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Rating: 6.9 Good
Players: 3-10 players
Playing time: 60 minutes

Created by: Urs Hostettler, Res Brandenberger, François Bruel, Philippe Guérin, Chris Quilliams, Valerie Vekemans, Franz Vohwinkel

Published by: 999 Games, ABACUSSPIELE, Fata Morgana Spiele

Alternate Names: Tai Pan, Тичу, Тичу, 地主, 티츄


Tichu is a partnership climbing card game, and the object of play is to rid yourself of your hand, preferably while scoring points in the process.

The deck is a standard 52-card pack with four special cards added: dog, phoenix, dragon and Mah Jong. When it's your turn, you may either beat the current top card combination - single card, pair of cards, sequence of pairs, full house, etc. - or pass.

If play passes all the way back to the player who laid the top cards, he wins the trick, clears the cards, and can lead the next one. The card led determines the only combination of cards that can be played on that trick, so if a single card is led, then only single cards are played; if a straight of seven cards is led, then only straights of seven cards can be played, etc.

The last player out in a round gives all the cards he won to the player who exited first, and the last player's unplayed cards are handed to the opposite team. Fives, tens and Kings are worth 5, 10 and 10 points, with each hand worth one hundred points without bonuses - but the bonuses are what drive the game. At the start of a round, each player can call "Tichu" prior to her playing any card.

This indicates that she thinks that she can empty her hand first this round; if she does so, her team scores 100 points, and if not, it loses 100 points. Cards are dealt at the start of a round in a group of eight and a group of six; a player can call "Grand Tichu" after looking at only her first eight cards for a ±200 point bonus.

If both players on a team exit a round prior to either player on the opposite team, then no points are scored for cards and the winning team earns 200 points (with Tichu/Grand Tichu bonuses and penalties being applied as normal).

The first team to 1,000 points wins.

Retail Price:$11
Stadt Land Spielt Limitierte Sonderdrucke 2015
Tichu Booster
Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee 2006
Fairplay À la carte Winner 1999
Fairplay À la carte Winner 1992

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  • rule booklet

The cards, with their four suits:

  • Jade

  • Swords

  • Pagodas

  • Stars

Each suit has 13 values, correspond to a "normal" bridge deck. The ace is the highest in each suit and the 2 is the lowest. The 10 ranks between the 9 and the jack, as in most card games.

Four extra cards expand the deck to 56 cards: the Dragon, the Phoenix, the Hound, and the Hemp-Sparrow (or Mah Jong).

Some say tichu cannot be explained but must be experienced. If we believed that, there would be no rules with this game. So, we talked Mr Chuang (the man who taught us the game) into helping us. He drummed up some rules in the backroom of the souvenir shop of the Confucian temple. …


(Tichu nanking for 3 players)

Shuffle and take cards as you would for a four player game. The shuffler plays with a dummy partner.

The shuffler may not declare Grand Tichu for either himself or the dummy.

Before any cards are pushed, the dealer may look at both his hand and the dummy's.

Pushing cards is the same as in a four player game, except that players only push cards to their oponents (two cards instead of three are pushed).

After cards are pushed, place the dummy face up on the table. The shuffler plays on the dummy's behalf. The dealer may declare Small Tichu on behalf of the dummy before he plays the first card from the dummy. The dummy does not have to fullfill any wish. …

Can the Hound be bombed?

No, Bombs cannot be used to take the hound (and the right to lead). Bombs can only be played (even out of turn) on a card combination (or single card) on the table. You may bomb your own trick, if you want. When 3 players pass in turn order, any player may bomb before the trick isconsidered over.

When can a bomb be played on a Mah Jong?

The best way to answer is with an exampleHere is an example. Player 1 leads the Mah Jong and wishes an 8. Between Player 1 and 2 (out of turn) all players (including players 1 and 2) may bomb (without fullfilling the wish). …

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