Tien Gow (天九) is Cantonese, meaning "Sky Nine" or "Heaven Nine" - in Mandarin it is Tian Jiu. This is a trick taking game for four players using a single set of 32 Chinese dominoes. The set consists of all pairs of numbers from 1-1 to 6-6, with the following eleven tiles duplicated: 6-6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-1, 5-5, 5-1, 4-4, 3-3, 3-1, 2-2, 1-1. Each player is dealt eight tiles; they can be played singly or in matching groups, the aim being to win the last trick.
Here are links to:
- the rules of Tien Gow, compiled by Joe Celko, and an earlier version of the same page at Game Cabinet.
- CP Lai's page on Heaven Nine, with notes on Chinese terminology and tactics, help in recognising the tile combinations, and further useful links.
Here is a DOS program with which you can play Tien Gow against the computer. It is rather old and will only work under Windows if run full screen.