wind. I picked 3C, threw Wh. My third pick was 1D, throwing 9C. When next I picked 2D, I had a chow in dots, and threw 6C. Next pick: 2C.
I now had two pairs and had to decide which one to kill. I decided to throw 2C (effectively cementing 5B as my pair). It worked out okay in the end, but if I had it to do over I'd probably do it differently. Leslie threw 4B and I had to decide whether to negate the decision I'd just made. I decided not to take it, but my next pick, oddly, was also a 4B.
I threw 6D, and Miko (S) punged it. My next pick was 6C - I threw it back. During that turn, Wing Yin chowed, making 234C - (by the way, she also had a pung of 1C showing). I picked and threw W, then picked 1B (discarding 8D). Leslie chowed 789D from Wing Yin. Then I picked and threw E. My next pick was a third (and unexpected) 5B.
My choice now was obvious. What would you throw? (See answer below.)
Leslie punged N. I picked W, and threw it back. Leslie threw 4C, and that was my win.
My result: All Chow, Concealed, No Flowers: 3 fan. 32 points total (8 each from Miko and Wing Yin, and 16 from Leslie, the discarder of the winning tile).
HKMJ occupies a special place in my heart, since the DOS version was my tutor when I first began to study "real mah-jongg," about 10 years ago. This beautiful and authentic game is available at www.ninedragons.com. To play Hong Kong style online, you can go to play.yahoo.com.
Answer: The obvious choice is to throw 1B, waiting for 1C or 4C for mah-jongg.
Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.
Another fine computer mah-jongg game that offers HKOS rules is Four Winds, which also includes the rules used in the 2002 WCMJ and the 2003 CMOC.
For more about Hong Kong mah-jongg, see FAQ 17. Books about HKOS are listed in FAQ 3, and websites about HKOS are listed in FAQ 4b.
Copyright 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.