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If you do gamble online, keep it fun. Bookmark This Page Sitemap. Majiang Majiang is a four-player game that originated in China. The three basic sets are as follows: Japanese and Korean Mahjong have some special rules.
Players may declare ready, meaning that they need one tile to win, cannot change their hand and win extra points if they win.
Some rules may replace some of the number 5 tiles with red tiles, as they can earn more points. Korean Mahjong does not allow melded stolen chows.
Taiwanese Mahjong adds three tiles to a hand requiring a 5th set to be formed, making a clean hand or all Pong hand very difficult to procure. American Mahjong has distinctive game mechanics and the article on American Mahjong details these.
Some differences include many special patterns, a different scoring system and the use of jokers and five-of-a-kind. Many variations have specific hands, some of which are common while some are optional depending on regions and players.
One example is the Pure Green hand made of chows or Pongs using 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 of bamboo and green dragon. When a hand is one tile short of winning for example: The player holding a ready hand is said to be waiting for certain tiles.
It is common to be waiting for two or three tiles, and some variations award points for a hand that is waiting for one tile. In tile Mahjong, the largest number of tiles for which a player can wait is 13 the thirteen wonders , or 13 orphans , a nonstandard special hand.
Ready hands must be declared in some variations of Mahjong, while other variations prohibit the same. A new hand begins, and depending on the variant, the Game Wind may change.
For example, in most playing circles in Singapore, if there is at least one Kong when the hand is a draw, the following player of the dealer becomes the next dealer; otherwise, the dealer remains dealer.
The rule is treated the same as "abortive draws". In Japanese Mahjong, rules allow abortive draws to be declared while tiles are still available.
They can be declared under the following conditions:. Scoring in Mahjong involves points, with a monetary value for points agreed upon by players.
Although in many variations scoreless hands are possible, many require that hands be of some point value in order to win the hand.
While the basic rules are more or less the same throughout Mahjong, the greatest divergence between variations lies in the scoring systems.
Like the rules, there is a generalized system of scoring, based on the method of winning and the winning hand, from which Chinese and Japanese base their roots.
American Mahjong generally has greatly divergent scoring rules, as well as greatly divergent general rules. Because of the large differences between the various systems of scoring especially for Chinese variants , groups of players will often agree on particular scoring rules before a game.
Points terminology of which differs from variation to variation are obtained by matching the winning hand with different criteria scoring different values.
The points obtained may be modified into scores for each player using some typically exponential functions. Some criteria may be also in terms of both points and score.
In many variations the dealer receives no scoring bonus and does not maintain his turn by winning or a dead hand.
In classical Mahjong all players score points. Points are given for sets and hand composition and winning bonuses, doubled and redoubled for basic patterns.
Sometimes a loser may score more points than a winner. Japanese Mahjong has a complex scoring system with several stages of scoring, rules and exceptions, evening out scores and bonus points at the end of a match.
Korean Mahjong has a simple scoring system where only winner scores without any form of doubling. Some variations give points for concealed hands, in which case no melds are made except by winning on a discard.
A single player game employs the tiles of mahjong, usually played on computers or devices. The game is entirely unrelated to mahjong or its variations and is a recent invention.
A two player version was published by Nintendo. The game involves stacking tiles face up in various elaborate patterns and removing uncovered matching tiles at the end of rows.
In , in the interest of dissociating illegal gambling from Mahjong, the China State Sports Commission published a new set of rules, now generally referred to as Chinese Official rules or International Tournament rules see Guobiao Majiang.
The principles of the new, wholesome Mahjong are no gambling, no drinking, and no smoking. In international tournaments, players are often grouped in teams to emphasize that Mahjong from now on is considered a sport.
The new rules are highly pattern-based. The rulebook contains 81 combinations, based on patterns and scoring elements popular in classic and modern regional Chinese variants; some table practices of Japan have also been adopted.
Points for flower tiles each flower is worth one point may not be added until the player has scored eight points. The winner of a game receives the score from the player who discards the winning tile, plus eight basic points from each player; in the case of zimo self-drawn win , he receives the value of this round plus eight points from all players.
The new rules were first used in an international tournament in Tokyo , where, in , the first global tournament in Mahjong was organized by the Mahjong Museum, the Japan Mahjong Organizing Committee, and the city council of Ningbo, China.
One hundred players participated, mainly from Japan and China, but also from Europe and the United States. Mai Hatsune, from Japan, became the first world champion.
The following year saw the first annual China Mahjong Championship, held in Hainan; the next two annual tournaments were held in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Most players were Chinese; players from other nations attended as well. In , the first Open European Mahjong Championship  was held in the Netherlands, with players.
