While the roots of mahjong (麻將, má jiàng) are unclear, the fast-paced four-player game is popular throughout Asia and is growing in the West. The game was first sold in the 1920s in the US and has gained popularity in the last decade.
Mahjong is often played like a land-based and online casino game. Hence, mahjong was banned in China after 1949 but reintroduced after the 1976 conclusion of the Cultural Revolution.
Gameplay varies from country to country. Mahjong sets are made of 136 or 144 tiles. There are 16 rounds after each round in a game that involves a winner. This post will show you how to play 136 tiles based on the more common version. It takes approximately 2 hours to play.
It’s important to identify and understand each mahjong tile before playing mahjong. Compared to poker, Mahjong’s aim is to get the highest combination of tiles that’s called sets. Until playing mahjong players need to know what the sets are.
The mahjong game can be set up once players can recognize and understand each board, and have mastered the sets. Next, place all the tiles face down on the table or on the game board to get up the game. Then players wash or scatter the tiles by putting on the tiles the palms of their hands and shifting them around the table.
Next, every player is building a wall in front of their playing space.
Each player takes turns rolling the three dice. The player with the highest total is the’ dealer’ or’ banker,’ which positions the directional die in front of the dealer.
The directional die lets the players keep track of the wind (門風, ménfēng or 自風, zì fēng) from playing the game. The’ dealer’ starts off face up with the East Wind die (東, dōng). The player to the dealer’s left puts the South Wind (南, nán) face up after four rounds of serving as a Dealer. The West Wind is the third player, and the North Wind (北, běi) is the final player. Every player has four rounds acting as the’ dealer.’
The host counts the tiles along the wall in front of him using the total number the dealer rolled with the three dice. For instance, if the dealer rolls a 12, start all the way to the right with tile number one at the top row. Moving in clockwise direction, counting tiles and stopping at number 12. Create a space equivalent to removing a deck of cards in a card game, between the 12th and 13th tiles.
The dealer takes a piece of the mahjong wall equal to four tiles, two from the top row, and two from the bottom. The person to the left of the dealer then takes the next four tiles, and so forth. That player takes turns in a clockwise motion that picks four tiles that until the dealer has 12 tiles.
The dealer then takes back four tiles, but not in the same method. Every time, the dealer takes one chunk of two tiles— one from the top row, one from the second row — skips the next two chunks of tiles, and takes the next two chunks of tiles. So, as before, the person on the left of the dealer takes the next four tiles, and so on until each player has 16 tiles. All tiles are left face down and are not to be shown to other teams.
Play the Game.
Every player looks at his or her tiles by placing them in the rack or on their sides until game play has started. Other players should have the tiles hidden away.
Some types of tiles which are drawn randomly, such as straight or three-of – a-kind, should be put face up in a set order before the player. For example, the tiles should be placed in numerical order if there is a straight one using two, three, and four: two, three, and four.
The dealer takes out one tile from the wall. The dealer can then choose to keep the new tile in order to help build or discard a set. If the dealer chooses to keep the new tile, then he or she will have to discard one of its initial tiles. Although 17 tiles are required to win, only 16 are maintained at each turn unless the player declares victory.
The player to the left of the dealer can either draw the next tile from the board, or take the discarded tile discarded by the dealer. Whatever option the player takes, the player may choose to keep the new tile to help create or discard a package.
When players keep making straights and three-of – a-kinds, they call out the set’s name and put it in front of their play area.
Players who choose to take the last discarded tile (the tile discarded to their right by the player), can only take the tile if it completes a set.
When drawing a tile from either the wall or inside the walls, if it makes a 4-of-a-kind, say “gàng!”Just like with chī and pong, if it gives them a four-of – a-kind, players can catch a tile off right.
The player takes an additional tile from the wall after putting the four-of – a-kind in from the player’s field of play. The tile is however taken from the opposite end of the wall.
The game ends with either five sets of three tiles and one pair or four sets of three, one four-of – a-kind, and one pair declared victory by a player. If a player declares victory but is found not to be the winner, then the situation is called (詐胡, zhà hú) and all the other players have to be paid by the false winner.
When the game is played for money, payment to the winner may be made at the end of each round, and points are tabulated for the hands of each player.