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Subject: I don't like commercial Tichu cards rss

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Eugene
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I've been a disciple of the cult of Tichu for some months now. But tonight, I played my first game of Tichu with a commercial RGG deck. I don't like them. Ignoring the ching-changy faux-Orientalism design for the moment, these cards are simply hard to read at a glance. We'll be sticking with my version using standard playing cards:
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Mark McEvoy
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I would, at the very least, marker up the cards to make it perfectly clear what each one represents, rather than risk new players flubbing a hand because they couldn't remember whether the big joker or the little joker was the Phoenix.

"I play 3-4-5-Phoenix-7, and I'm out!"
"No, you played 3-4-5-Dragon-7. And you're screwed."


A sharpie or two, and a few low-pip cards from an identical cardset, and...

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Mark Tyler
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garygarison wrote:
...these cards are simply hard to read at a glance.
On the other hand, I find your four special cards very hard to read (i.e. decode) at a glance. No one in our game group has ever complained that Tichu cards are hard to read, and now that RGG has reprinted the cards in a true double deck I am more than happy to send money their way.
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Edward
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thatmarkguy wrote:
A sharpie or two, and a few low-pip cards from an identical cardset, and...

Annnnnd...I summon Batman to complete my 12-card straight.
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Mark McEvoy
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Hey, you try drawing an iconic representation of a Phoenix that completely blots out a card-centered pip, using two sharpies and zero talent!
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Sean Ross
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If anyone is looking for an interesting alternative for playing Tichu, I recently purchased some card face dominoes and was pleasantly surprised to discover the set came with 4 distinct Jokers. The tiles are 1/2" thick, clacktastic bakelite, similar to Lectio. If you can remember which Joker is the Dragon, Phoenix, Dog, or Mahjongg, you're good to go for Tichu. And, no, I do not recommend marking them up with a Sharpie...
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J C Lawrence
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seandavidross wrote:
If anyone is looking for an interesting alternative for playing Tichu, I recently purchased some card face dominoes and was pleasantly surprised to discover the set came with 4 distinct Jokers. The tiles are 1/2" thick, clacktastic bakelite, similar to Lectio. If you can remember which Joker is the Dragon, Phoenix, Dog, or Mahjongg, you're good to go for Tichu.


Both the sets listed at that site specify that they only have two jokers. Which did you get?
 
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Sean Ross
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clearclaw wrote:
Both the sets listed at that site specify that they only have two jokers. Which did you get?
I got the Professional Set. You're right, it comes with two distinct Jokers. But it also has two distinct advertisement tiles, which can be used as Jokers. I'd use the real Jokers for the Dragon and Phoenix and then use the Ad tiles for the Mahjongg and Dog.
 
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Eugene
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Is this setup (two jokers and two ad cards) also the norm in China for Tichu-esque climbing games played with cards?
 
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Eugene
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thatmarkguy wrote:
I would, at the very least, marker up the cards to make it perfectly clear what each one represents...

I've created custom player aids, so marking the cards themselves is unnecessary. And after a handful of hands, even those are tossed aside. Consider also that large patches of Sharpie ink on cards tends to rub off on the backs of other cards, marking them.
 
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Sean Ross
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garygarison wrote:
Is this setup (two jokers and two ad cards) also the norm in China for Tichu-esque climbing games played with cards?
No. The norm, if there is one, is to have 2's rank above Aces and, if Jokers are used, to have those rank above the 2's. Some games will have a Big Joker ranking above a Little Joker. For example, the card ranking in Zheng Shangyou is 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A, 2, black joker, red joker. In this game, 2's and Jokers are wild. Zheng Fen, Tichu's closest relative within the climbing game family, has the same card ranking as Zheng Shangyou but only Jokers are wild.
 
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Eugene
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What of games that require four special cards outside the standard 52, like Tichu itself?
 
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ErikPeter Walker
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I don't either, but only because I kind of felt ripped off after purchasing them. Whee, two decks of cards for about twenty bucks.
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Sean Ross
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garygarison wrote:
What of games that require four special cards outside the standard 52, like Tichu itself?
The need for 4 distinct Jokers just isn't common in traditional card games. Tichu is a commercial card game and so has a specialized deck. Beyond that, there are few traditional card games that require a 56 card deck (52 regular cards + 4 Jokers). There's a variant of Zwickern and not very much else. You can buy 56 card decks, if you search for them (R. Somerville's site used to have some in stock, but I'm not sure if they'll have 4 distinct Jokers or not). I have a deck from Cardinal that came with a set of Poker chips that has 4 Jokers, but there are only 2 distinct types and the cards are Poker size, not Bridge size (it's harder to hold 14 cards at larger than Bridge size).
 