The competition was won by Masato Chiba from Japan. The second European championship  in Copenhagen was attended by players and won by Danish player Martin Wedel Jacobsen.
There were participants. This organization held its first World Mahjong Championship in November in the Chinese town of Chengdu , attended by participants from all over the world.
MJM tournaments host between and participants at these larger events; and there are several smaller scale, but equally successful tournaments held annually by other hosts.
Prize pools are based on the number participating. Rules are based on the National Mah Jongg League standard rules. Mahjong is based on draw-and-discard card games that were popular in 18th and 19th century China, some of which are still popular today.
Each deck is divided into three suits of Cash or coins, Strings of cash, and Myriads of strings. There are nine ranks in each suit. In addition, there are three wild cards: Red flower , White flower , and Old thousand.
Depending on the game, there are multiple copies of each card. Games scholar David Parlett has written that the Western card games Conquian and Rummy share a common origin with Mahjong.
Khanhoo is an early example of such a game. It is not known when the conversion from cards to tiles took place precisely but it most likely occurred in the middle of the 19th century.
The earliest surviving tile sets date to around and were acquired in Fuzhou , Shanghai , and Ningbo. In their place were "king" tiles for heaven, earth, man, and harmony and also for each of the 4 "winds" which may have acted as bonus tiles.
Instead there were the wild cards known as Cash Flower, String Flower, and Myriad Flower plus an additional tile, the king of everything. These early jokers are still found in the Vietnamese and Thai sets.
The game itself was banned during the Cultural Revolution — In , British sinologist William Henry Wilkinson wrote a paper which mentioned a set of cards known in central China by the name of ma chioh , literally, hemp sparrow, which he maintained was the origin of the term Mahjong.
He did not explain the dialect of the originator or region specific etymology of this information. The game was imported to the United States in the s.
It became a success in Washington, D. This was the earliest version of Mahjong known in America. Babcock had learned Mahjong while living in China.
His rules simplified the game to make it easier for Americans to take up, and his version was common through the Mahjong fad of the s. The game has taken on a number of trademarked names, such as "Pung Chow" and the "Game of Thousand Intelligences".
Mahjong nights in America often involved dressing and decorating rooms in Chinese style. Many variants of Mahjong developed during this period.
The most common form, which eventually became "American Mahjong", was most popular among Jewish women. Many consider the modern American version a Jewish remake,  as many American Mahjong players are of Jewish descent.
In , this large scale seagoing event hosted its 25th Silver Anniversary Cruise, with players from all over the States and Canada participating.
In , a second organization was formed, the American Mah Jongg Association. Millington revived the Chinese classical game of the s with his book The Complete Book of Mah-jongg This handbook includes a formal rules set for the game.
There are many governing bodies which often host exhibition games and tournaments for modern and traditional Mahjong gaming. Mahjong, as of , is the most popular table game in Japan.
Saki and Akagi devoted to dramatic and comic situations involving Mahjong. Newer units can connect with other arcade machines across the Internet. Mahjong culture is still deeply ingrained in the Chinese community.
Sam Hui wrote Cantopop songs using Mahjong as their themes, and Hong Kong movies have often included scenes of Mahjong games.
Many gambling movies have been filmed in Hong Kong, and a recent subgenre is the Mahjong movie. Prolonged playing of Mahjong may trigger epileptic seizures according to a study.
Some doctors speculate that this may be due to stress and complex manual movement correlated with intense brain function similar to playing chess or card games such as poker.
Studies by doctors have also shown in Hong Kong that the game is beneficial for individuals suffering from dementia or cognitive memory difficulties, leading to the development of Mahjong therapy.
Mahjong was also adapted into several puzzle video games such as Mahjong Trails , listed as one of the top-grossing games on Facebook.
Even though both skill and chance play a fundamental role in the game, there is no shortage of superstitions in which players believe where they sit, how they hold their pieces or objects they have on their person will somehow affect the outcome.
For example, players will try to find seats with the best Feng Shui or wear their lucky clothing or trinkets. Some believe that specific pieces one dot for example bode bad luck if received in their opening hand .
As with all superstitions in gaming, none of them have been properly demonstrated as effective though for some the rituals have become an integral part of the game experience and its aesthetics.
Mahjong tiles were added to the Unicode Standard in April, with the release of version 5. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Chinese tile-based game.
For the card-matching solitaire game, see Mahjong solitaire. For other uses, see Mahjong disambiguation. Hong Kong Mahjong scoring rules. Mahjong Tiles Unicode block.
