TI-CHU (and not tissue) has been a successful trick-taking game since it was released last century (1991 to be exact.. yeah I'm feeling old too) taking many of its rules and mechanisms from "Zheng Fen," a traditional Chinese game, that itself takes some scoring from "Da Bai" and "Tuo la Ji," two other traditional games.
TICHU has evolved to worldwide popularity since its release thanks to Urs Hostettler, and here is why:
The deck is a standard 52-card pack with four special cards added: dog, phoenix, dragon and Mah Jong. When it's your turn, you may either beat the current top card combination (single card, pair of cards, sequence of pairs, full house, etc.) or pass. If play passes all the way back to the player who laid the top cards, they win the trick, clear the cards, and lead the next one. The card led determines the only combination of cards that can be played on that trick, so if a single card is led, then only single cards are played; if a straight of seven cards is led, then only straights of seven cards can be played, etc.
The last player out in a round gives all the cards they won to the player who exited first, and the last player's unplayed cards are handed to the opposite team. Fives, tens and Kings are worth 5, 10 and 10 points, with each hand worth one hundred points without bonuses- but the bonuses are what drive the game. At the start of a round, each player can call "Tichu" prior to playing any cards. This indicates that the player thinks they can empty their hand first this round; if they do so, their team scores 100 points, and if not, their team instead loses 100 points. Cards are dealt at the start of a round in a group of eight and a group of six; a player can call "Grand Tichu" after looking at only their first eight cards for a ±200 point bonus. If both players on a team exit a round prior to either player on the opposite team, then no points are scored for cards and the winning team earns 200 points (with Tichu/Grand Tichu bonuses and penalties being applied as normal).
The first team to 1,000 points wins.
Easy, simple and clever: that's everything you need to play on your commute, or chilling at home, and it's available here:
Due to its immense popularity, the game is distributed worldwide, and we would like to thank the game designer, Urs Hostettler, the publisher Fata Morgana, and the fantastic work of our three developers: vinayakr, tchobello and Ginso.
So now you can play this classic gem on BGA in a... *sneeze*
That's it for now, don't forget that there is an official CONSPIRACY tournament held on BGA that you can join until the 14th of June, to win some awesome prizes.
TICHU next time!