Como jugar mahjong

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So you want to play Mahjong…

Well, Mahjong is a very complicated science…

The suits

Japanese (also known as Riichi) Mahjong is made up of 136 tiles which are as follows. There is four of each tile.

Pin Zu. “Pin” [Dots];

Sou Zu. “Sou” [Bamboos];

What’s important to remember isthat the 1-sou is typically a bird or chicken.

Man Zu. “Wan” [Characters];

The numbers can be tricky at first. The use of mnemonics will make them easier to learn.

Kaze [Winds];

Respectively East (Ton), South (Nan), West (Sha), North (Pei). Again, you’re just gonna have to get used to these.


Respectively, Red (Chun), Green (Hatsu), White (Haku). These are easy, though, often in Riichi Mahjong, the Haku will not be a box, but rather a blank tile. They’ll try to trick you with this.

Game procedure

Mahjong is played with four players (though two and three player variants exist). A complex system you don’t care about involving dice and Winds decideswho sits where and who gets to be the dealer.

The 136 tiles are pushed randomly around the centre of the table for a while, then each player constructs a “wall”. This wall is two tiles tall and seventeen tiles wide, obviously all the tiles in the wall are face down. These four walls are then pushed into a square in the centre of the table, and more rolling decides from where the tiles aredrawn. In every game, there is a Dead Wall (Rin Chan) of fourteen tiles, which will never be drawn into the hand of a player.

The dealer (East) is then dealt fourteen tiles, 4, then 4, then 4, then 2. Each other player, starting at South, is dealt 13, 4, then 4, then 4 then 1.

East then discards, and the game proceeds as normal. Each player, when it is their turn, will draw one tile from therelevant part of the wall and discard one tile from their 14. The discards are placed in front of you, left to right, and a new line is begun… whenever you want really.

To win, your hand must contain four sets (Mentsu) of three tiles (or four in the case of Kan) and a pair (Atama). The sets can be three of a kind, such as[pic][pic][pic], or a run of three, such as

A typicalwinning hand might look like this:


Obviously, this hand has fourteen tiles. As you can only hold 13 at any given time when it is not your turn, this fourteenth tile must be drawn by yourself (Tsumo) on your turn, allowing you to declare a fourteen tile hand, or you can claim any tile foolishly discarded by another player tocomplete your hand (Ron). A hand which is in a position to win upon any single discard is known as being in Tenpai.

If you win by Tsumo, the cost is divided among the players, if you win by Ron, the discarder pays the full cost.

If a game ends with no one winning, the dealership will be retained if the dealer is in Tenpai (see Glossary). If not, the dealer passes to the next wind. There areadvantages as well as disadvantages to holding dealership, primarily; you will earn 50% more points for any hand you can complete. Conversely, however, you will have to pay twice your compatriots in the case of someone else’s Tsumo win.

The game starts in East round. This means that East counts as a Yaku Hai (later) for all players, and counts as two Han for East. Once everyone has been East,the round will change to South, and East will become another trash wind for everyone except the dealer, while South will become a Yaku Hai. In a Han Chan, the game ends when South Round is finished, unless no player is above 30,000 points, in which case West and North are played until someone goes above 30,000.

Calling tiles

As another player discards, if you want the tile they just had,...