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Features – Rules

One of the main goals in the development of version 2 was in providing a full coverage of all major versions of Mah Jong, allow full customizability of rules and the scoring engine and do this all in a way that does not result in an overly complex user interface. 

We believe that we have succeeded in creating a game that can be enjoyed by experienced and novice players alike. Expert players will appreciate the flexibility of the program – rules and scoring can be customized not only to tweak a predefined rule preset to meet individual preferences, but bent in a way that allows experimenting with quite unique configurations and scoring parameters. 

On the other hand, novice players can choose their favorite rules from a list of over 20 pre-defined rules without needing to know of the hundreds of variations involved in the game of Mah Jong.  Four Winds 2 also features a guided tour that teaches interactively the basics of the game. A separate tutorial is also available, either online or as a download. In addition, Four Winds Knowledge Base provides a traditional "rule book approach" to most common versions of Mah Jong.

The following list highlights the major features related to rules and scoring:

  • Over 20 pre-defined rule presets covering all major versions of Mah Jong, including classical and modern Chinese (Old Style a.k.a. Hong Kong, New Style and Chinese Official), classical and modern Japanese (Ari-Ari), classical and modern American (but NOT the NMJL rules), modern Australian, and several European versions (British, French, German, Dutch and Italian). Four Winds 2 also supports Alan Kwan’s Zung Jung, WMPA, IMS, MMM and Korean rules, as well as 12-tile and 16-tile (Taiwanese) versions of Mah Jong.  All predefined rules can be customized and saved as user-defined rule presets.
    For more information about the supported rules, see the online documentation.
  • Over 300 patterns, scoring of which can be freely customized. Scoring assignments can be specified separately for the winner and losers. 

    The available scoring units are
    points, doubles, faan, han and
    percentage of Limit, depending on
    the rules.

  • The program also supports multiple limit hand scoring (hands with more than one limit pattern). In addition, all patterns and hands can be renamed and printed. 
  • Full support of any payment scheme. The program comes with 10 predefined payoff schemes which can be fully customized, and supports customizable Faan-Laak and Mangan settling tables (with the support for IMS and MMM auxiliary points).
  • Full support of restrictions on a winning hand – e.g., for minimum point rules, restriction of number of Chows and prohibition of mixed suits – allowing several exceptions (e.g., for including or excluding Flowers, Dora tiles and Kongs in minimum point calculation).
  • Transparent tile sets can be used with any rules and tile set and theme.Japanese specialties, including Dora tiles (Dora, Kong Dora and Red Dora), support for all known sacred hand rules, and fully customizable Riichi rules. Transparent tile sets (in the style of Akagi) are also supported: you can choose 1 to 4 tile sets to be transparent and choose whether transparent tiles in hand are mirrored on the board or not (two additional patterns, All transparent, and All opaque, have been added to support games with transparent tiles).
  • American specialties: support for Charleston, 4 or 8 jokers (with plenty of options) and Pung hand kitty. 
    Note: Jokers can be used with any rules, not only with American; e.g., Four Winds supports 12-tile Asian games with virtual jokers.
  • Enhanced claiming rules, including support for non-conventional Chow claiming restrictions, over-claiming and options for determining the winner in case of competitive claims (support for multiple winners or determination of the winner based on playing order, value of the hand or the precedence order of the completing set). 
  • Enhanced draw rules, including support for dealer’s extra hands, different kinds of  draw payments, conditions for passing the deal and deeming a hand dead. In addition, support for specific Goulash deals with special rules.
  • Customizability of the Dead Wall: replenishing/exhaustible with a possibility to specify the number of tiles to be used in the Dead Wall; in addition, an option for disabling the Dead Wall. 
  • Support for game tournaments, allowing a specific prize scoring system and change of seats between the deals or rounds.
  • Miscellaneous: support for melding concealed Kongs and Flowers and Seasons face down; three different options for interpreting Kongs as concealed Pungs; support for unconventional round wind sequences (e.g., half games consisting of the East and South rounds only), passing the deal after East’s win; customization of penalty and rounding rules, etc., etc.
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