Collecting Tens

Type of Dominoes Used: Oriental
Type of Game: Oriental Dominoes
(K'ap t'ai shap)

Popular in Chinese gambling houses in the U.S., this game and one called Playing Heavens and Nines (Ta t'in kau) were the forerunner of the tile game Mah-jongg, which swept the Western World in the 1920s.

Domino set: Many sets of Oriental dominoes are used.

Additional equipment: 4 dice and a cup.

Number of players: 2 or more

Object of the game: To be the first player to collect 10 tiles, consisting of a matching pair of two identical tiles, and four decimal pairs, the sum of the pips of each pair being 10 or a multiple of 10.
Tiles are carefully mixed by the players and piled facedown, 5 tiles high, in a long "woodpile" down the center of the table. At the start of the game, all players place equal wagers in a box on the table. The house takes 5% of the total; the rest goes to the winning player.
The croupier or one of the players shakes 4 dice under a cup, then throws them on the table. That player then counts each player, counterclockwise around the table, starting with the player on his right, and continues to count until he reaches the number thrown. Where the counting ends, that player becomes the leader.
The top tile on the third stack from the end of the pile is removed. The top tile from each alternate stack up to one less than the number of players is also removed. These tiles are placed at the far end of the pile.
The leader takes the 2 stacks at the end, containing 10 tiles. The second player on his right takes the next 2 stacks, containing 9 tiles. The remaining players each take 9 tiles.
The players examine their tiles. If the leader has not drawn a winning hand, he discards a tile and places it faceup on the table.
The next player on his right may pick up the tile the first player discarded to complete a winning hand, or he may exchange it for a tile from his hand, which he places faceup on the table. He also draws a tile from the top of the exposed stack of the woodpile. If it does not complete a winning hand, he may either place it faceup on the table or keep it and discard a tile from his hand.
The third player may then take one of the tiles from the table and draw one from the top of the exposed stack. The game continues until one of the players wins by collecting 10 tiles: a matching pair of two identical tiles and four decimal pairs, the sum of the pips of each pair being 10 or a multiple of 10. The tile 2-4 only counts as three when making up tens.
The winner of a game takes the contents of the stake box and a new game begins.

© 2016 The American Domino Company
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