Spotlight on Games > Translations
English Translation
Mon Jul 1 15:56:45 PDT 2002
if no image probably out of print
The Tichu package comes with several games, some of which are not translated into English on-line. This page is a translation of these games. Here are links to the translations of the main game:
  • Chris Mellor (Game Cabinet)
  • Chris Mellor/Aaron Fuegi (Game Cabinet)
  • Chris Mellor/Aaron Fuegi (Aaron's Site)

    Trichu (3 player version)
    The Cards
    are distributed as usual. 7 The dealer plays alone. He forms a team with a fictional counterpart called "Tisch"8 [Table]. His opponents may declare a Grand Tichu after eight cards; unfortunately he and Tisch cannot.

    When all the cards have been dealt the dealer can examine his own and the table cards. He decides for each which two cards to pass – passing is only with opponents.

    After the passing the player who is alone turns the table cards face up for all to see. He makes the play decisions for Tisch.

    Small Tichu may be declared as usual up to the first play of one's own cards, also in the name of Mrs. Tisch. In the Tichu-Nanjing game there is one modification: Mrs. Tisch is not required to satisfy the wishes of the Mah Jong.

    works exactly as in Tichu for four. The points earned by the two teams are however recorded for each player under his own name as well as under the the name "Tisch" (e.g. 60 points each for A and B, 40 points for C and Tisch).

    Each game a different player plays alone. Whoever leads after nine games wins.

    A variant three-player game can be safely agreed upon beforehand. However we urgently advise against the 1000 points victory condition, otherwise in an intelligent group Mrs. Tisch inevitably wins.

    7 This variant comes from Janus Staecker of Munich. The cards were cut there.
    8 The feminine form is used to avoid confusion with Christoph Tisch.

    Tichu Tientsin
    (6 players) 9

    In Tientsin Tichu is played six-handed, two teams of three play seated alternately around the table.


    are the same as for the four-handed version, with the following changes:

    There is no special reward for a double victory, but a triple victory (one team gets rid of all its cards while all three opponents still hold cards) scores 300 points.

    9 We thank Mr Zhu, an exceptional tour guide, for this variant.

    Someone Is Always the "A..."
    (A Game of (In)justice for 5-10 players)

    Although "Someone Is Always the "A..."" exhibits some similarities with Tichu, it is a completely different game. It is no longer about the team! Now each tries to reach the top. Finally one would like to rather enjoy the associated privileges of always being the "A...".


    108 cards (2 x 52 cards and the 4 special cards from Tichu)

    Goal of the Game

    The goal of the game is no longer the usual one of "scoring points". In "Someone Is Always the A..." it's about enthusiasm for nonsense, the fun of playing and pure sadistic pleasure.

    The order of rank for the following is determined by each game.

    The player who first plays all of his cards becomes First Among Equals and enjoys all of the privileges: he receives better cards, never has to shuffle or give up cards, may keep his seat and in general is served in every conceivable way by the "A...". Thus the greater goal of the game is clear: just don't become an "A..."!

    Playing the Game

    Dealing Cards
    In the first round any player shuffles the cards and distributes 12 face down cards to each player. With 5 to 8 players there are cards left over. These are placed aside face up so that in the course of play anyone can see which cards are not being used. With 10 players eight players each receive 11 cards and two players each receive 10 cards. It is, after all, a game of (in)justice. In the following rounds the "A..." takes up these duties.

    Passing Cards
    In the first round passing is skipped. In subsequent rounds the players must immediately pass cards according to their position:

    When playing with five at least one card is always passed.

    The ranking order of the cards begins with the best cards: Dragon, Phoenix, Mah Jong, Dog, Ace, K, D, B, 10, ..., 2.

    Playing Cards
    The player who has the Mah Jong leads first. Play is counter-clockwise, as is customary with Chinese, Hopi and a some folks in the Alps.

    Card play follows the rules of Tichu. In particular the Tichu card combinations are permitted. An individual three-of-a-kind or a three-of-a-kind in a full house must be formed from 3 cards from 3 different suits.

    It is important to note the order in which the players have played their last card. This order determines the rank and seating order of the players in the next round. After a round the players change places as described below under "Changing Places".

    Collection of tricks as well as the shuffling and dealing of the cards at the start all other odd jobs are part of the duties of the poorest of the poor, the "A...".

    Special Cards and Bombs
    Dragon: the dragon is the highest individual card.

    Phoenix: the Phoenix can be used as any card in a combination or when played alone is 1/2 higher than the previously played card.

    Mah Jong: the player who has the Mah Jong leads first.

    Dog: when the dog is played the lead passes to the "A...".

    Four-card bombs must be formed from 4 cards of the same rank from 4 different suits. Straights bombs consist of, as before, at least 5 consecutive cards of the same suit.

    End of the Round
    The round ends when only one player still has cards in hand. In the next round he will become the "A...".

    Changing Places
    Now the players change seats. The most comfortable seat is reserved for the First Among Equals. He may also decide for himself where he would like to sit. The remaining players seat themselves according to the order in which they played their last card, to the right of the First Among Equals.
    Thus, the player who played all of his cards second in this round sits directly to the right of the First Among Equals, the third is next and so on. The "A..." then sits directly to the left of the First Among Equals.

    (C) 1989 Fata Morgana Spiele, 3008 Bern, Switzerland
    (C) 1998 ABACUSSPIELE Verlags KG, 63303 Dreieich, Germany
    All rights reserved.

    Also ...

    Copyright 2003 Richard M. Heli