Everything you need to know about MahJong

mahjong

Mahjong is a strategic game where players win if they collect four sets or a pair of tiles. Believed to have originated in the Shanghai province of China, MahJong quickly gained popularity across the country and eventually spread across the US. 

Confucius is credited with introducing the game of MahJong to China. He was a famous Chinese philosopher whose set of dogma has widely influenced the present-day customs and beliefs of the Chinese. The word ‘MahJong’ roughly translates to ‘sparrow’ in Chinese, and the name is a result of Confucius’s love for birds. Several rules of the game align with Confucius’s beliefs and principles. 

Confucius always preached his three noble virtues, namely – filial piety, benevolence, and sincerity. The three dragon tilesets in MahJong represent or are linked to these three noble virtues. 

Although it originated in the late 1800s, it was around 1905 when more and more people began to become interested in MahJong. The number of people who played MahJong increased exponentially around that year. When the popularity of the game was immense, there arose a need for a set of rules. 

Hence, rules were put on paper. 

These rules governed the following essential practices of the game:

  1. Shuffling practice.
  2. Construction of four walls from tiles available.
  3. Dealing the tiles with one another. 
  4. Creation of the Kong set. 

Since the game became extremely popular among gamblers, the rules made sure none of them could cheat. 

Once MahJong became popular among Americans in China, they took it to their country, and the craze for the game spread like wildfire. By the 1920s, MahJong became a game that blended several cultures. The game then mutated, and people came up with variations in rules as well as the name. Europe now recognized the game that drove everyone gaga. Countries like Singapore encouraged their citizens to play this game quite officially. 

Know the basics of MahJong

MahJong is a purely strategic game, much against the myth that one needs luck on his side to win the game. The game’s rules vary based on the country and region because after gaining widespread popularity, the game was re-adapted several times. For instance, some countries or regions provide players with new sets of tiles to use or reinforce new rules. 

However, to simplify the game for beginners, here are a set of rules that belong to the classical Chinese MahJong applicable within any Chinese province. 

  1. There are a total of 144 tiles and two rolling dice in a classic MahJong game. 
  2. Some MahJong sets may offer four racks built to hold the tiles in place and for tallying sticks.
  3. Sets are also known as ‘melds.’ For winning, the pair should have identical tiles, or the four sets must consider either the kong, chow, or the pung.
  4. The kong refers to 4 identical tiles in the same row.
  5. The chow refers to a set of consecutive numbers drawn from the same suit.
  6. The pung refers to 3 identical tiles in a row. 
  7. MahJong is when tiles are drawn and discarded continuously until any of the players gets a winning hand.

How to play MahJong?

The playing tiles are arranged in rows of 17 and columns of 2. When any player owns 4 rows, the tiles of these corresponding rows must be arranged to form a square-like pattern. 

Each of the 4 players must either roll the dice or choose the tile of the highest value. It will determine who among the 4 players is going to be the dealer. Based on that, the players will arrange themselves around the table, and the dealer will roll the dice. 

Based on the number that appears on the dice, the dealer will count those many spots from the right. Simultaneously, he will keep picking all the extra tiles. The rest of the players will arrange their tiles such that no two players can see each other’s tiles. 

Although the person on the dealer’s left should go next, priority is given to any player who can successfully attempt a MahJong hand. The next on the priority list is any player that can successfully attempt completing a pair. As and when the player completes the pair, he must yell out ‘Pung’ and show his newly formed pair to the other players. The third player on the priority list is anyone that can successfully make a set. If he does, he must yell out ‘Chow’ and show the newly created set. Last on the priority list is the player on the left to the dealer. This sequence is repeated until any of the players completes a MahJong.

Play Online Mahjong

With the internet taking over our lives, games are one of the most crucial factors behind its popularity. Every game now has its online version, and so does MahJong. MahJong is easily accessible at online casino Singapore and other legal and genuine online casino sites. 

Although there are several versions of MahJong at these casinos, the most popular version is the solitaire version. It is named after its striking similarity with the actual game of solitaire. Another popular version of the online MahJong is the slot version, where each spin will reset the room with a new set of tiles. 

The enthralling part about these online MahJong games is that you can play them for real cash and exciting prizes. You can play against participants from several countries across the globe. 

Summing it Up

If you love and enjoy playing games like rummy, you will love playing MahJong. The classic MahJong is best played offline with a group of four players. The rules and guidelines of offline Mahjong vary from one place to another. 

However, if you want to win huge cash prizes and rewards, it is best to opt for online MahJong, such as those prevalent in countries like Singapore and its neighbors. Always look for the legitimacy of the online website before you begin playing and better if you check its review on casinoswikionline to be sure.

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