China portal Asia portal Games portal. World Series of Mahjong. The complete book of Mah-Jongg. Retrieved 24 August The Book of Mahjong: Retrieved 21 February Retrieved 7 September Retrieved 17 November Archived from the original on 12 October The Art of Contest.
The Penguin Book of Card Games. History of Mahjong FAQ Retrieved 6 November Is my set complete? Retrieved 16 May Retrieved 29 December The New York Times.
The World of Japanese Comics. Kodansha, , Chapter 5. South China Morning Post. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. Oxfeld, Ellen, Blood, Sweat, and Mahjong: Family and Enterprise in an Overseas Chinese Community.
Game of the Orient. Wright Patterson Mah Jongg Group: Also found at; Gamesmuseum.
A player can also win with a small class of special hands. There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, how a piece is robbed from another player, the use of simples numbered tiles and honors winds and dragons , the kinds of melds allowed, how to deal the tiles and the order of play.
Despite these similarities, there are many regional variations to the rules including rather different scoring systems, criteria for legal winning hands and even private table rules which distinguish some variations as notably different styles of mahjong.
It is said that the clacking of tiles during shuffling resembles the chattering of sparrows. It has also been suggested that the name came from an evolution of an earlier card game called Ma-Tiao which mahjong is supposedly roughly adapted from.
There are many highly varied versions of mahjong both in rules and tiles used. For these reasons Hong Kong mahjong is a suitable variation for the introduction of game rules and play and is the focus of this article.
Old Hong Kong Mahjong is played with a standard set of Mahjong tiles though cards may be used. Sets often include counters to keep score , dice to decide how to deal and a marker to show who the dealer is and which round is being played.
Some sets include racks to hold the tiles, especially if they are larger or smaller than standard tiles or have an odd shape.
A set of Mahjong tiles usually has at least tiles most commonly ; however, sets originating from the United States or Southeast Asia will probably have more.
Mahjong tiles are split into 3 categories: Suits, Honors, and Bonuses. There are 3 suits of simples and in each suit the tiles are numbered from 1 to 9.
There are 4 identical copies of each simples tile totaling simples tiles. The bamboo suit is also known as "sticks" or "bams" suit; the first tile usually has a bird traditionally, a peacock or sparrow instead of a single bamboo.
The dots suit is also known as the "wheels", "balls", or "coins" suit. The characters suit is also known as the "cracks" or "numbers" suit since the top character is the Chinese number, and the bottom character is the Chinese number "ten thousand".
There are two different sets of Honors tiles: In Mahjong, East not North is the beginning. The Dragons are Red, Green and White. The white dragon has a blue or black frame on the face of the piece or in some sets is entirely blank.
These tiles have no numerical sequence like the simples for example the bamboo pieces number 1 to 9. Like the simples, there are four identical copies of each Honors tile, for a total of 28 Honors tiles.
There are two sets of Bonus tiles: The flower and season tiles play a unique role in the mechanics of the game. In addition, unlike the Simple and Honors tiles, there is only a single tile of each Bonus tile, so there are a total of four flower and four season tiles in the set.
The tiles have a different artistic rendering of a specific type of flower or season. It is not necessary to know the names or the Chinese characters of each bonus tile, only the number, as this is associated with a specific direction, and the player receives bonus points when the Bonus tile matches the seat direction.
There is no relation between the bonus tile "bamboo" flower and the bamboo suit of simple tiles ex. In traditional Chinese culture, the Four Gentlemen are the plum winter , orchid spring , bamboo summer , and chrysanthemum autumn which are regarded as the representative plants of those seasons.
The dealer is chosen by various means. For example, each player throws dice with the highest count taking the dealer position, second highest taking south etc.
Or one player may place one tile of each wind face down and shuffle them. Each player randomly select one of these tiles and these tiles dictate their wind position.
Each player sits down at their respective position called the wind position at the table in positions of an inverted compass: East is dealer, the right of the dealer is South, across is West and the left is North.
The order of play is traditionally counter-clockwise. A match consists of four rounds, each representing a "prevailing wind," starting with East.
Once the first round is completed, a second round begins with South as the prevailing wind, and so on. Wind position is significant in that it affects the scoring of the game.
A Mahjong set with Winds in play will usually include a separate prevailing wind marker typically a die marked with the Wind characters in a holder.
In each round at least four hands are played, with each player taking the position of dealer. In the first hand of each round, Player 1 winner of the dice toss is East and therefore dealer.
In the second hand, Player 2 takes the East position, shifting the seat winds amongst the players counterclockwise though players do not physically move their chairs.
This continues until all four players have been East dealer. A marker is used to mark which player is East and often the round number.
In sets with racks, a rack may be marked differently to denote the dealer. Whenever a player in the East position dealer wins a hand, or if there is no winner a draw or "goulash hand" , an extra hand is played with the same seating positions and prevailing wind as in the previous hand.
This means that a match may potentially have no limit to the number of hands played though some players will set a limit of three consecutive hands allowed with the same seat positions and prevailing wind.
All tiles are placed face down on the table and are shuffled. By convention all players should participate in shuffling using both hands moving the pieces around the table rigorously and loudly for a lengthy period.
Tiles may get flipped up during this process and players should flip them facing down as soon as possible to avoid identifying the location of the revealed tiles.
Each player then stacks a row of 18 tiles, two tiles high in front of them for a total of 36 tiles. Players then push each side of their stack together to form a square wall.
Regular players usually place their stacks in a slightly diagonal position about 20 to 30 degrees anti-clockwise ; the right end of their stack is pushed slightly further in to the centre of the table to meet almost the middle of the stack of the player on the right.
This creates a smaller square wall the length of about half of each stack, with walls extended away from each corner of the square.
The dealer throws three dice in the square wall and sums up the total. Counting anti-clockwise so that the dealer is 1 or 5, 9, 13, 17 , so that south player to the right is 2 or 6, 10, 14, 18 , etc.
Some house rules may use only two dice but have double throws to increase randomness. In the case of double throws, the player of the chosen wall makes the second throw.
Using the same total on the dice or the total of the two throws , the player whose wall is chosen then counts the stacks of tiles from right to left.
Starting from the left of the stacks counted, the dealer draws four tiles for himself, and players in anti-clockwise order draw blocks of four tiles until all players have 12 tiles, so that the stacks decrease clockwise.
Each player then draws one last tile to make a tile hand. Dealing does not have to be strictly this way and may be done quite differently based on house rules.
Tiles may flip over when being dealt and players should agree in advance on how to deal with the problem. Each player now sets aside any Flowers or Seasons they may have drawn and takes turns to draw replacement piece s from the wall in the anti-clockwise direction.
If a player gets any Flowers or Seasons tiles in the replacement draw, the players must wait for the next turn to draw replacement tiles.
The dealer draws a piece from the wall in clockwise direction, adding it to their hand. Typically, this draw is performed during the initial deal to speed up play.
If this does not complete a legal hand, the dealer then discards a piece throwing it into the middle of the wall with no particular order in mind.
Each player in turn, in anti-clockwise direction, draws a tile from the wall; as long as the tile drawn is not one of the Bonus tiles, the player proceeds to discard a tile either the tile just drawn, or a tile in the hand to maintain a hand of The discarded tile is thrown into the centre and, if desired, the player announces out loud what the piece is.
The other players have an opportunity to seize the discarded tile; if no one takes it, the turn continues to the next player.
Play continues this way until one player has a legal winning hand and calls out "Mahjong" while revealing their hand.
The count of 13 tiles do not include any Bonus tiles Flowers and Seasons , which are set to the side, nor does it include the fourth added piece of a Kong.
If a player is seen to have fewer or more than 13 tiles in their hand outside of their turn they are penalised. A winning hand consists of 14 tiles.
Since players always have 13 tiles in their hand during play, they must win by either drawing a piece from the wall that completes a tile hand "winning from the wall" or claiming a discard from another player which completes a tile hand "winning by discard".
The winning hand is made of four melds a specific pattern of three pieces and the eyes a pair of identical pieces.
The exceptions to this rule are the special hands listed below. Most players play with a table minimum, meaning a winning hand must score a minimum number of points which can be seen in the scoring section.
In Hong Kong Mahjong the most common point set is three but can be higher or lower depending on house rules.
There are rules governing which player has priority for a discard, and whether the meld should be exposed displayed to all players or remain concealed, depending on the manner in which the meld is formed.
You may form a Pong with any Simple or Honours tile. Bonus tiles Flowers or Seasons cannot be used to form a Pong because they are set aside and there are not three identical bonus tiles in the set.
The tiles must be identical you cannot mix suits. Consider a Kong the same as a Pong with an additional tile to make a complete set of four. There are three ways to form a Kong.
Whenever a Kong is formed, that player must draw an extra tile from the end of the wall and then discard a tile.
The fourth piece of a Kong is not considered as one of the 13 tiles a player must always have in their hand. Kongs are worth collecting to score more points and deprive opponents of the opportunity to obtain specific tiles.
The meld must be in absolute numerical sequence and all in the same suit. Players cannot skip numbers or meld from the 8 or 9 to 1 or 2.
Honours tiles cannot be used to make Chows because they have no numerical value, and Bonus tiles Flowers and Seasons also cannot be used to make a Chow.
