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:
|These are chows|
There are NOT chows:
|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:
- Declare “chow”.
- Take the discard. (Do not place the discard in your hand).
- 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.
- Discard a tile. If nobody claims the discard, play resumes with the player to the right.
|Concealed 4- and 5-bamboo + discarded 6-bamboo = melded chow|
|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.
- Pure Terminal Chows
- A hand that consists of 123 123 789 789 55 of the same suit.