Mahjong Poker

The inventor of Mahjong Poker is Wayne Hong

This game is patented in USA under the title of Casino card game having Mahjong attributes (Patent No. 7,389,989).

Players and Cards

Mahjong Poker is a banking game suitable for use in casinos. It can be played on a table marked out roughly as follows. The illustration shows places for up to six players to place their stakes, and places for the six community cards dealt by the banker during the game.

mahjong poker layout

One or more decks 82-card decks is used. As in a Mah Jong deck there are three suits: copper (circles, tong, coin), bamboo (strings, tiao, rope) and kanji (characters, wan, myriads), with cards from 1 to 9 in each suit. In each 82-card deck there are three identical copies of each of these 27 cards plus a single joker.

Winning Combinations

Each player is dealt a hand of cards and uses these together with the community cards dealt by the house to try to form a hu. A hu consists of either

  • a triplet of three identical cards plus a pair of identical cards, or
  • a sequence of three consecutive cards of the same suit plus a pair of identical cards.

When making a hu, the joker is wild, and can be used to represent any card the player needs.

Extra credit is given for a flush hu - a hu of either type in which all five cards are of the same suit.

Players can also place an independent bonus bet on combinations formed by the six community cards alone.

Betting and Play

The procedure is as follows.

  1. Each player who wishes to take part places an initial bet known as tian-hu (Heavenly Mahjong) in the position marked "1". This bet is subject to a minimum and maximum as set by the house.
  2. Any player who places a tian-hu bet may place an additional "bonus" bet on the dealer's cards: this is placed in the position marked "BONUS".
  3. The dealer deals six cards face down to each player. The players look at their cards.
  4. Any player who can make a hu using five of these six cards may declare a "tian-hu" and show his cards. The player is paid at 5 to 1 on his tian-hu bet (he is paid 5 times his tian-hu bet and given back his tian-hu stake) if it is an ordinary hu, or 5.5 to 1 if it is a flush hu. The player's cards are discarded and the player takes no further part in the hand, except that if he made a bonus bet this remains in play. It is not compulsory to claim a tian-hu - the player may choose instead to discard and continue playing.
  5. Any player who did not declare "tian-hu" may double down ("cha-hua") by placing another bet equal to his initial tian-hu bet in the "DD" position.
  6. Every player who did not declare "tian-hu" must now discard two of his six cards. In exchange he receives two new cards from the dealer.
  7. Any player who can make a hu using five of the six cards he now has may declare a "di-hu" (Earthly Mahjong) and show his cards. If it is an ordinary hu he is paid at 2 to 1 on his tian hu bet and on his double down bet if any. If it is a flush hu he is paid at 2.5 to 1. So if the player placed a double down bet the payment is 4 times the tian-hu bet for an ordinary hu or 5 times the tian-hu bet for a flush hu. The player's cards are discarded and the player takes no further part in the hand, except that if he made a bonus bet this remains in play.
  8. All players who have not declared "di-hu" lose their double down bets - these are now collected by the dealer.
  9. Each player who has not declared "tian-hu" or "di-hu" now has two options:
    • to fold by throwing in his six cards. The player's tian hu bet is lost and he takes no further part in the play, except that if he made a bonus bet this remains in play.
    • to continue to play by placing an additional bet called the "fa-hu" or "8-hu" (Wealthy Mahjong or 8-Mahjong) in the position marked "1-2x". This bet can be either equal to or twice as much as the tian-hu bet, at the choice of the player.
  10. Players who have placed fa-hu bets discard two of their six cards, and the dealer deals four community cards face up to the first four community card positions, starting from the right.
  11. If any of the community cards is a joker, the dealer discards it and deals a new community card to replace it.
  12. The players show their cards, and any player who can form a hu from the 8 available cards (four hand-cards and four community cards) wins an amount equal to their tian-hu bet plus their fa-hu bet. If it is a flush hu they are additionally paid an amount equal to half their fa-hu bet only. For example a player who made a 10 chip tian-hu bet and a 20 chip fa-hu bet and made a flush hu at this stage would win 40 chips. Players who have been paid discard their cards and take no further part in the hand, except that any bonus bets they placed remain in play.
  13. Each player who has neither folded nor been paid for a hu now has two options:
    • to fold by throwing in his four cards. The player's tian-hu and fa-hu bets are lost and he takes no further part in the play, except that if he made a bonus bet this remains in play.
    • to continue to play by placing an additional bet called the "ting-hu" or "10-hu" (Final Mahjong or 10-Mahjong) in the position marked "1-3x". This bet can be either equal to or twice as much or three times as much as the fa-hu bet, at the choice of the player.
  14. At this point, if all players are out, having either folded or been paid for a hu, all bonus bets are returned to the players (these bets are a "push"). The hand is over.
  15. The dealer deals two further community cards to the last two community card positions on the layout. If either is a joker he discards it and deals a new card to replace it.
  16. Any player who can from a hu from the 10 available cards (four hand-cards and six community cards), using at least one hand card together with up to four community cards, wins an amount equal to their tian-hu bet plus their fa-hu bet plus their ting-hu bet. If it is a flush hu they are additionally paid an amount equal to half their ting-hu bet only. For example a player who placed a 10 chip tian-hu bet, a 20 chip fa-hu bet and a 60 chip ting-hu bet and made a flush hu at this stage would win 120 chips. Players who cannot make a hu lose their tian-hu, fa-hu and ting-hu bets. Note that a hu made entirely from community cards does not allow a player to win these bets, though players who have placed a bonus bet will win.
  17. Finally the community cards are inspected to see whether they contain any bonus combinations. If they do, all players who have placed bonus bets are paid according to the table below (irrespective of whether they won or lost their other bets). If not, all bonus bets are lost and are collected by the dealer.

Bonus bet payout

For combinations within the six community cards, players who placed bonus bets are paid as follows:

  • For a six-card straight flush (six consecutive cards of the same suit): 1000 to 1
  • For three pairs of identical cards: 60 to 1
  • For two triplets of identical cards: 60 to 1
  • For one triplet of identical cards: 30 to 1
  • For a hu (pair plus triplet or pair plus three card suited sequence): 15 to 1
  • For a flush (all six cards in the same suit): 5 to 1

The hu and flush bonuses are paid in addition to the pair and triplet bonuses when they apply. For example if the community cards are 3-3-3-8-8-8 all of bamboo, the bonus payment will be 80 to 1 (two triplets plus hu plus flush).

Variations

The patent envisages that the payout schedules, the number of cards dealt and the number of decks used might be adjusted according to the preferences of the casino running the game.