Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rules of Singapore Style Mahjong: Flowers

Seat Flower
Chinese name(s): 正花 zhènghuā, 门花 ménhuā
Value: 1 double
Description: When a player wins a hand, every flower tile in his possession that corresponds to his seat will score 1 double. Flower tiles that do not correspond to the player's seat are not Seat Flowers and do not score any doubles. Seat Flowers count towards the minimum requirement of 1 double for any win.

Comments: As there are only eight proper flower tiles in Singapore Style mahjong (the other bonus tiles used are animal tiles, though often referred to as flowers as well), and only one tile in each set that corresponds to each player's seat, any player can at most obtain two doubles from his Seat Flowers.

Flower Set Bonus
Chinese name: 花杠加台 huāgàng jiātái (ad hoc term), 一台花 yītáihuā
Value: 1 double
Description: When a player wins a hand, a complete set of flower tiles (either all the red-numbered flowers, or all the blue-numbered flowers) will score 1 double, in addition to the double scored for the Seat Flower.

Comments: This scoring element is sometimes known as 一台花 yītáihuā, as used in Hong Kong Old Style (HKOS) scoring. In HKOS scoring, however, 一台花 is viewed to be worth 2 doubles (but then excludes the 1 double scored for the Seat Flower). I prefer to avoid using the term 一台花, and use an ad hoc term 花杠加台 huāgàng jiātái instead. Reasons for this include: a need to avoid confusion on when to count Seat Flower; a need to have consistency and a logical counterpart to the Animal Set Bonus (something not found in HKOS mahjong); and a need to avoid confusion by using the Chinese term 台 tái with different meanings. In Singapore Style, 台 refers to doubles, but in HKOS it refers only to a group (of flowers); to use 台 to refer to a group (of flowers) where it also refers to doubles can be confusing to players, so this should be avoided.

Related Posts
Rules of Singapore Style Mahjong: Index
Rules of Singapore Style Mahjong: Bonus Tiles
Rules of Singapore Style Mahjong: Animals

Updated at 17:35, on 21st August 2011


Anonymous said...

HI Edwin! nice blog! just want to clarify with u, for last tile before draw game, if gong or flower set can get money? is it counted? in SG MJ context.

EP said...

Hello Anonymous,

So sorry for this late reply.

This question is difficult to answer because instant payouts are usually considered house-rules, and there are few standard rules that cover such things. I do not find similar rules in other variants that can help me in answering such a question.

From what I know, there are only two good ways you can decide on this issue.

Note that in Singapore Style mahjong, the very last tile drawable in the wall is not discarded. (Do not ask me why such a rule came to be, it is not very logical and consistent with the other rulesets.)

1. Only the very last tile can be used for winning a hand, and nothing else. This means flowers and kongs cannot be declared and replaced. If this is the case that flowers and kongs cannot be declared for replacement, then it is logical that instant payouts cannot happen as well.

However, I believe players can declare Flower Wins (花和) using just flower tiles. This is, however, for winning a hand and does not violate this rule since no replacement is necessary.

2. Allow flowers and kongs to be declared, and the deal ends there as a draw, and ignore any rule or logic that any replacement is necessary.

Personally, I would follow (1) and not (2) for the sake of internal consistency with general game rules. (1) is more general in application since not all players use instant payout rules.