Mahjong, a traditional Chinese game, was created in 1870. It was popularized in Great Britain and the United States fifty years later. Mahjong is still a very popular game in the world today. You can play it as a social game, or online.
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Mahjong Rules and How to Play
Mahjong can appear complicated due to the many ways you can score it. Basic mahjong rules can be quite easy.
You only need to know how tiles are categorized and how to make melds. Once you have this down, you will be able to understand the basic rules of mahjong.
Mahjong is a game that uses engraved tiles rather than playing cards.
These tiles were originally carved from bone. Most of these tiles are now made from plastic. You can also buy mahjong tiles sets with ivory and jade if you’re feeling extravagant.
A standard mahjong set contains 144 tiles. Some arrangements also include four to eight extra tiles that can be used for jokers and bonus tiles.
The categories are similar to the suits in cards. Knowing which tiles go together is an important part of mahjong rules. It is easier to remember them when they are in groups.
The main suits of the mahjong set are the bamboo, circles, and Chinese characters tiles. These represent 108 tiles. Special tiles include seasons, winds, dragons and flowers. These tiles are worth more points to your total score.
These are bonus tiles because there is only one flower or season tile in the mahjong sets. Each of these tiles earns you bonus points, but they don’t have to be used in a meld.
Mahjong Melds and Hands
Mahjong’s objective is to collect tiles in the melds. These are similar to poker and gin rummy. You can win mahjong if you get the right number of melds.
Melds refer to groups of specific combinations of tiles. Each type of meld has its own value.
Your melds are stronger and you will accumulate more points faster. This will allow you to declare mahjong ahead of your opponents.
These are the meld options that you can choose from.
- Pong: Three tiles with the same rank and the same suit.
- Chow: Three tiles from the same suit, in a consecutive rank.
- Kong: Four tiles with the same rank and the same suit.
- Eye: A pair or combination of identical tiles. Only the eye meld can be used in a mahjong.
Basic Instructions for Mahjong
Each player gets 13 tiles when the game starts. You will draw one tile when it is your turn. Your turn ends when you discard the tile.
You can hide a meld in your hand until the end of each game. To complete your meld, you may be able to pick up a discarded tile from another player. If you take another player’s discard, however, you must immediately disclose the meld. It is worth less points. Each time a player takes a tile that has been discarded by another player, they must also throw away another tile.
Play resumes with the player to their right after they have discarded. Some players might miss a turn due to this. The player who has the most mahjong wins. A mahjong is a set of four melds that each contain three tiles and a pair. Players who have a kong-meld will get an additional tile in their mahjong.