How To Play Mahjong: Rules And Tips To Help You Win The Game Like An Ace

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How to play Mahjong: Mahjong is a popular Chinese strategy game played with sets of titles. Read here on to know the basic rules and tips to play the tiles game

Written By Riddhi Adsul | Mumbai | Updated On:
how to play mahjong

Mahjong is a popular Chinese strategy game played with sets of titles. Generally, you play with four people, though you can play with three as well. The goal is to form four melds and a pair, creating mahjong. There are many variations of mahjong, so these rules aren't definitive. Like many popular games, mahjong has many regional variations, from the Chinese prevailing wind system to American mahjong with special bingo-like scoring cards. However, the basic game and rules are common in either of the styles. Check here for some basic rules and tips to play Mahjong.

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How to play mahjong? Rules to know

Rules 

  • The objective of the game is to collect tiles to form a Mahjong hand. When a player picks up a tile that gives a valid Mahjong hand, the player wins.
  • Players shall always have a total of 13 tiles in hand and/or declared until Mahjong is declared. (A Mahjong hand contains 14 tiles.)
  • A player can claim a discarded tile from the player to his left (i.e. if the claiming player is next in turn) to declare a chow (a three-tile same-suit straight).
  • A player may claim a discarded tile from any other player to declare a kong (four-of-a-kind) or pong (three-of-a-kind).
  • A player may claim a discarded tile from any other player to declare Mahjong.
  • In games that use Riichi House Rules, the players split the pot proportionally to the number of hand points they have at the end of the game. In addition, there is a placement bonus, where the player with the least points pays a specific amount of money to the winner, and the player ranked third pays a smaller amount of money to the runner-up.
  • Settlement in Hong Kong games works like in Riichi games using House Rules without the placement bonus.

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Tips

  • Send wrong signals and confuse your opponents. Resist the urge to separate your tiles.
  • Focus on the free tiles available.
  • Think about the direction you want to take your hand and stick to it, while also remaining flexible.

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