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Collecting Tens

Known as K'ap T'ai Shap in Cantonese.  An ancient Chinese gambling game that may also be found in some Chinese gambling houses in the USA.  Played with a number of Chinese domino sets depending on the number of players, four dice to determine order of play, and stakes.  Two or more players may take part.


A player rolls four dice then counts off each player, in an anticlockwise direction, until they reach the total of the dice, and the last player counted becomes the first player.

Players put a fixed ante amount into the pot at the beginning of a game, with the winner taking it all at the end.

The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, then stacked into a "woodpile", with the first two columns made up of stacks-of-five tiles and with subsequent columns in sequential stacks-of-four then stacks-of-five until all the dominoes are in the woodpile.

The first player takes the first two stacks-of-five tiles from the woodpile as their hand, then deals subsequent stacks-of-four and stacks-of-five to each of the other players so they have nine tiles each in their hands.

The object of the game is to make a complete hand, which is two identical tiles (of either the Civil or Military suit) and four pairs of tiles with a total of ten or twenty spots on both tiles that make each of the pairs.

If the first player has a complete hand, they declare themselves the winner.  If not, they discard one of their tiles face-up to the playing area.  Subsequent players in turn, in an anticlockwise direction, may either take the discarded tile or draw the next one from any in the woodpile.  If they have a complete hand they declare themselves the winner.  If not, they discard a tile to the playing area.  Play continues, in an anticlockwise direction, until a player makes a complete hand.

20s = [6-6 + 6-2]  [6-6 + 5-3]  [6-6 + 4-4]  [6-4 + 6-4]  [5-5 + 5-5]
10s = [6-2 + 1-1]  [5-3 + 1-1]  [5-2 + 2-1]  [4-4 + 1-1]  [4-2 + 3-1]  [4-2 + 2-2]  [3-4 + 2-1]  [3-3 + 3-1]  [3-3 + 2-2]


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