Fata Morgana Spiele
Rules Translated by Chris Mellor
Rules typed by Dawn Thurbon
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins

Version 1
Tichu Nanjing (for four players)

The Cards

There are four suits (Jack, Sword, Pagoda, Star) of 13 cards each corresponding in value to Bridge cards ie. The highest card in each suit being the Ace and the lowest being the "2". The "10's" lie between the "9" and the "Jack".

There are four special cards : Mah jong, Dog, Phoenix and Dragon (see illustration in German rules) - which brings the total number of cards to 56.

The players play in two teams each of two players. Each player sits opposite his partner and they help each other to acquire points and gain the play.


The winner of the previous round shuffles and cuts the deck.

Instead of dealing out the cards, each player in turn takes a card from the top of the deck until the pile is exhausted and each player has 14 cards in his hand.

Now give one of your cards to each of the other three players. In effect then, you will pass on your worst 3 cards and receive 3 unknown ones in return.

Naturally, the first player to receive the new cards will be the one who was the first to give away his own 3 cards.

The Game

The game is started by the player who has the Mah Jong card. He may lay down any one of the following combinations:


The next player (to the right of the previous player) now has the following options:

Passing or Playing a similar combination but of a higher value

So, a single card can only be beaten by the playing of a single card ( and this must be of a higher value); a run of 2 pairs by 2 higher pairs, a row of 8 cards only by a more valuable row of 8 cards, a full house by a higher full house (in a full house, only the value of the triple is taken into consideration). The only exception to this rule is the "bomb" - see later.

Play then proceeds to the next player on the right. When all players pass, the player who laid the last (highest) card combination, takes the trick and starts play again - if he has no more cards in his hand, he retires from the game and play proceeds to his neighbour on the right (if he also has no cards, then play goes to the next person on the right etc.)

The Special Cards

The "Mah Jong" Card

Its owner starts the game (but in doing so does not actually use the Mah Jong card).

The Mah Jong card has a value of 1 and so is the lowest card in the game. It can be used to form a row eg. 1,2,3,4,5

Whoever plays the Mah Jong card has a free choice - that is he can ask for a given card value (eg an "8" or an "A", but not a special card) The next player who has a card of the chosen value and can play it (in accordance with the rules of the game) must then play it (under certain circumstances it can also be used as a "bomb".)

If a player does not have the card value asked for, or cannot play it, then he can play any suitable card or pass.

This condition, imposed by the playing of the Mah Jong card, remains in force until somebody carries it out. (That is, the first player to acquire a card of the requested value must play that card.)

The Dog

The "dog" has no trick value. It can only be played in your own turn as a single card. It gives the "lead" to your partner. If your partner has already retired from the game, then the lead passes to the player on his right.

The Phoenix

The Phoenix is the strongest card in the pack. It has a value of -25 points in the final point scoring.

It can be used as a joker in any card combination (but it cannot be used to create a bomb.)

It can be played as a single card. It then has a value of a half point above the last card played (eg if the Phoenix is played after an "8", then the value of the Phoenix is 8.5 and can only be beaten by a single card of value "9" or higher. The Phoenix will beat an "A" but not a Dragon. If the Phoenix is played first it has a value of 1.5

The Dragon

The Dragon is the highest single card and counts 25 points.

If played as a single card, it beats even an "A" or an "Aand a half" (A Phoenix played on an "A".

It can only be beaten by a "Bomb".

However: the Dragon cannot be used to create a "row".

It gives away the trick just won by itself (including its own 25 points) to a player of the opposing team (you choose which one).

A Bomb

Bombs are:

a row of at least 5 cards following on in sequence from each other, and all of the same suit

or - four cards of the same value.

A bomb beats all other cards, be it a single card or a card combination. A higher bomb beats a lower one - the number of the bomb cards determines its value.

A "row" bomb beats a "4" bomb.

Bombs can be brought into play at any time - even when it is not your turn.

Points Reckoning Up

The player who is the last still having cards in his hand gives:

Now count up

If both players of a team have a double victory (one being the winner of the round and the other coming second), then that team gets an extra 200 points.


Before playing his first card, each player has the right to declare a small "Tichu" If he then wins the round (finishes first) then his team receives an extra 100 points - otherwise the team loses 100 points.

But remember:

The 100 Tichu points are given / taken away regardless of the ordinary points scored - they do not influence them in any way.

You can call a Tichu long before playing your first card

You can also call a Tichu before passing on cards at the beginning of the round - this serves to tell your partner to pass on to you his best card.

You can neither make any arrangements with your partner nor does it help you if your partner wins.

You can also call a "large Tichu" before you have taken your ninth card (in the "deal" section at the very beginning of the round). This has a value of 200 extra points.

Winning the Game

When one team reaches 1000 points they are the winners. If both teams reach 1000 points in the same round, then the winning team is the one with the most points.


Try to get rid of your bad cards (low single cards and pairs) as quickly as possible and be economical with your "A's", "Dragons" and "Bombs".

Whoever, after a good power play, remains sitting on a single "4" has not yet grasped the garlic.

If your partner is playing a Tichu, help him unreservedly. When you are the Mah Jong player, do not demand any card that could deprive him of a "bomb" nor of a trick.

If an opponent declares a 'Tichu' then play against him, so that he finds it hard to get rid of his cards.

Version 2
Tichu Tientsin (for 6 players)

There are two teams of 3 players each.

The rules are the same as for the 4 player game with the following exceptions:

The 'large Tichu' must be declared before you take your seventh card (during the deal stage).

Each player only passes on 2 cards and only to his own 2 partners. He in turn receives a card from each of them.

The "Dog" gives the "lead" to the partner of your choice

When reckoning up:

the last player gives the remaining cards in his hand and all his tricks to the opposing team.

the player finishing fifth gives all the tricks he has won to the winner of the round.

there is now a triple victory where one team has lost all its cards and the 3 rivals still have cards in their hands. This is worth 300 points.

Version 3
Grandseigneur (for 5-12 players)

This was marketed by Hexagames as Karrierepoker.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell