Tenbou 「点棒」 are the point sticks used to keep track of scores. In a sense, these sticks may be viewed as the game's "currency". When points are exchanged between players, they may either give exact values or give values while requiring some change. Some gambling games may actually tie these point sticks to money.
In the event of honba, players use 100 point sticks and add them to the round indicator. These merely serve as markers, and when a dealer rotation occur, players keep their 100 point sticks used to keep track of the honba count, after a dealer rotation.
|100 point stick|
|1000 point stick|
|5000 point stick|
|10000 point stick|
At the start of the game, players begin with the regular 25,000 points:
- A single 10,000 stick
- Two 5,000 sticks
- Four 1,000 sticks
- Ten 100 sticks
Naturally, if players wish to change the starting value for the game, they may do so by adjusting this distribution.
Most sets come with white tenbou. Some come with colored tenbou, or they can be ordered separately. The color coding allows for quick identification of individual stick values. This allows players to produce the proper payment amounts as well as fast verification during exchanges. Furthermore, a separate color can be used to denote a 500 point stick to replace five 100 point sticks.
Given the scores on the score table, certain amounts can be exchanged efficiently via larger score payments while receiving change. Naturally, various score amounts can also be paid exactly while via efficient exchanges. The following are some specific examples:
|Payment||Amount paid||Tenbou||Amount returned||Tenbou|
|3900||5000||5k stick||1100||1k stick + 100 stick|
|8000||10000||10k stick||2000||Two 1k sticks|
|11600||12000||10k stick + two 1k sticks||400||Four 100 sticks|
- Tenbou in Japanese Wikipedia