PART 3: STILL WITH ME?
Let's put some exceptions in!
FLOWER TILES: Remember I mentioned flower tiles? They look different in each set, but generally they look like flowers, or seasons, and might be numbered 1-4. They are not part of your hand, so if you draw one from the wall, you put it aside and draw a replacement tile. You keep the flower tile, because it might get you points if you win the hand, but it will not be part of any set.
KUNG: If you have in your hand, not facing up, three of a kind, and you either draw the fourth from the wall, or someone discards the fourth tile, you MAY choose to make a four of a kind. This is called a kung. If you do so, you declare "kung," turn the four tiles face up, and draw a replacement tile. If you win the hand, your winning hand will be 15 tiles instead of 14. You can only make a kung from a four of a kind; you cannot make a kung with consecutively numbered tiles. You cannot turn a previously face-up pung into a kung.
And onto scoring:
Winning hands are scored with a point system. Each player pays the winner according to the number of points in the winning hand. The more points in a winning hand, the more money the player gets for the win. This is where most of the strategy comes in, because higher value hands are harder to get, but winning one really good hand might be worth more than winning several chicken hands.
A hand with 0 points = chicken hand.
There are many ways to win points, some of them more common than others. The ones I know are:
A. If all the sets of 3 are chow sets = 1 point
B. If all the sets of 3 are pung sets = 3 points
C. If one of the sets of 3 is of dragons = 1 point
D. If one of the sets of 3 is of a wind that corresponds to the seat of the player* = 1 point
E. If one of the sets of 3 is of a wind that corresponds to the wind of the round = 1 point
F. If the player drew a flower tile that corresponds to the seat of the player = 1 point
G. If the player drew a flower tile that corresponds to the wind of the round = 1 point
H. If the winner drew the last tile needed to win from the wall = 1 point
Points are accumulative. If a hand satisfies more than one criteria for points, then it wins points for both those criteria. For example, if the winning hand was all sets of pung, AND one of the sets was a green dragon, that would be 4 points total.
The winner is paid 2N in chips, where N=points. Thus, a zero point hand is paid 1 chip, a 1-point hand is 2 chips, etc. The winner is paid by the other three players. If the winner drew the winning tile from the discard pile, then the person who discarded that tile pays double. If the winner drew the winning tile themselves from the wall, then all players pay them double. (Since drawing the winning tile from the wall is already worth a point, this is really good.)
There are lists of prestige hands that I don't know. These hands are special, named combinations that give you lots and lots and lots of points. To give you an idea, it might be something called "Four Blessing Spring" and consist of "3 green dragons, 3 one-bamboos, 3 one-circles, 3 east-winds, and 2 south-winds." And it would be worth, like, 12 points. I made that particular one up, but they look sort of like that. There are lists, somewhere, of the prestige hands. I've never seen anyone get one.
*Don't worry, I haven't explained seating and winds yet. I'll get to that.
ETA: OH HEY I've been reminded of more ways to win points:
I. If the player did not have any tiles from their hand revealed prior to winning = 1 point
J. If the entire winning hand is one suit plus honors tiles = 3 points
K. If the entire winning hand is all from the same suit = 6 points