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Ho-Hpai

Known as "Barbarian Tablets" when translated to English.  This is the most commonly played Korean domino game, played by three or four players, with a Chinese domino set, and for stakes.  When four play, the whole set of dominoes is used, while if three are playing, the 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, and 3-3 are removed before play begins. 

Play:

The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, and then each player draws a single tile.  The player with the highest pip total plays first and is known as the "Tjyang-ouen" ("Chong un" in Chinese).

The whole set of dominoes are re-shuffled then the first player draws 7 tiles and the other players draw 6.  The first player then whirls around their 7 tiles between their fingers until a tile slips out.  They then turn this tile face-up and if it is either 4-5, 1-2, 1-4, or 2-3 then he keeps the tiles he originally drew.  However if it is either 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, 1-1, 5-6, 4-6 1-6 1-5 or 1-3 (these are all tiles with a corresponding duplicate tile in the whole set) he must pass his remaining six tiles, without showing them, to the player on their right, with each subsequent player passing their tiles to the right until the first player gets six tiles.  If none of these tiles are slipped out face up and either 3-6, 2-6, 3-5, 2-5, 3-4, or 2-4 is, then the first player passes their six tiles to the player on their left with subsequent players passing their tiles to the left until the first player gets six new tiles.

The face-up tile that slipped out of the first player's hand is then turned facedown and  shuffled with the other remaining tiles in the set which are then arranged side by side in a line and covered either with a slip of paper or a strip of bamboo.

If the first player didn't pass their six tiles on then they play first, if they did pass their tiles on then the player who received them plays first.

The object of the game is to get two sets-of-three combinations known as "han-hpai" ("yat p'i" in Chinese or "perfect tablets" in English). The game is then known as hte-tjye-ta ("broken" in English).  Players win multiples of an initially set value from the other players according to their winning hands.  The sets-of-three combinations and the winning multiples are as follows:

  • The sequence 1-3, 2-4, 5-6 known as "ssang-syo-han-hpai" ("shung tsii yat p'ai" in Chinese.) counts as a multiple of 3 when in combination with any other han-hpai.  A combination of 6 tiles paired according to the Korean system is called "tă-să-ttai" (called "ti-sz' tai" in Chinese meaning "corresponding four times" in English) counts as a multiple of 4, with the name derived from the count.

  • The sequence 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, and corresponding sequences where 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 replace the 1s in the first example are known as "pou-tong" ("pat tung" in Chinese, and "unlike" in English) and counts as follows:
    1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6 counts as a multiple of 3.
    2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 2-5, 2-6 counts as a multiple of 5.
    3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4, 3-5, 3-6 counts as a multiple of 3.
    4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6 counts as a multiple of 3.
    5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5, 5-6 counts as a multiple of 4.
    6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, 6-5, 6-6 counts as a multiple of 3.

  • The Sequence 1-2, 3-6, 4-5, 1-4, 2-6, 3-5 known as "hol-ssang-syo" ("tuk sheung tsu" in Chinese) meaning "solitary double sequence" counts as a multiple of 5.
     
  • Two doubles with one tile bearing the total of the spots, or one or both sets of spots, equal to the double's single spotted end (for example 1-4, 5-5, 5-5 or 2-4, 4-4, 4-4 known as "sok" or "noi" in Chinese) counts as a multiple of 1 when paired with another "sok" or any other "han-hpai""Han-hpai" composed of the following values have the following names.
    Sixes are called "ryouk-sok".
    Fives are called "o-sak".
    Fours are called "hong-sok".
    Threes are called "sam-sok".
    Twos are called "a-sok".
    Ones are called "păik-sok."
     
  • Three tiles bearing a number of spots equally divided between two numbers (For example 4-4, 2-4, 2-2) called "tai-sam-tong" (called "ti sam t;ung" in Chinese or "three alike, opposite" in English) count as a multiple of 1.
     
  • The combination 6-6, 5-5, 4-4 called "ro-in" ("l yan" in Chinese meaning "old man" in English) counts as a multiple of 3 when in combination of itself and 1 with any other "han-hpai" combination  The combination 3-3, 3-2, 1-1 called "a-ki" (" chi" in Chinese meaning "child" in English) counts as a multiple of 3 when in combination with itself and as a multiple of 1 with any other "han-hpai" combination.
     
  • The combination 6-6, 3-3, 2-2 called "ssang-pyen" ("shung pin" in Chinese meaning "doubles" in English) counts as a multiple of 3 when in combination with itself and with any other han-hpai combination.  The combinations 2-3, 3-1, 1-2 and 4-5, 5-6, 4-6 called "Yo-Sun" counts as a multiple of 3 when in combination with each other and as a multiple of 1 when combined with any other "han-hpai".

The "sok" combinations are easily made so sometimes players agree to play without recognising them.

Should the first player not have drawn and hold a winning combination, he places a tile down nearest to him of the concealed row boneyard, and picks up a tile from the other end moving the tiles along, so that the discarded tile is concealed and the tile he has picked up is exposed.  If they still don't hold a winning hand the process is repeated with the next player and so on until someone holds a winning combination, winning the game and multiples of stakes.  The winning player then becomes "Tjang-ouen" in the next game.

 


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