Tsung Shap - domino game rules

Ts'ung Shap

Introduction

This game was reported by Stewart Culin in his book Chinese Games With Dice And Dominoes (1895), which describes games played by Chinese labourers in the USA. It would be interesting to know whether it is still played.

The name means "disputing tens" and the game uses one set of 32 Chinese dominoes for two players. This is a fishing game, in which the tiles on the table are arranged in a row and only the tiles on the ends of the row are available for capture. Players capture identical tiles and sets of three tiles that add up to a multiple of ten.

The Deal

The tiles are arranged in a woodpile, in eight stacks four tiles high. Players alternate drawing stacks until they each have a personal half-sized woodpile of 16 tiles for their hand.

The Play

The idea is to match a tile in your hand to one or two tiles already face up on the table. Tiles are drawn from one end of each player's woodpile and turned over.

The first player draws a tile from his woodpile and lays it face up on the table. The second player does the same, placing his tile beside the first one. The players alternate drawing a tile and placing it on either end of the row on the table. Certain combinations can be removed for scoring. The game ends when one player has all their tiles are turned over

Scoring

  1. If a player turns over a tile which is a duplicate of either end tile, he collects that pair from the row and holds it. These pairs count ten times the number of pips on the two of them.
  2. If the tile turned over by a player completes a set of three tiles that add up to a multiple of ten, using the drawn tile together with either the tiles at the two ends of the row or with two tiles from one end of the row, he collects the triplet. These triplets count the number of pips on the three tiles.
  3. If there are only two tiles in the row on the table and a player takes both of them, he collects them and stacks them on top of each other to mark them. He then must place one tile on the table, to start a new row. This is a sweep and it counts forty points.
  4. A player who can do none of the above simply adds the drawn tile to either the right or left end of the row on the table.
  5. If a player misses a pair or a triplet on the table, his opponent may claim them before drawing a tile to take his normal turn.
  6. When one player is out of tiles, the game is over and the scores are computed. The player with the higher score wins.
This page was contributed by Joe Celko (jcelko212@earthlink.net) and is maintained by John McLeod (john@pagat.com).   © Joe Celko 2002. Last updated: 14th August 2020

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