How to Play Mahjong


Mahjong is a fascinating game that has captured the hearts of players around the world. It is believed to have originated in China during the Qing dynasty, and has since spread to other parts of Asia and beyond. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular in the West, with many people discovering the joys of playing this exciting and challenging game.

Online Mahjong Game is typically played with sets of tiles that are decorated with Chinese characters and symbols. The exact number of tiles in a set can vary depending on the variant being played, but most sets contain 136 tiles. These tiles are divided into several different categories, including suit tiles, honor tiles, and bonus tiles.

The objective of the game is to create sets of tiles that match specific patterns or combinations. These combinations can be made up of either three or four tiles and can include sets of three identical tiles, known as pungs, or sets of four identical tiles, known as kongs. Additionally, players can create runs, which are sets of three consecutive tiles in the same suit.

At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt a hand of tiles and takes turns drawing and discarding tiles until they are able to create a winning combination. The game can be played with anywhere from two to four players, and each player takes turns as the dealer.

One of the key strategies in mahjong is to pay close attention to the tiles that other players are discarding, as this can give you valuable information about the tiles that are still available in the game. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the various bonus tiles that can be used to enhance your score.

Mahjong Android and Mahjong iOS apps require a combination of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. With its rich history and many regional variations, it is a game that offers endless possibilities and hours of entertainment for players of all skill levels.



The game is played with four players seated around a table, although there are also variants that can be played with three players. Before the game begins, players shuffle the tiles and perform various rituals that involve the allocation of tiles. The first player to start the game is determined by the roll of the dice, which is used to determine the deal.

The game consists of 136 tiles, including 36 characters, 36 bamboos, and 36 circles, which are the suits. These suits are divided into four sets of numbers 1 to 9 in each suit. In addition, there are 16 wind tiles and 12 dragon tiles. Many sets also include eight bonus tiles with four flowers and four seasons, although these are not necessary in the basic game.

The objective of the game is to get a mahjong, which involves getting all 14 of your tiles into four sets and one pair. A pair is two identical tiles, and a set can either be a “pung,” which is three identical tiles, or a “chow,” which is a run of three consecutive numbers in the same suit. It is important to note that a single tile cannot be used in two sets at once.

Once a player has successfully formed a mahjong, the game ends, and the tiles are scored to determine the winner. The scoring system is complex and involves various factors such as the value of the sets, the presence of certain tiles, and the bonuses obtained from the flowers and seasons.

In conclusion, Mahjong is an engaging and challenging game that requires strategy, skill, and a bit of luck. It has a rich history and culture that has been passed down through the generations, and it continues to be a beloved pastime for millions of people worldwide.



Before the game can begin, a starting dealer must be determined. In traditional Chinese mahjong, the four wind tiles (North, South, East, West) are shuffled face down and dealt to the players. The players then sit according to their tile and sit clockwise in the order North, West, South, East, with East starting as the dealer. In modern mahjong, players may simply roll the dice to determine the dealer.

Once the starting dealer has been determined, all tiles are shuffled together, and the players build a wall of 34 face-down tiles in front of themselves, 17 tiles long and two tiles high. The result should be a large square wall of tiles in the center of the table.

The dealer then rolls the dice and counts that many tiles from the right edge of their wall, and separates the wall at that point to begin dealing tiles from the left of that spot and going clockwise. Each player receives 13 tiles, with the dealer starting with an extra 14th tile.

Each player then arranges their own tiles so they can see them and other players cannot. Racks are often used for this purpose. The dealer then discards one tile, and play begins to the left of the dealer.

Before a player’s turn, they must give other players a few seconds to claim the most recently discarded tile. The first priority goes to any player who can claim the discarded tile to complete a mahjong. A player who can do this claims the tile, then reveals the winning hand of 14 tiles.

If no one can claim the discarded tile to complete a mahjong, any player can claim the discarded tile to complete a pung. The player says “pung”, and then reveals the two matching tiles that match the discard. For example, if the discarded tile was the 7 of bamboo, and the player had two more bamboo 7s on the rack, that player would call “pung”. When calling pung, a player turns the completed pung (with all three bamboo 7s, in this case) face-up, discards a different tile, and the turn passes to the right.

If nobody claims the discarded tile but it completes a chow for you, you may claim it at the beginning of your turn by saying “chow”. You then must turn your chow face-up, revealing the completed run (e.g. 5, 6, 7 of bamboo) as in the pung example above. You then discard a different tile and play continues as normal.

If the discard does not complete a set for you, then on your turn you draw the next tile from the wall (going left). Unless this gives you a mahjong, you then discard a tile face-up. Note that only the most recently discarded tile can be claimed.

Some players also play with a “kong”, which is four of the same tile (like an extended pung). The same rules for claiming a discarded tile apply, but any player completing a kong immediately draws an extra tile before discarding.

Mahjong is a game of skill and strategy that requires careful planning and calculation. Players must pay close attention to their own tiles as well as the tiles discarded by other players in order to form winning hands. With its complex rules and gameplay, mahjong is a challenging and rewarding game that has been enjoyed for centuries.


Game End

Mahjong is a fascinating game that has been played for centuries in China and other parts of the world. The game involves skill, strategy, and a bit of luck, making it a challenging and enjoyable pastime for players of all ages.

In Mahjong, the hand ends when a player declares Mahjong and reveals a complete 14-tile hand of four sets and a pair. This is the ultimate goal of the game, and it requires players to carefully plan and strategize their moves throughout the game.

If no one has declared Mahjong by the time the wall runs out of tiles, the game is considered a draw, and the dealer must redeal the tiles. This can happen if players are evenly matched, and neither can gain a significant advantage over the other.

When a player achieves Mahjong, simple scoring awards them one point for winning the hand. However, there are many complex scoring arrangements that vary widely by region. Bonus point-scoring is one such scoring system that awards additional points for specific achievements, such as not winning by taking a discard or winning with the last tile in the game. Bonus points can also be awarded for having a pung of dragons, which is a set of three identical tiles of the dragon suit.

Exponential scoring is another scoring system that is commonly used in Mahjong. This system assigns each pung a score of two points, which is then doubled if the pung was not revealed. Additionally, the score is doubled again if the pung used ones or nines, and doubled twice more if the pung was a kong. These scoring variations add an extra layer of complexity and strategy to the game, making it even more challenging and rewarding for players.

To avoid confusion and disputes, it’s essential for players to agree on scoring rules before a game. This ensures that everyone is playing by the same rules and can avoid disagreements about the final score.

In Mahjong, the game ends when players reach a predetermined number of points, such as 16 rounds, or when players agree that they are done. This allows for a flexible and customizable gameplay experience that can be tailored to suit the players’ preferences.

Overall, Mahjong is a game that offers a unique blend of strategy, skill, and luck, making it a challenging and rewarding experience for players of all levels. Whether playing with friends or competing in tournaments, Mahjong is a game that is sure to provide hours of fun and entertainment.

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