Rule variations

Special tiles – Dora tiles

Dora tiles are typically used in the modern Japanese Mah Jong. They are bonus tiles that are determined by exposing tiles (called Dora indicators) from the Dead Wall at the start of the deal and, optionally, each time a player declares a Kong (these tiles are called Kong Dora, or more properly, indicators of Kong Dora tiles). The first Dora tile indicator is the fifth tile counting from the open end of the Dead Wall and the four remaining Dora indicators, if applicable, are taken from its left side (seen inside the Wall) from the upper row of the Dead Wall. The exposed Dora tile indicators do not reduce the number of playable tiles in the Wall, since the Dead Wall is not replenished after a Dora indicator is exposed (i.e., Dora indicators are part of the Dead Wall, whether exposed or unexposed).

To include the Dora tiles in the game:
  1. Choose Preferences on the File menu.
  2. From the Rule Presets list, choose a customized rule preset.
  3. Choose General under the Rules section of the category tree.
  4. Check the Dora tiles box.
  5. To specify the scoring for Dora tiles, choose Sets and Patterns under the Scoring section of the category tree and choose Winning from the Category drop-down list. Specify the scoring for desired scoring items (Dora, Kong Dora, Ura Dora and Ura Kong).

Note: Enabling Dora tiles automatically enables the Dead hand rule according to which the deal automatically ends in a draw when the fourth Kong is declared, only exception being the case where all four Kongs have been declared by the same player and limit scoring is specified for one of the Four Kongs patterns. (In this case the deal terminates immediately on the declaration of 5th Kong.) Limiting the number of Kongs is necessary since the first exposed Dora indicator is the 5th tile of the Dead Wall (so only four tiles can be used as supplement tiles) for this reason no Flowers and Seasons can be used together with Dora tiles. Note too that jokers cannot be used in the game together with the Dora tiles (since a Dora tile cannot be a joker).

Displaying Dora tiles

When the Dora tiles are enabled, the Wall window is heightened to allow space for an extra area where the exposed Dora tiles appear in half of the normal tile size. When a game board with separate views is used, you can detach this area and create a separate Dora Tiles window by clicking the bottom section of the Wall window and dragging it. When the Dora Tiles window is detached you can toggle its visibility state by choosing the Dora Tiles window command on the View menu (or by pressing the equivalent shortcut key, CTRL+A). To dock the Dora Tiles window with the Wall window, drag and drop it near the bottom border of the Wall window.

If the hints are enabled, you can toggle the view between the Dora indicators and actual Dora tiles (the tiles you must have in hand to get the bonus points) by right clicking the Dora tiles area. The active view can be seen from the background color of the area of the Dora tiles, and when a game board with separate views is used and the Dora Tiles window is detached from the Wall window, also from the title of the window (Dora Indicators vs. Dora Tiles).

Red Dora

In addition to the actual Dora tiles described above, Four Winds also supports special red Dora tiles (Jap. aka pai, aka dora), also known as Red Fives. These bonus tiles can be included in the rules by first enabling the Dora tiles option (see above) and then specifying a scoring assignment to the Red Dora pattern (under the Winning category of the Sets and Patterns option page).

According to this rule, one of each of the four number five tiles of each suit is marked red (thus there are three red bonus tiles theoretically available in each deal). Each such special tile in a winner's hand gives a specified bonus. Inclusion of red Dora in the minimum point calculation is determined by the general exception rule for Dora tiles. For details, see the Exceptions dialog box.

The red and regular number 5 tiles in the default tile set of Four Winds.

Related topics:
Flowers and Seasons
Omit Bamboo tiles
Transparent tiles