A player can steal a discard to form a Chow only from the player whose turn was immediately before theirs; however, a player forming a Chow from a seized piece has the lowest priority for that tile.
Any other player that needs that tile to make a Pong, make a Kong, or to win may seize that piece instead. Whenever a player draws a flower or season, it is announced and then placed to the side it is not considered a part of the tile hand, but in the event that player wins, he will earn a bonus point for them and the last tile of the wall is drawn as a replacement tile so that the player has the 14 pieces needed before their discard.
When a player discards a tile, other players may steal the tile to complete a meld. When a meld Pong , Kong or Chow is declared through a discard, the player must state the type of meld to be declared and expose the meld by place the three or four tiles face up.
The player must then discard a tile, and play continues to the right. If the player who melds a discard is not directly after the discarder in order of play , one or two players will essentially miss their turn as play continues anti-clockwise from the player who declared the meld.
If multiple players call for a discarded tile, priority for the discard depends on the declared action of the player stealing the discard.
Going Mahjong is the act of declaring a winning hand, either by stealing a discard or by drawing a winning tile. This ends the hand, and scoring commences.
If more than one player can use a discard to go mahjong win the hand there are two ways to resolve the issue depending on agreed table rules: Either the players count the points they would win with the discard and the winner is the one with the higher score, or the winner is simply the player closest to the discarder in order of turn.
Alternatively, a player may also win by drawing a tile that completes a legal hand. This is called "winning from the wall".
In Hong Kong mahjong, winning from the wall doubles the number of base points each loser must pay. A rarely occurring and high-scoring feature of Hong Kong Mahjong is a move called robbing the Kong.
If a player declares a Kong either by melding it or adding a fourth piece to a Pong to form a Kong or declaring a concealed Kong but another player can use that piece to complete a hand, the completing player takes priority to go Mahjong win the hand and may steal that piece from the player who intended to declare the Kong.
By logic, since there are only four identical copies of each Simple and Honours tile in a complete set, if two separate players are looking to form a Pong with that tile, they each have two of the same tile, and no free tiles remain in the wall to make a Pong.
Below are two examples of winning hands. A winning hand must consist of four melds Pongs, Kongs, or Chows and a pair eyes and must also score the agreed table minimum.
Hand formed with four Pongs and the eyes pair of East wind. Only bamboo is used no other simples , scoring extra points clean hand.
A high scoring hand formed using only circles, known as a pure hand. Hand is made of Chows, Pongs and the eyes of circles. Most players include table variations in their games, of which some non-standard are included.
The hands of seven different pairs and 13 orphans are examples which do not have four melds and the eyes. They are described in more detail below.
The player may forfeit points to the other players. Another potential penalty is the player who called out the false mahjong must play the rest of the hand with their tiles face up on the table so other players can see them open hand.
If the dealer wins the hand, he will remain the dealer and an extra hand is played in addition to the minimum 16 hands in a match.
An extra hand is also played if there is no winner by the time all the tiles in the wall have been drawn. When there is no winner it is known as a "goulash hand".
Depending on table rules, the winner of the next game may take an agreed number of points from each player, carrying over the points from the non-winning hand to the winning one.
If there are two or three goulash hands in a row then the winner would collect a considerable number of points from each player on top of their scoring hand.
Because extra hands may be played every time a dealer wins or if there is a goulash hand, a match of 16 hands can easily become a match of 20 or even much more.
As table rules add a large amount flexibility for players, they can choose to disregard the rule of extra hands and pass on the dealership regardless of who wins or if it results in a goulash hand.
This puts a maximum estimated limit on the game duration and provides some amount of predictability. Players may agree on table rules if the pace of the game is brisk or leisurely.
For brisk games players may agree that a couple seconds after a discard are allowed for a "window of opportunity" before the next player picks up from the wall.
Usually it is agreed once the next player has waited the duration of the "window of opportunity" and draws a tile from the wall, the previous discard is lost and cannot be claimed.
Old Hong Kong scoring is relatively simple. There is only one winner or if there is a draw the hand is replayed. The supplier supports Trade Assurance — A free service that protects your orders from payment to delivery.
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Bookmark This Page Sitemap. Majiang Majiang is a four-player game that originated in China. The three basic sets are as follows: Kong A set of 4 identical tiles similar to a four of a kind in poker but without the kickers.
Chow A run of 3 tiles in the same suit similar to a straight in poker but with only three tiles. A set of 3 identical tiles similar to a three of a kind in poker but without the kickers.
A set of 4 identical tiles similar to a four of a kind in poker but without the kickers.