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Mah Jong Tips & Strategy

(see also Where to play MahJong online)

Mah Jong (sometimes incorrectly spelled MahJong, majung or Ma Jong) is one of the worlds oldest gambling games.To play Mah Jong, one needs to collect different combinations of tiles. In Mah Jongg these combinations are known as Chows, Pungs and Kongs. A Chow is a consecutive sequence of three tiles of the same suit. A Pung is three identical tiles of the same suit. A Kong is four identical tiles of the same suit. 

You need four people to play mah jong, one to represent each of the four winds, North, South, East, and West.  The significance of the Wind of the Round (and your own Wind) is that if you collect three or four tiles (a Pung or a Kong) of either of these Winds your score will be higher.

The player who is East Wind starts the Game. Each player's Hand should always have thirteen tiles, and when it is the turn of the player, they are dealt a fourteenth tile. The player can choose to keep the tile that has just been dealt or can discard the tile. Therefore, players always have thirteen tiles.  The object of the game is to go Mah Jong, or collect fourteen tiles.  This consists of four combinations of three (Chow or Pung) or four (Kong) tiles and a pair of identical tiles.

All mah jong tiles are arranged in the shape of a square wall.  Each player is dealt 13 tiles from the wall except the East player, who gets 14.  Next, the East Wind player discards a tile to start the game.  If you have two or three tiles on your stake identical to the tile discarded by another player you can call out "pung" or "kong" and pick up this tile. Also if a tile is discarded by the player sitting to your left and you can make a sequence of three tiles, call out “chow” and you can pick up the discarded tile as soon as it is placed in the middle.

As long as no other player wants to use the same discarded mah jong tile for a better combination, you can have the tile and the combination you have made with this tile must be displayed above your stake for everyone to see. Each time you pick up a tile you must discard a tile.  The hand ends when a person has Mah Jong, and scores are added up, or when the wall runs out, in which the hand is replayed without scoring.

  Mahjong tip: Get £30 free, no deposit needed, to play Mahjong at William Hill.

Scoring Pungs

Tiles

Exposed

Concealed

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 of any suit

2

4

1 or 9 of any suit

4

8

Any Wind or Dragon

4

8

Pungs must consist of three identical tiles of the same suit.

Scoring Kongs

Tiles

Exposed

Concealed

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 of any suit

8

16

1 or 9 of any suit

16

32

Any Wind or Dragon

16

32

Kongs must consist of four identical tiles of the same suit.

Scoring the Pair that Completes the Hand

Tiles

Points

Pair of any Dragon

2

Pair of player's own Wind

2

Pair of Wind of the Round

2

The pair that completes the hand must consist of two identical tiles. No other score values are given for pairs that complete a hand other than those given in the table above.

Scoring Flower and Season Tiles

Each Flower or Season tile scores 4 points.

Bonus Scores Applied to Winner's Hand Only

Tiles

Points

For going Mah Jongg

20

Winning with a tile dealt from the Wall

2

Winning with only possible tile

2

Winning with a Standing Hand

100

Winning with the last tile dealt from the Wall - "To catch a Fish from the Bottom of the Sea"

10

Winning with a Loose Tile

10

For having no Chows in the Hand - "Winning by Pairs"

10

For having no scoring value in the Hand

10

If there are doubles in the winning hand, add bonuses before the score is doubled.

Doubles Scores Applied to All Player's Hands

Tiles

Doubles

Pung or Kong of player's own Wind

1 Double

Pung or Kong of Wind of the Round

1 Double

Pung or Kong of any Dragon

1 Double

Player's own Flower or Season

1 Double

Hand entirely of one suit with Winds and/or Dragons

1 Double

Hand entirely of ones and nines with Winds and/or Dragons

1 Double

Hand entirely of one suit without Winds and Dragons

3 Doubles

Hand entirely of ones and nines without Winds and Dragons

3 Doubles

Hand entirely of Winds and Dragons

3 Doubles

All Four Flowers or Seasons

3 Doubles

Doubles Scores Applied to Winner's Hand Only

Tiles

Doubles

Snatching a Kong to go Mah Jongg

1 Double

Original Hand

3 Doubles

Calculating Doubles

For each Double in Mah Jong the score is multiplied by two, as explained in the following table:

 

One Double

Multiply by 2

Five Doubles

Multiply by 32 (2x2x2x2x2)

Two Doubles

Multiply by 4 (2x2)

Six Doubles

Multiply 64 (2x2x2x2x2x2)

Three Doubles

Multiply By 8 (2x2x2)

Seven Doubles

Multiply By 128 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2)

Four Doubles

Multiply By 16 (2x2x2x2)

Eight Doubles

Multiply By 256 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2)

 

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Now that you are ready, play Mah Jong at one of the UK Online casinos on our homepage.

To play MahJong online, read the guide of Where to play MahJong online, or get a free £30 no deposit from William Hill, with a free bonus of £300 to follow.

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