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Zung Jung - Mahjong Rules (v1.03)

Robbing a Kong

  1. When an opponent declares a "small exposed kong", and one is calling for the tile which is being declared as a kong, one can announce "fu" and claim the declared tile to complete his hand. This is called "Robbing a Kong". Robbing a Kong is considered winning on discard, and the player who tried to declare the kong is the discarder.
  2. "Robbing a Kong" is a category 9 pattern, and is worth points.
  3. Only a small exposed kong can be robbed. A concealed kong cannot be robbed, with no exceptions. Against a big exposed kong, the "win" claim takes precedence according to the "Precedence of Claims" rules, and the "kong" claim is cancelled.
  4. A player can announce "fu" and rob the kong as soon as the opponent adds his tile to the exposed triplet; one needs not (and should not) wait for the opponent to draw a supplement tile before robbing a kong. If a player wants to discard a tile without declaring a kong, he should place the tile cleanly in the designated position in the river, and not ambiguously in the area of his exposed tiles.

Precedence of Claims

  1. When two or more players want to claim the same discarded tile, the below order of precedence is observed. The claim with the highest precedence alone gets the discard, and the other claims are cancelled.
  2. The order of precedence, from high to low, is as follows:
    • 1a. win by the discarder's lower seat
    • 1b. win by the discarder's opposite seat
    • 1c. win by the discarder's upper seat
    • 2. pung, kong (big exposed kong)
    • 3. chi
    When two players announce "win" together, the single winner is determined as above; this is called interception. Note that there are no exceptions to this rule.
  3. Only a legal claim may take precedence. An illegal claim has no precedence, and can always be overtaken by a legal claim. The verbal announcement marks the claim; one who does not announce his claim in time has no precedence.
  4. For a pung or kong claim to take precedence, it should be announced promptly. Once a player has announced "chi" and subsequently displayed his set or discarded a tile, the two other players lose their rights to claim the tile for pung or kong.
    The rule for a "win" claim is less strict (because the tiles involving a win claim might be more complicated than those for a pung or kong claim, and also the win claim is more important): a "win" claim enjoys its precedence over a "chi" claim until the opponent has, after announcing "chi", completed both displaying his set and discarding a tile.

The Dead Wall and the Seabed Tile

  1. Dead Wall: The last 14 tiles in the wall are called the "Dead Wall", and are not played.
  2. Late in a hand, any player may request that the "wall breaker" pushes the 14-tile Dead Wall slightly to the left, separate from the live wall, so that it is easier to tell how many tiles are left to play. If, due to a supplement tile having been taken, a lone tile stands as "half a stack" in the kong box, the 7th stack from the end should be broken up, with the lower tile in the stack placed with the Deal Wall, and the upper tile in the stack placed at the end of the live wall, as the seabed tile.
  3. Seabed tile: The last tile in the wall before the Dead Wall (i.e. the 15th last tile in the wall) is called the seabed tile. The player who draws the seabed tile may not declare a kong, and must discard a tile unless one is winning. This discard is called the riverbed tile.
  4. Riverbed tile: The riverbed tile may not be claimed for chi, pong or kong; it may only be claimed for a win.
  5. Winning on the seabed tile or the riverbed tile are category 9 patterns, and are worth points.
  6. No Win: If no one wins on the riverbed tile, the hand is a draw, and all players score zero for the hand. The deal (East) always passes after each hand.

