Learn Mahjong: Simple Steps to Get You Started

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If you want to learn Mahjong, here is a simple guide on how to play this popular game.

The game needs four players. However, the version described here can also be played by three players. There will be no scoring in this game.

The aim is to form a hand with 4 sets plus a pair (2 identical tiles). To learn Mahjong easier, it is better to be familiar with terms such as set, pung or chow. A set can be a pung (3 same tiles) or a chow (3 consecutive tiles of the same suit). In this version, a hand is allowed to have only 1 chow.

The first step is to remove the following tiles: joker, Season, Flower, and spare. The tiles are then shuffled on the table, facing down.

Four walls are then created by arranging 2 stacks of 17 tiles. The walls are moved together to the center of the table until the ends meet and form a City wall.

Each player rolls the dice and whoever gets the highest score becomes the dealer. The dealer can start from any side of the wall. He gets 14 tiles and deals out 13 each to the other players, taking the tiles clockwise from the wall break.

The dealer plays first by discarding a tile from his hand, face up to the center of the table. The player to the right plays next by getting the next tile on the wall then removing a tile from his hand. However, instead of doing this, the player could get the previously discarded tile if he could form a pung, chow or mahjong.

This player's turn could be thwarted by any other player who gets to form a pung or mahjong from the dealer's discarded tile. If two or more players want the tile, then the rules guiding the order of precedence is applied - mahjong over pung, pung over chow. If 2 players form a mahjong, the player closer to the right of the dealer wins.

Now that you know the basic steps, the next step if you truly want to learn Mahjong is to start playing.