Mah-Jongg (chin. 麻將/麻将 Májiàng [game of the] sparrow) is a traditional Chinese game using illustrated tiles, with game play similarities to rummy. It is a popular gambling game, but wagering real stakes is by no means necessary to have fun playing.
The tiles consist of three suits numbering 1-9 (Dots, Numbers or Characters, and Bamboo, the "Ace" of which almost always looks like a bird), three different dragons (Red, Green, and White [white is unusual in that it may look like a silvery dragon, or like a picture frame, or blank - think "White dragon in a snowstorm"), and the four winds (east, south, west, and north). There are four copies of each tile. This totals to 136 tiles. In addition, special Flower, Season, and Joker (American version) tiles may also be used.
Four players take turns drawing from a stock (the wall), or from the other players' discards, in an attempt to form sets of numeric sequences (e.g., 5-6-7 of the same suit, which can only be drawn from the player at one's left, by calling "Chow"), triplets and quadruplets (which can be drawn from the discards out-of-turn by calling "Pung"), pairs, and other patterns. "Pung" takes precedence over "Chow", and "Mah Jongg" takes precedence over all (and is the only situation one may draw "Chow" out-of-turn.) What happens if a single discard would give two (or more!) players "Mah Jongg"? Precedence goes to the player who would play next in normal sequence.
Originating in China in the mid-19th century, it was introduced to the U.S. in the 1920s. It is now played in different forms throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Although the rules for game play are fairly constant, there are an immense variety of scoring schemes. A few general categories of rule-sets include: Chinese Classical, Hong Kong Old Style, Japanese, Taiwanese, Western, and American.
There are hundreds of variations on Mahjong. Some of the best known are Hong Kong Old Style (HKOS), Chinese Classical, and Zung Jung. Local variations exist for other Asian nations like Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. The differences between variations often depend on specific rules for hand formations and scoring. Most can be played with the traditional 144-tile set, but some require extra tiles.
Two Mahjong variations have their own entries on BGG:
American Mah Jongg - requires extra Joker tiles and an official score card, annually issued and sold by the NMJL.
Riichi Mahjong - Japanese local variation, with more complex scoring than the classic Chinese style.
Other Mahjong variations should be discussed on this entry, until a separate BGG entry is created for it.
A handy A5 guide to playing Mahjong using British rules. Including description of the different tiles, how to set up the tiles, playing games,calculating scores and tables of different winning hands. At the end of the guide are scoring sheets that can be used in gameplay.
Feuille resume compacte du systeme de score Zung Jung, avec un rappel des tuiles du jeu et des combinaisons de base. Ne contient pas les tuiles et scores bonus, le systeme est beaucoup plus simple sans.
Hoja resumen compacta del sistema de puntuacion Zung Jung, con un inventario de las piezas del juego y de las combinaciones basicas. No incluye las piezas y puntuaciones bonus, el sistema es mucho mas simple sin ellas.
My humble attempt to incorporate some of the wisdom of Zung Jung while keeping what I love about Riichi. Riichi 2.0 has more hands (all of the Zung Jung hands and a few other new style patterns); the fan values attempt to match a yaku's difficulty; other than those yaku which require a concealed hand by their very nature, the only other yaku that requires concealment in Reformed Riichi is pinfu, as it is such an easy hand to compose to begin with. Eat and decrease has also been done away with. If you want the extra fan for concealment, then why don’t you just declare riichi already? And finally, Alan Kwan's Precision Rule of Same Round Immunity replaces the sacred discard and furiten rules.
An "Anermican/NMJL Style" tri-fold score card for the Korean/Japanese 3-Player game rule set I have also posted. 6"x6" sqaure. Print and literally cut & paste onto paper stock or construction paper. Picture as the cover, when opened, left panel begins with Terminals & Honors, center panel begins with Pungs & Kons, right panel with Bonus points. On the other side, left panel has the beginning of the rules summary, middle panel its completion, and the right panel the cover picture. Photos also available in the gallary.
Two corrections made to previous score card. 1) A hand consisting only of terminal and honor tiles should score a full limit, while a hand where every set contains a terminal or honor tile is only 1/2 a limit. 2) The Riverbed Win bonus has been added (winning from discard of last tile in live wall.