A chow (declared as chow or chi) is a set of three tiles of the same suit and consecutive numbers. Honor tiles cannot be used in chows; neither can bonus tiles. Chows cannot be looped from 9 back to 1. These are chows:

b1.gif b2.gif b3.gifc6.gif c7.gif c8.gifd7.gif d8.gif d9.gif
These are chows

There are NOT chows:

w1.gif w2.gif w3.gifd8.gif d9.gif d1.gifb2.gif c3.gif d4.gif
These are NOT chows

Developing a Chow

A chow that is composed of tiles from your hand (drawn from the wall or originally dealt) is a called concealed chow. If you have a concealed chow in your hand, you have no obligation to announce/reveal it.

If you want to use the most recently discarded tile in a chow, you must already have two concealed tiles in your hand that would make a chow with the discarded tile, and the discard must come from the player to your left. You must:

  1. Declare “chow”.
  2. Take the discard. (Do not place the discard in your hand).
  3. Lay down the three tiles of the chow face-up as a set in front of your hand. This set is called a melded chow.
  4. Discard a tile. If nobody claims the discard, play resumes with the player to the right.

Example 1

z1.gif z1.gif + b6.gif = b4.gif b5.gif b6.gif
Concealed 4- and 5-bamboo + discarded 6-bamboo = melded chow

Example 2

z1.gif z1.gif + b5.gif = b4.gif b5.gif b6.gif
Concealed 4- and 6-bamboo + discarded 5-bamboo = melded chow

Order of Claims

If players claim the same discard, a pung or kong supercedes a chow. However, a claim of mahjong trumps all other claims.

Notable Hands

Pure Terminal Chows
A hand that consists of 123 123 789 789 55 of the same suit.

See Also

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