Scoring the Winning Hand

  1. After the winning player reveals his hand, he should arrange and sort his hand, so that his winning hand can be verified and scored.
  2. A regular hand should be separated into the 4 sets and the pair of eyes. If winning on discard, the winning tile should be rotated 90 degrees to indicate an exposed triplet.
  3. A "Seven Pairs" hand should be sorted into the 7 pairs. A "Thirteen Terminals" hand should be sorted by the suits, the Winds and the Dragons.
  4. The winning hand is scored according to the chapter "Zung Jung Scoring System".
  5. Responsibility of Scoring: In principle, the winning player is responsible for counting the score of one's own hand. One may ask the opponents or a judge for help, but they are not responsible for any mistakes in the counting. If the winning player has not requested, others should keep silent and not distract him.
  6. The three non-winning players are responsible for making sure that the winning player has not over-scored the hand. They may ask a judge for help, but the judge is not responsible for any mistakes in the counting. If the winning player has under-scored his hand, the three other players or the judge are not obligated to remind him; but any person has the right to point out and enforce that the winning player scores the correct, maximum value for his hand.
  7. It is the discarder's responsibility to mention the "Rule of Same-Turn Immunity" when applicable.
  8. The "Scoring Aid Cards" can be used to facilitate scoring when needed, such as when there is a language barrier, or for a hand with many patterns. Their use is optional, and can be omitted when all four players agree. Please refer to Appendix A: "How to use the Scoring Aid Cards".
  9. Each player records any points gained or lost by every player on the "Score Record Card". Please refer to Appendix B: "How to use the Score Record Card". Then, each player passes his card around his three opponents to be signed. The winning player should not mix up his hand until all signing has been completed. Once the tiles have been mixed up, the scoring process is considered complete, and further corrections are normally not allowed. If all four players agree that a correction is in order, they should call a judge, who will decide on a case-by-case basis.
  10. If the four players do not agree on the scoring, they can request an official ruling by a judge. (A request for an official ruling will be entertained only if the players propose two different scoring methods, such as two different pattern lists, hand values or payoff schemes. If the players do not know how to score the hand at all, they can only request unofficial assistance, for which the judge is not responsible for any mistakes.) The decision by the head judge is final.
  11. Freedom of Count: If there are multiple ways of arranging the concealed tiles in order to compose the winning hand, the winning player may freely choose an arrangement which one feels is best for oneself, and score the hand according to that arrangement. A hand may only be scored according to one arrangement; patterns from different arrangements cannot be both counted. (For example, a hand cannot score both "Three Identical Sequences" and "Three Consecutive Triplets", nor both "Two Identical Sequences Twice" and "Seven Pairs".)
  12. "Nine Gates" Self-draw rule: When a "Nine Gates" hand wins on self-draw, the winning tile must be displayed separately from the rest of the hand. If the winning tile has been mixed with the hand tiles before it has been displayed and confirmed, "Nine Gates" cannot be counted.
    East starts a hand with 14 dealt tiles, and no tile is considered "drawn". Thus, "Nine Gates" cannot be counted for a "Blessing of Heaven" hand; only "Blessing of Heaven" can be counted.

Penalty Tiles

  1. If a player illegally exposes his hand tiles, those tiles will remain open on the table as live penalty tiles. Penalty tiles should be placed in the area to the right of the player's concealed hand, clearly separate from one's exposed sets.
  2. A live penalty tile may be discarded on the player's current or next (if the player is not currently playing) discard. Once the player discards any other tile (even another live penalty tile), any live penalty tiles in front of him become dead penalty tiles, which may not be discarded thereafter.
    (This rule is to prevent collusion, by preventing another player from taking advantage of seeing what tiles one might discard in the future.)
  3. Penalty tiles (whether live or dead) cannot be melded (including melding when winning on discard) into an exposed sequence, an exposed triplet, or an exposed kong (big or small), and may not form the pair of "exposed" eyes with a discarded tile when winning. In other words, penalty tiles may only constitute concealed sets, and may not be used to claim discards to constitute exposed sets.
    (This rule is to prevent collusion, to prevent another player from seeing the exposed tiles and deliberately discard useful tiles for the offending player.)
  4. In a "Seven Pairs" hand, a penalty tile may not form an "exposed" pair with a discarded tile when winning.
    In a "Thirteen Terminals" hand, a player may not win on a discarded tile which matches any of his penalty tiles; and if he has three or more penalty tiles, he may not win on any discard at all, and can win only on self-draw.
  5. Trying to claim a discard with a penalty tile, in violation of the above rules, should be considered a "wrong claim".
  6. During the deal, before (or when) the player organizes his tiles, if one inadvertently exposes some tiles, one of the exposed tiles is exempt from penalty. If one exposes two or more tiles, he may pick one up and put it back into his hand, and the rest become (live) penalty tiles.
  7. When a live penalty tile is discarded, it ceases to be a penalty tile. If a penalty tile is used to form a concealed kong, it ceases to be a penalty tile.
  8. The above rules apply to inadvertently exposed tiles. The judge has the right to impose additional penalties against deliberate violations.
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