The Dog of Tichu

Oh the ever loyal Dog.  Your simple function is to pass the lead to your partner.  Of course you must first have the lead.  Below are a few stratagems, many of which are rather self-evident.  After all the Dog is not that complicated of a card.

Never…

  • Pass the Dog to your partner if your hand is terrible.
  • Play the Dog if your partner has not called (Grand) Tichu and has yet to play a card.

Always…

  • Play the Dog if your partner has called Tichu.
  • Keep the Dog if your partner has called (Grand) Tichu.
  • Doggedly fight for the lead against your opponents if your partner called Grand Tichu and you have the Dog.

Consider Carefully…

  • Before you play a card and have received the Dog from your partner…
  • for your partner may be wishing to call Tichu
  • Before you play a card and have passed the Dog to your partner…
    • for your partner will be assuming that you will call Tichu
  • Before you pass the Dog to the opponent who called (Grand) Tichu…
    • for your opponents may go out 1st and 2nd.
  • Before you leave the Dog as your last play…
    • for what looks to be a “lay down hand” may be undone by a well timed bomb.
  • When you receive the Dog from an opponent…
    • for they may be working to weaken your hand.

    7 thoughts on “The Dog of Tichu

    1. Pingback: The Phoenix of Tichu | Take On Rules

    2. I’m not sure about your advice never to “play the Dog if your partner has not called (Grand) Tichu and has yet to play a card.” I can’t see how it’s a bad thing if your partner gets the lead; this in itself may even be reason for your partner to call Tichu, because he can then play huge 2-K straight. And if this is your one shot to get rid of it, why not use it?

    3. Sorry to reply again, I just found this strategy guide which also seems to disagree:
      http://scv.bu.edu/~aarondf/Games/Tichu/frame_strategy.html
      Quote: “If you have a bad hand and think you may never again win a lead (before someone goes out at least), play the Dog at your first opportunity (this includes the very first lead of the game granted by the 1/Mah Jong).”

      There are no absolute truths in this type of thing; I just wanted to offer a contrasting point of view.

    4. @oliphaunt Thank you for the contrasting point of view. There are certainly times where I play the Dog at the first opportunity, regardless of whether my partner has played a trick. Though, only in the utmost rarest hand, would I opt to play the Dog over the Bird. That said, it is all about judging the moment and essence of the current hand.

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