Mah Jong        

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The Wall
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Tile Examples     Tiles/Cards

Object of the game     Preparation

Playing     Scoring

These rules are for this game only.   The rules for a real Mah Jong game have been simplified for this game.

Tiles / Cards

There are three suits: Balls, Sticks, and Characters. Each suit has four each of the values 1 to 9 - this means that there are 36 tiles in each suit. In addition to this, there are some extra sets of four tiles: the Four Winds (East, South, West, and North), three Dragons (Red, Green, and White), Four Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter), and Four Flowers. There are a total of 144 tiles in this game. The full set of tiles can be viewed here.

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Object of the game

Mah Jong is played much like rummy, but not quite. Each player is dealt 13 tiles. An additional tile is picked up at the beginning of each turn so that the player has the opportunity to make four sets of three (or four) tiles and a pair. Once this is done, that player wins the game.

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Each game is played by shuffling up the tiles and dealing out the 13 tiles to each player. The remaining tiles are then placed in the wall (much like the draw deck). Each player then sorts their hand out (this is automatic).

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Each player is trying to make a hand of four sets and one pair. A set would consist of one of these combinations: a 3 of a kind, a 4 of a kind, or a run of three. Each of these combinations must be of the same suit (like a flush).

The Season and Flower tiles are single-tile plays. After these are played the player draws a new tile to replace it from the wall (automatic).

Once a play has been made, you cannot add to that play. For instance, if you play a set of three Red Dragons, you cannot add the fourth Red Dragon at a later time.

Normally, a player would take his turn by taking the next tile available from the wall, but he can pick up a the last discarded tile if he can make a play with it. If, after drawing out of turn, you cannot make a play with the drawn tile, then you will be stuck and will have to restart the game. Play will resume with the person next in turn after you. Therefore, it is possible to skip some players by drawing out of turn.

After you draw a tile and make a play (if possible), you must then discard a tile. Only the last discarded tile is available for play.

If you have a pair in your hand and you see a tile discarded that matches, you can draw it out of turn to make a 3 of a kind but you must play this hand right away. If you draw a tile from the wall to make a 3 of a kind, you can keep it in your hand so that you can make a 4 of a kind later on.

If you have a 3 of a kind in your hand and you draw the fourth tile from the discard pile out of turn, you must play it right away and draw another tile from the wall. This extra tile is drawn automatically to ensure that you have enough tiles to make the required sets.

If you have a 3 of a kind in your hand and you pick up a tile from the wall, you should play it right away (you cannot make a 5 of a kind and if you have a 4 of a kind in your hand, you cannot collect enough 3 of a kinds to win) and draw another tile from the wall. When you play a 4 of a kind, the extra wall tile is automatically drawn for you.

In addition to collecting tiles that are the same as each other, you can also collect runs of the same suit (such as a 3, 4, and 5 Balls). Runs can only be made with the Characters, Balls, or Sticks. (See tile samples) These do not score any points or doubles but they will count as an equivalent to a 3 of a kind as far as going out is concerned.   These runs can only be 3 tiles long, you cannot have a 4-tile run. If you have 4 runs and a pair, you can go out, but you don't score very many points.

Eventually, you will get enough runs or 3 or 4 of a kinds and a pair to go out (finish). In this case, the game is over and your score is totaled and displayed.

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When calculating the score, all of the points are added up and the number of doubles is added up. The total score is then doubled this number of times.

Score Doubled Tiles used Combination
0 Yes Your wind Three or Four of a kind
0 Yes Game Wind
2 Yes Season or a Flower Single-tiles
2 No 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 Three of a kind
4 No Wind, Dragon, 1 or a 9
8 Yes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 Four of a kind
16 Yes Wind, Dragon, 1 or a 9
0 No Any Tiles Any Pair
0 No Any Run
0 Yes Not having a run in the hand

The highest score possible is 2,621,440.
This would be attained as follows:

  • You get all 4 Seasons and all 4 Flowers.
        (16 points and 8 doubles)
  • You get a 4-of-a-kind of your wind.
        (16 points and 2 doubles)
  • You get a 4-of-a-kind of the game wind.
        (16 points and 2 doubles)
  • You get 2 more 4-of-a-kinds of any other winds, Dragons, 1s or 9s.
        (32 points and 2 doubles)
  • No run used
        (0 points and 1 double)

    This would give you 80 points and 15 doubles. Doubling 80 15 times would go like this:

    1) 80 * 2 = 160
    2) 160 * 2 = 320
    3) 320 * 2 = 640
    4) 640 * 2 = 1280
    5) 1280 * 2 = 2560
    6) 2560 * 2 = 5120
    7) 5120 * 2 = 10240
    8) 10240 * 2 = 20480
    9) 20480 * 2 = 40960
    10) 40960 * 2 = 81920
    11) 81920 * 2 = 163840
    12) 163840 * 2 = 327680
    13) 327680 * 2 = 655360
    14) 655360 * 2 = 1310720
    15) 1310720 * 2 = 2621440

    Top of instructions     Tiles/Cards

    Object of the game     Preparation

    Playing     Scoring

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