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Book Id: WPLBN0002827661
Format Type: SWF (Interactive Media)
File Size: 270.13 kb
Reproduction Date: 3/28/2013

Title: Mahjong  
Author: Unknown
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Stratagy, Game
Collections: Interactive Media
Publication Date:
Publisher: China
Member Page: Games


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Unknown,. (n.d.). Mahjong. Retrieved from

Mahjong is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players (with some three-player variations found in Korea and Japan). Similar to the Western card game rummy, mahjong is a game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance. The game is played with a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving thirteen tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the fourteenth drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player and thus melded, the use of simples (numbered tiles) and honours (winds and dragons), the kinds of melds, and the order of dealing and play. However there are many regional variations in the rules; in addition, the scoring system and the minimum hand necessary to win varies significantly based on the local rules being used.

Scoring Scoring in mahjong involves points, with a monetary value for points agreed upon by players. Although in many variations scoreless hands are possible, many require that hands be of some point value in order to win the hand. While the basic rules are more or less the same throughout mahjong, the greatest divergence between variations lies in the scoring systems. Like the rules, there is a generalized system of scoring, based on the method of winning and the winning hand, from which Chinese and Japanese base their roots. American mahjong generally has greatly divergent scoring rules, as well as greatly divergent general rules. Because of the large differences between the various systems of scoring (especially for Chinese variants), groups of players will often agree on particular scoring rules before a game. Points (terminology of which differs from variation to variation) are obtained by matching the winning hand with different criteria scoring different values. The points obtained may be modified into scores for each player using some (typically exponential) functions. Some criteria may be also in terms of both points and score. In many variations the dealer receives no scoring bonus and does not maintain his/her turn by winning or a dead hand. In classical mahjong all players score points. Points are given for sets and hand composition and winning bonuses, doubled and redoubled for basic patterns. Sometimes a loser may score more points than a winner. Japanese mahjong has a complex scoring system with several stages of scoring, rules and exceptions, evening out scores and bonus points at the end of a match. Korean mahjong has a simple scoring system where only winner scores without any form of doubling. Some variations give points for concealed hands, in which case no melds are made except by winning on a discard. In Old Hong Kong Mahjong: Only the winner scores points. Winning hands are scored by totaling the point value of each element in the hand. Points are distinct from the actual payment received from each player. The winner receives points (also known as faan among some players) for: individual melds, the composition of the entire hand, how the hand was won, bonus tiles, special patterns, and a few other special criteria. In order to win, a player needs to have at least the minimum points agreed in advance (often 3). Bonus points are separate from the minimum points a player needs to win. If a player goes mahjong with a legal and minimum hand, his/her hand is scored by adding his/her points and bonus points together. The payment received from each player depends on three factors: the point value of the hand, if the player won from a discard or from the wall, and if the player was the dealer or not.


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