© 1997 – 2007 Patrick Hassel Zein


"Hoe the Big Land"
Chudadi is a very popular Chinese cardgame for four players. You play it with a standard European deck consisting of 52 cards with the suits spades, hearts, cloves and diamonds. The lowest cards are the 3:s, then comes the 4:s, 5:s, 6:s... up to 10:s, jack, queen, king, ace – and the best cards are the 2:s. The suits are also used for grading in the way that three of diamonds is the lowest number three, then comes three of cloves, three of hearts and the best three is three of spades. To continue above three of spades there are four of diamonds, four of cloves, four of heards and spades, then the 5:s and so on... Therefore you should memorise the scale; diamonds – cloves – hearts – spades! The absolutely best card is the two of spades.
The first trick of the first round always starts with the person having the worst card of the deck (i.e. three of diamonds) laying down that card. In all the other rounds it is the winner of the previous round that starts the new round.
In each trick the players take turns counterclockwise in laying better cards than the previous players. If you can't or wont lay a card you may pass – in that case you should say "pass". If no player can lay a better card than the last laid card all the cards on the table are put away and the person that laid the last card starts a new trick.
To make things perfectly clear I will stress that if a player, for example, starts a trick by laying down five of cloves, then you may lay a five of hearts or spades, you may also lay any of the 6:s or better cards. And again; please note that the 2:s are better than the aces!
When a player starts a new trick he has got four possible choices; to lay one card, to lay a pair, to lay three card with the same number or to lay a pokerhand. If you lay one card then all the other players must lay single better cards, if you lay a pair then all the other players must lay better pairs, on a threeofakind the others lay a better threeofakind, and on a pokerhand (i.e. a combination of five cards) everybody must lay better and better pokerhands.
When you compare pairs or threeofakind with each other you compare the best card of each; three of spades + three of diamonds is a better pair than three of hearts + three of clovers since spades are better than hearts. You compare pokerhands in a similar way; a straight ending with ten of clovers is better than one ending with ten of diamonds, a flush where the best card is eight of hearts is better then one where the best card is seven of spades. The basic scale of comparing pokerhands with each other is:
1.  the best set is a straight flush (compare the best cards in two hands to see which straight flush is better) 
2.  fourofakind plus any fifth card – all pokerhands must consist of five cards! 
3.  full house (threeofakind plus a pair – compare the best cards in two hands to see which straight flush is better) 
4.  flush (compare the best cards in two hands to see which flush is better) 
5.  the lowest is a straight (a straight may not pass the border between 2:s and 3:s! – compare the best cards in two hands to see which straight is better) 
And please note that you can never lay two pairs!
When a player only has got one card left this person must say so – otherwise he may not lay this last card! But you do not have to say anything if you've got two cards left and it is a pair, and neither if you've go five cards that can be laid as a pokerhand. The player before (i.e. on the left side of) a player with only one card left always has to lay his absolutely best card (when single cards are played)!
But before the score is calculated some players may be punished; if you have less than 8 cards left they are counted as one point each, but if you've got 8, 9 or 10 cards they count as the double (16, 18 and 20). If you've got 11 or 12 cards they count as three times as many (33 and 36). And if you've been so clumsy/unfortunate to have all 13 cards left on hand they actually count as 4 * 13 = 52 cards! (According to Hong Kongrules you count a bit differently: between 1 and 9 cards is calculated as one point each, 10 to 12 cards are doubled and 13 cards count as three times as many).
Everybody have to pay the winner as many points as the number of cards they have left, toother players they pay and receive points equal to the their respectively number of cards on hand. A player with five cards left has to pay a player with two cards the sum of 5 points and will also receive 2 points, a total of +3 points.
Example (according to standard rules):
From D: 33  To C: 4 To D: 4  
From D: 33  To C: 16 To D: 16  
From B: 16 From D: 33  
From B: 16  To B: 33 To C: 33 
When the points have been written down the person sitting before (i.e. on the left side of)the winner cuts the cards and deal them for the next round. Thereafter the last winner startthe first trick with any one of the four possible openings. As the game continues you ad thenew points the each players total score. You play a certain number of rounds or until oneplayer has reached a certain sum of points – as a suggestion 200 points (100 points may bemore suitable if you are playing with Hong Kongrules).
I have found other sides with Chinese cardgames on the Internet. On one page there is a very thorough description of the game Zheng Shangyou(= "Struggling Upstream"). This game is quite similar to Chudadi, so if you like one of these games you should take a look at the other.
I have also found one page where you can download a Chinese Patience.