Rule presets

French Rules

This rule preset is an adaptation of the French rules, as presented by Alexis Beuve and Bertrand Le Roy (for more information, visit their web site). 

The basic rules are simple and only a few bonus patterns are acknowledged. On the other hand, several regular and irregular limit hands are used in the game and their scoring is exceptional. The rules encourage going out quickly on simple basic hands (only the basic tile points and bonus for basic sets are paid to losers) or collecting aesthetically appealing and well-scoring, yet relatively easy value hands, e.g., One Suit with Honors pays 3 doubles, Dragon Pungs and Kongs pay twice as much as Wind Pungs and Kongs, and many of the special hands, e.g. Windy Chows or Windy Pungs, are fairly easy to collect, since the French rules allow partially melded irregular hands: you can acquire some of the needed tiles by claiming them from other players.

The most distinctive feature of the French rules is the use of Dominant Wind (instead of Wind of the Round) as a wind that gives bonus points. The Dominant Wind is determined at the start of each deal by the breaking point of the Wall, so it is quite possible that one player can be lucky and hold the seat of the Dominant Wind several deals in a row. In the original rules the player who holds the seat of the Dominant Wind also acts as a dealer of the initial tiles, and as he deals himself 14 tiles he also starts the deal. But as the player who holds the East seat continues as a dealer from thereon (being e.g. responsible for giving the supplement tiles), and also receives and pays double (as in classical rules), the Dominant Wind's role as an initial dealer has little significance to the actual game. Accordingly this feature is currently not supported in Four Winds.

Other features that are typically French and rarely seen in other versions of Mah Jong include an exceptional rule of precedence for competitive claims of Out (Limit or Special hand wins, then the best set, and only after that, the seat order is used to determine the precedence), exceptionally low scoring for Flowers and Seasons, and regular payments after a draw (after which the deal always passes).

The French rules also use a voluntary Ready declaration. As in Italian rules, the hand to be declared ready does not need to be concealed, and it cannot be altered after the declaration (non-altering Kongs are allowed, though). But unlike the Italian rules, a player is not forced to discard Flowers and Seasons, and if a player fails to win on a hand declared ready (and another player wins, instead), he receives points for Flowers/Seasons only (Italian rules do not penalize the player for failing with a ready hand).

Note: French rules specify that discards are placed face down on board. This further accentuates the memorizing aspect of these rules. The goal of the game is much in figuring out chances for collecting an easy special hand, taking into account the available tiles, and trying to oppose other players from achieving a valuable hand (mainly based on information revealed by melds). You might want to make the game more difficult by turning off the hints, as well (this makes the Available Tiles window unavailable), or just by hiding the Available Tiles window by using the command on the View menu.
Tiles 144 (Flowers and Seasons)
Initial points 2,000
Limit points 1,000
Restrictions for the winning hand None
Claiming rules for going out Limit or Special hand wins
Passing of the deal When non-dealer wins or deal ends in a draw
Rule of Ready Voluntary (the hand cannot be altered after the declaration, excepting non-altering Kongs), 1 dbl if succeeded; if failed, the player receives points for Flowers and Seasons only (unless the deal ends in a draw, in which case all players are paid normally).
Dead hand rules None
Payment Between all players; Chinese Classical scheme; Normal payments after a draw
Discards Hidden, no extended discard information 
Specialties Exhaustible Dead Wall (of 14 tiles); payments after a draw; the concept of dominant Wind and bonus for it; Dragons emphasized; exceptional scoring for Limit and Special hands
Scoring Standard
Basic tile points Standard with the following exceptions: Dragon Pungs and Kongs give twice as much points as other value Pungs/Kongs (terminals and Winds), no points for pair of Wind of the Round, 2 pts for melded or concealed pair of Dominant Wind. The losers are paid the same as the winner.
Scores for basic sets Standard with the following exceptions: no bonus for Pung or Kong of Wind of the Round, instead of that, 1 dbl for Pung or Kong of Dominant Wind (determined by the breaking point of the Wall). The losers are paid the same as the winner.
Scores for Flowers and Seasons Non-standard: 4 points for each Flower/Season, no doubles for Flower/Season of player's own wind, and only 1 double for All Flowers or All Seasons. The losers are paid the same as the winner.
Scores for patterns based on Chows None
Scores for patterns based on Pungs and Kongs None
Scores for patterns based on the whole hand Fully concealed hand (1 dbl), Chow hand (10 pts), Pung hand (1 dbl), All Terminals and Honors (1 dbl, Pung hand not implied); One suit with Honors (3 dbl), One suit only (3 dbl). Note: No scoring for losers.
Scores for miscellaneous patterns None
Scores for winning Winning (20 pts), Self-drawn last tile (5 pts), Out on last tile of the Wall (1 dbl), Out on the last discard (1 dbl), Out on a supplement tile (1 dbl), Out by robbing a Kong (1 dbl), Declaration of Ready (1 dbl), Ready on original 13 (150 pts).
Rounding None
Penalties Faulty out: The offender's hand is dead during the rest of the deal (receives and pays normally after the deal); Faulty claims: 100 pts. for faulty claims; Insurance penalties: None
Limit hands Classical: only Big Four Winds (2,000 pts) and Thirteen Orphans (1,600 pts); Serpents: Little Snake (1,000 pts), Great Brothers (1,200 pts), Emerald Snake (1,400 pts), Ruby Snake (1,400 pts), Diamond Snake (1,400 pts), Peking Garden (1,100 pts), Cheater's hand (700 pts), Seven Lanterns (500 pts), Knitted Dragon with Winds (1,400 pts), Knitted Dragon Royal (1,400 pts); Pairs: Seven Pairs (500 pts), All Honor Pairs (2,500 pts), All Terminal and Honor Pairs (1,700 pts), Windy Pairs (1,000 pts); in addition, 7 pairs versions of Jade, Ruby and Pearl Dragons (see Miscellaneous hands), each paying 1,300 pts; Special ways of going out: Heavenly hand (800 pts) and Earthly hand (800 pts); American hands: Simple Gates (500 pts), Terminal Gates (700 pts); Miscellaneous: Jade Dragon (1,300 pts), Ruby Dragon (1,300 pts), Pearl Dragon (1,300 pts), Windy Chows (500 pts), Royal Chow (600 pts), Windy Pungs (800 pts), Windy Pungs of the same number (1,400 pts), Royal Pung (1,800 pts), Windy Dragons (3,000 pts) and Dragon's Breath (4,000 pts). Note: All irregular hands in Serpents, American Hands and Miscellaneous categories can be partially melded. Losers are not paid for uncompleted limit and special hands (but they receive points for completed sets).

Related topics:
Classification of rules
Alan's Zung Jung
American Classical
American Modern
British Official
Chinese Classical
Chinese New Style
Chinese Official
Chinese Transitional
Dutch League rules
EMA Riichi Rules
European Classical
Hong Kong Mah Jong
Internet Mahjong Server
Italian Official
Japanese Classical
Japanese Modern
Japanese Transitional
Korean Style
Mahjong Masters Million
Taiwanese 16-Tile Mah Jong
Wilmington Advanced 12-Tile rules
WMPA Rules
Comparison table