Hey everyone! I hoped you all liked my little workout card game, but speaking of card games, I thought maybe I would introduce the most common Chinese card game to you guys! It’s a really fun game for a relaxing night with a couple of friends after training. The game is called “斗地主” (Dou Di Zhu), or translated as Duel the Landlord. Here let me show you how to play:
Objective and Intro: The objective of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand with valid combinations before the landlord. Generally, the game is played with 3 people. Of course, you can have more, but you will just need another deck of cards. A standard 54 card deck will do. Anyway, there is one landlord against the two peasants. The landlord rules as a tyrant, always putting taxes and jacking prices up for the peasants. So, this made the peasants want to revolt. In the game, the two peasants will work together to try and beat the landlord (but no cards can be shown to each other and no swapping cards. Only verbal communications saying things like “no I can’t” or “yes, leave it to me” or “don’t play, I can win” things like that.
Well, to begin since it is two against one, whoever the landlord is will get 3 extra cards. So before dealing, take three cards out on the side. How to you determine the landlord? Normally, you would place bids and the one that bids higher is the landlord, but I like to keep things simple. Just flip one card and place it anywhere in the deck.
After dealing, the person with the flipped card will be the landlord! If the person doesn’t want to be the landlord, he can simply just pass the three cards to the next person. If it comes around a full circle, then whoever had the flipped card must be the landlord. Another rule is that if you flip the three cards, you have to take landlord position. You can’t flip the three cards then say, no I don’t want to be landlord.
Next pick up your hand and see what kind of cards you have!! This is the fun part. You can start working on combinations and strategies here! What I like to do is first rearrange them in order then by combinations like pairs and triples. Keep scrolling down to see all the different combinations that you can play.
Now you can start! The landlord starts by playing whatever combination he/she chooses, in the case, pairs. After that, the peasants can start fighting back. The direction of who goes first is up to the group. Generally, it goes clockwise, but you can go counter-clockwise too. The peasant has to play a higher pair to beat it. It can’t be the same!!!
Then if goes in a circle, with the same combos until one can’t play anymore.
If the player passes, double tap the table or just say pass.
Then the cards go to the discard pile, and whoever last played can play another combination for everyone to fight! Unfortunately for the peasants, the landlord won that round, so he gets to play again… Do you get it now? Well, just in case, I’ll demonstrate one more round for you guys!
So the landlord plays a single this time. A few turns passed and a peasant plays the colored joker!! Whoa!!! The highest single possible!!! The landlord can’t possibly beat that, unless he had a bomb! Well, he doesn’t so peasants win this round.
Now clear the table. And play again!! Now the peasant can play any combination he/she desires! That’s the general game play of the game! Pretty simple right? It takes a bit of strategy too as you play the game more.
Legal Combinations: Here are all of the legal combinations that you can use to try and get rid of all of your cards!
First of all, Singles. From highest to lowest, the ranking of the singles are: Colored Joker, Black and White Joker, 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3.
Straight! This is 5 or more consecutive singles!
Pairs. Highest pair being a pair of twos.
Pair straight! You need a minimum of 3 back to back to back pairs to make this combo. Of course, you can also have more, if you are lucky.
Three of a kind. This combo is pretty special because you can play them by themselves or attach cards either a pair or a single next to them.
Three of a kind straight. Minimum two numbers back to back to each other! Of course, if you get a lucky hand you can have three consecutive. They have to be something like 888 999 or QQQ JJJ. You can’t just mix any three of a kinds together. Plus the cool thing about this is that each three of a kind can carry a pair or a single. It is a really good way to get rid of some cards!
The bomb! It is a four of a kind combo that can beat anything except a double joker. Whenever you want to tick off the landlord, just throw this down because you are almost guaranteed to win the round! The only way for another person to beat it is if they have a higher four of a kind or double joker.
Four of a kind attachments! Well, this is just to get ride of more cards. Technically you can attach two random singles or two random pairs to get rid of more cards, but it wouldn’t be considered a bomb anymore. Meaning, someone with any four of a kind can beat it.
Finally, the combo that beats anything! The double joker! The highest ranking combo that any player can play!
Some Words of Wisdom: Well, I’ve explained the rules, now it’s your turn to play! Some advice for the game, try your best to save some of your high combinations and higher cards towards the end. You don’t want to end up in a game where all you have are 3 and 4 singles in your hand. It takes some practice and the more you play, the more you will understand the strategy behind the game. You sometimes have to take apart a bigger combination. Anyway, have fun with this game! It’s one of my favorites here in China, and it gets intense sometimes!