It has three major distinguishing features: an unusual distribution of card values, with Sword cards being the least valuable instead of Cups and Coins; a sizeable list of teyaku which have similarities to those in Hachi-hachi; and the relative paucity of dekiyaku: only one that is capturable by any player, and another that can only be captured by the player to the left of the dealer.
There exists a related game called Sudaoshi, which is played using hanafuda.
48 cards of either an Akahachi or Ise deck may be used. Remove the extra “onifuda/bakefuda” from the deck.
The deck has a total of 234 points.
The 1 (Dragon) of Clubs is considered a “bakefuda”, and is called “pinbake” [ピン化け].
Likewise, the 12 (King) of Clubs is also considered “bakefuda”, and is called “kiribake” [キリ化け].
Bakefuda are not described in the rules as cards of any suit during the matching phase of the game, however, they can be used as cards of any suit in three of the Teyaku in this game (Triplet, Four-of-a-kind, and Five-of-a-kind).
No method is stipulated for choosing the initial dealer. A mekurifuda-specific method involves each player drawing a card from the deck, and the player with the highest number becomes the dealer. If there is a tie, then the players re-draw.
The winner of each round becomes the dealer for the next round.
The player to the left of the dealer [尾季 - びき, biki] shuffles the deck, and the player to the right of the dealer [胴二 - どうに, douni] cuts. Then, starting with the player to their right and moving anti-clockwise (↺), the dealer deals 4 cards to each player in turn, followed by 3 card face-up to the table. They then give a further 3 cards to each player, and an additional 3 cards face-up to the table.
In total, 7 cards are dealt to each player, and 6 cards to the table face-up to form the field.
The remainder of the deck is placed face-down next to the field to form the draw pile.
The Teyaku - 手役 [てやく] in this game resemble those used in Hachi-Hachi, and could be considered the origin of those Teyaku.
Note that some Teyaku end the round prematurely (there will be no matching phase). The person with this Teyaku must declare “botta!” to announce that the round is ended.
Teyaku are mutually exclusive; players may only avail their highest scoring Teyaku.
|Value (in points)||Name||Description|
¶ Group A: Set Teyaku
|12||Triplet/Three of a Kind
三本 [さんぼん, sanbon]
|Any three cards with the same number. Bakefuda may be included.|
|A Triplet, and another Triplet.|
|Three pairs of cards- a pair being two cards with the same number.|
|60||Four of a Kind
手四 [てし, teshi]
|Four cards with the same number. Bakefuda may be included.|
|Five of a Kind
手五 [てご, tego]
|Five cards with the same number (i.e. a Four of a Kind plus a Bakefuda.). All other players, including inactive ones, must pay the person who claimed this Teyaku. The round ends prematurely.|
|60||Triplet and Two Pairs
|A Triplet and two pairs.|
四三 [しそう, shisou]
|Four of a kind and a Triplet. All other players, including inactive ones, must pay the person who claimed this Teyaku. The round ends prematurely.|
¶ Group B: Red Teyaku
Note: For the purposes of these teyaku, all cards with either Swords or '2’s, as well as all Bakefuda, are considered Reds.
赤四 [あかし, akashi]
赤五 [あかご, akago]
赤六 [あかろく, akaroku]
赤七 [あかなな, akanana]
|Seven “reds”. All other players, including inactive ones, must pay the person who claimed this Teyaku. The round ends prematurely.|
¶ Group C: Combination Teyaku
Combination of Group A and B.
|36||Four Reds + Triplet
赤四三本 [あかしさんぼん, akashi-sanbon]
|Four “reds” and a Triplet.|
|60||Five Reds + Triplet
赤五三本 [あかごさんぼん, akago-sanbon]
|Five “reds” and a Triplet.|
Skip this phase if only 3 players are playing.
After players evaluate their hand, they must decide if they would like to play this round, or sit out.
Beginning with the dealer and moving anti-clockwise, each player announces if they would like to play, or drop out. This proceeds until three players have announced their intent to play, or until everyone but three players have decided to drop out, whichever comes first.
Dropout penalties were not attested in this game. Decide first before playing if dropout penalties will be implemented as a house rule.
As soon as three people decide to play, then any players who have not yet had their turn to decide are forced out [追い込み - おいこみ, oikomi].
Likewise, as soon as everyone but three people decide to drop out, then any remaining players are forced to play this round.
Forced-out compensations were not attested in this game. Decide first before playing if forced-out compensations will be implemented as a house rule.
Once the active players have been determined, then the non-active players place their hands face-down on top of the draw pile. The draw pile should then probably be shuffled by one of the non-active players before play begins.
The active players may claim the points of their teyaku. To do so, they must reveal all the relevant cards from their hand:
The points earned for teyaku are paid to a player by each of the other active opponents, in typical zero-sum fashion.
However, the points earned for certain teyaku that end the round prematurely are paid to a player by each of the other players, active or not. The player with this Teyaku must declare “botta!” to announce that the round is ended.
Once teyaku points are claimed, the players hide their cards again, and the round begins.
Should a player overlook certain teyaku, or otherwise forget to claim them, they have until the dealer takes the first card from the draw pile in order to do so. After this point, any unclaimed teyaku are void.
In each round, the dealer is the first to play, and turn to play passes anti-clockwise (↺) around the table. The core gameplay and turn structure of Taoshi is typical of games in the Mekuri or Hana-Awase family. Note that there is no sage/koi-koi decision when a yaku is made; rather, all hands are fully played out, and any point exchanges for yaku are calculated in conjuction with the points for captured cards.
The round ends once all players have exhausted their hands; at this point, all cards in the deck will have been captured.
The total value of all cards in the deck is 234. However, the point burden is different for each player: The dealer subtracts 72 points from their captured card points, the player to their right subtracts 78, and the last player subtracts 84.
The winner of the round is the one whose score as calculated above is the greatest. That player becomes the dealer for the next round.
After the predetermined number of rounds have elapsed, the winner of the entire game is the player with the highest cumulative score across rounds.
There are only 2 dekiyaku in Taoshi.
|Value||Name of Yaku||Composition|
二ぞろ [にぞろ, ni-zoro]
|Four cards with the number 2.|
三ぞろ [さんぞろ, san-zoro]
|Four cards with the number 3. Only the player to the dealer’s left may avail this dekiyaku.|