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Introduction to Mahjong
02-25-2009, 10:44 PM
Post: #1
Introduction to Mahjong
Mahjong, also known as mahjongg, majiang, mah-jong or mah-jongg, is a traditional Chinese game. Mahjong is a game that involves skill, intelligence, estimation as well as luck. Mahjong, which literally means “the game of a hundred intelligences” in Chinese, has been traditionally a gambling game. Ma Chiao, Mo Tsiah, Ma Cheuk, Ma Jong, Ma Chiang, Ma Chong, Man Chu, Mah Diao, Pung Chow, Mah Chong, Ching Chong, Mah Cheuk, Ma Chiang, Kong Chow, Mah Deuck, Lung Chan, Mah Lowe, Pe Ling, Baak Ling are other names for Mahjong.

There are many variations of the game , most importantly the Chinese, Japanese and American versions. Today, Mahjong is an international game with tournaments being held all over the world, including the Mahjong World Championship. For this, new rules of the game have been formulated with new patterns for playing as well as scoring. Mahjong Solitaire is one of the most popular Mahjong games.

Mahjong is usually played by 4 players, even though two, three or 5 players can also play it. Mahjong can be played with a set of tiles or with Mahjong playing cards. Basic Mahjong equipment includes chips, tiles and dice. Generally, the tiles are 136, 144, 148 or 152 in number. The most common kinds of tiles are: the circle suit (contains circles), the bamboo suit (contains bamboos), character suit (Chinese characters representing ten thousand coins each), wind tiles (representing north, south, east and west), dragon tiles (red, green and white), flower tiles (containing art work) and joker tiles (used like a wild card, as a substitute for any tile). A Mahjong set contains 144 tiles, 2 season tiles, 4 “red 5” bonus tiles, 1 table wind Tessera, 4 dice, scoring tallies, storage trays and a carrying case.

In the game, each player holds set of 13 tiles (for a 136-tile set) and draws one tile at a time from a stack (known as the wall). The objective is to make a set of four defined groups of tiles containing 3 or 4 tiles and one pair of tiles. The first player to complete this set is the winner. Each of these tiles has certain values. Scoring in Mahjong involves points, each point having a certain monetary value that is predefined by the players. In gambling mahjong, poker chips are used for transaction. In Mahjong solitaire, the game is to pair to two similar tiles and remove them. The objective is to remove all the tiles from the board. In this game, the tiles are staked upon each other. Only free tiles, or tiles that do not have other tiles to their right or left, can be removed.

There are also computer versions of Mahjong that can be played with the computer, online with other players or it can be downloaded for playing alone.

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit." - R. E. Shay
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