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Eugene
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Thanks for the info. Initially, I considered playing Tichu with a French Tarot deck, using the 1-2-fool-21 from the trump suit as the four special cards. Their long and narrow shape would make holding a full hand of 14 even easier than Bridge cards. But given the amount of wear a Tichu deck suffers, I didn't want to sacrifice them. We now use card holders as a matter of course.
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Sean Ross
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garygarison wrote:
Thanks for the info. Initially, I considered playing Tichu with a French Tarot deck, using the 1-2-fool-21 from the trump suit as the four special cards. Their long and narrow shape would make holding a full hand of 14 even easier than Bridge cards. But given the amount of wear a Tichu deck suffers, I didn't want to sacrifice them.
You're welcome. A Tarot deck is a workable solution, and I like the Trumps you've chosen - people would just need to remember that a Tarot deck has 14 ranks (it has 4 face cards), so you need to remove one rank. I have two French Tarot decks, they each cost about as much as a Tichu deck (I suspect, if you lived in France or some other country that commonly plays Tarot/Tarock games, the decks would be nearly as inexpensive as a standard deck). I don't see using my Tarot decks to play Tichu, since I already have about 3 copies of Tichu, but as an alternative they would be alright.
 
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Eugene
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Consider also this alternative using Rage cards:

Easy to read, easy to hold, easy to obtain. Must remember that come scoring time, the 13's are worth 10 points...child's play when compared to the more complex point values in other games commonly enjoyed.

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Jonathan Morton
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garygarison wrote:
Easy to read, easy to hold, easy to obtain.


Say, that almost sounds like a Tichu deck!! oh...
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Curt Carpenter
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Late to the party, but the initial reaction is . I find the cards posted atrocious. The Tichu cards are instantly recognizable, and anything is only easier if that's what you learned with. As for "hard to read at a glance", I've played with a poker deck before, and not having 4 colors for suits is really annoying, once you get used to that with a real Tichu deck.

As for cost, Rage costs $6+ for one deck, Tichu costs $9+ for two decks.

I don't understand the motivation to use anything else.
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Mike Sherwood
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I totally cracked up when I saw this thread. This is my thought *exactly*.

I've literally purchased and worn out 6 sets of Tichu decks. The cards are built poorly, and after a short period of time become impossible to deal efficiently.

We recently started using these for poker:

http://www.amazon.com/KEM-Arrow-Poker-Standard-Playing/dp/B0...

The difference in quality is absolutely unreal. We're going to create some Tichu decks out of these. They outlast a regular deck by a factor of 10 or more, and are amazing to the touch.

For any of you that doubt it, I can't stress enough to just give it a try. Buy a deck and shuffle it once and you'll be sold.

I admit that I will miss the artwork, but as soon as someone creates a proper Tichu deck out of this material, my wallet will happily open up!

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Eugene
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Man, I forgot all about KEM's. I have about 12 vintage bridge-size decks amongst my bits. I'll have to investigate if a Tichu deck can be cobbled together with them.
 
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Mike Sherwood
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Yea, I just bought a set of KEMs (This thread reminded me) to replace my worn out Tichu decks.

The decks come with 2 joker each, so we plan on using 2 jokers from our poker decks to make it complete. In addition, I know that you can scrape the paint off the KEM cards, and I'm going to try some nail polish remover as well -- it will give our resident artist a clean canvas to work from.

I had been disappointed for some time in the Tichu deck quality as I moved from KEM poker to Tichu, but what finally blew me away was a trip to visit some friends. We moved from Bicycle poker to Tichu, and I couldn't believe how much better a beat up Bicycle deck felt than my Tichu deck.

I've always been opposed to creating homemade games when you buy them in-print, but after 6 worn out copies I have to try something new.

 
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Eugene
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msherwoo wrote:
In addition, I know that you can scrape the paint off the KEM cards, and I'm going to try some nail polish remover as well -- it will give our resident artist a clean canvas to work from.

Thanks for the tip. Be sure to post some images in the gallery of the completed work.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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FWIW, the new Tichu decks (w/ lift-off lid & specials for both decks) are better quality than the original.
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Eugene
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msherwoo wrote:
In addition, I know that you can scrape the paint off the KEM cards, and I'm going to try some nail polish remover as well -- it will give our resident artist a clean canvas to work from.

Not sure about nail polish remover on the plastic KEM's, but fine sandpaper certainly does the job. Removes the ink very effectively. My KEM Tichu deck will now be my default deck.
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