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Classical Chinese Mahjong Rules



This text is a compilation of many sources of information; see references. Although probably not very complete and may never be due to other commitments, I hope it is useful.

The name is a bit of a mystery but my understanding is as follows: Mahjong was apparently the name given by westerners such as Babcock, to mean "the game of the sparrows" or "Sparrow tiles", the Eastern name being more like “Game of Sparrows”. Elsewhere the name is reported to mean “Hemp Bird“ named due to the similarity of its sound and the clattering of tiles. What is clear is the name refers to the sound.

Mahjong is also called Ma Jong, Mahjong, Mahjongg, Ma Diao, Ma Cheuk, Mah Cheuck, Baak Ling, or Pong Chow.

1 History

1.1 Other variations

1.2 References

2 General

2.1 Terms in Mahjong

2.2 Sets

3 Rules (Laws of Play)

3.1 General

3.2 Preparation

3.3 Starting with cards

3.4 Starting with tiles (wall building)

3.5 Dealing

3.6 During Play

3.7 Ending a Round

3.8 Next Deal

4 Scoring

4.1 Payment methods

4.2 The Limit

4.3 The Score Values

5 Penalties

6 Rules for more or less than four players

6.1 Two handed game

6.2 Three handed game

6.3 Five handed game

6.4 Six handed game

7 The Special Hands

7.1 Classic Special Hands