Tips and Tricks
Tongits Tip #1 Oftentimes it’s a good strategy to not be the first to meld, but rather watch other players and their melds. But don’t get burned!
Tongits Tip #2 Remember that laying a card in your own escalera is a self-sapaw: You won’t be able to draw for two turns!
Tongits Tip #3 Don’t be in such a hurry to burn another player that you don’t take into account that they could have a secret card (four of a kind)!
Tongits Tip #4 Take note that most novice players will throw away high cards. Players new to Tong-Its often make the mistake of throwing away high cards (10, J, Q, K) very early in the game thinking that decreasing the sum total of their cards early on will give them an advantage. What they do not understand is that this move is more advantageous to the player that was waiting for that high card to make a set (it will decrease his or her card total by 20 points and give him or her a bahay). A veteran player on the other hand will keep the card and wait until it is safe to discard it. Why is this advantageous? 1.) An opponent player waiting for that high card to make a set is left with 20 points to nurse until he discards them thus he is vulnerable to a call for a laban 2.) It deprives your opponent a chance to make a bahay (card set) and will leave him or her two extra rounds if he or she decides to discard that possible high card set.
Tongits Tip #5 If you have only a few cards of one color, it is possible that someone is owning many of them so beware of throwing that card during your turn.
Tongits Tip #6 While picking up a card from the discard pile doesn’t commit you to using it right away to make a meld, this should be your goal when choosing to select from this pile. YOU must CONSIDER the fact that the unknown card in the draw pile may be EXACTLY what you’re looking for when you’re thinking about picking up a discard pile card you “might” need later on. Picking up these face down cards will also help keep your hand a secret. Picking up from the discard pile signals to your opponent exactly what you need. With this information, he can try to block you by not discarding specific cards.