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Mah Jong (Mahjong, Mah Jongg)

cstokes4cstokes4 Member, Moderator
edited August 2012 in The Pub (Off Topic)
Anyone here play? Not the solitaire game but the actual card/tile game. I recently purchased a set of cards to see if I like it before making the investment in tiles. I have downloaded some instructions and might give it a go soon if I can coax a few more people into it.

Have any tips for beginners?


  • I have a set of nice tiles, but I could never get the 4 people together willing to learn how to play. I played with it a bit on Yahoo Games, but I didn't really know what I was doing. It felt a bit like Rummy Cube but with a lot of other things lurking in the background.
  • Same here. I want to play it since years but could not find people to play with me. There is a only client but it is only available in japanese.
  • cstokes4cstokes4 Member, Moderator
    I've heard of variations with 2 people, which might be the only way I may end up playing. I taught my wife how to play Rummy last night, hope she like Mah Jong as much.
  • I used to play, years ago. A friend of mine used to host regular Mah Jong nights. She grew up a U. S. Foreign Service brat, and had a very nice set of tiles she bought while living in Hong Kong.

    As I recall, the game is very similar to gin rummy or rummy 500, but with lots of special combinations that are winning hands. A very risky game if gambling is involved -- I'd rather take my chances at a blackjack table.
  • Got a set my sis brought back from China, don't know how to play yet- I need to read my book on it.
  • I use to play on a weekly basis w/ some friends. It's a great game that gets better the more you learn the strategy. I recommend getting a good book that explains the rules and the strategies well. My top choice would be 'A Mah Jong Handbook' by Eleanor Noss Whitney. It has good illustrations and a good primer on strategy. There are a number of variations on how to play. I can't recommend the American Rules as it gets to caught up in special hands and you have to purchase a yearly card to tell you what the special hands are. I usually play by the Chinese rules but have always wanted to get a Japanese set and learn the Riichi variation. The main thing is to get a good group to play with and play it enough to get into the swing of it. It is also much better to play the full length game, which can be a bit long if people aren't paying attention. rather than to simply play a couple of hands as the strategy really comes to life when you play for points and you learn how to strategically lose a hand in the correct way.
  • cstokes4cstokes4 Member, Moderator
    Thanks for the comments! I'm glad I bought the $7 deck of cards, I doubt that it will be a regular thing for us. One of our friends did just get back from Beijing, so he might be up to playing on a regular basis.
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