Last Updated on 20 June 2023 by Nicholas Lim
Mahjong, China’s National Past Time
Mahjong has been around for hundreds of years. It is believed to have been invented around the time of the Qing Dynasty in China. Since the start of the 1900’s, Mahjong has spread around the world and is now enjoyed by people from all over. The game has also evolved over the years with many variations being played depending on where you’re from. There are also Mahjong tournaments being played all year round Singapore and in online casinos around the world. If you want to learn more about the game, then you’re in luck. We’ve complied some information on the history and the rules of Mahjong. We’ll also cover how Mahjong has evolved online over the years.
History of Mahjong
The history of Mahjong dates back hundreds of years. Depending on who you ask you may get a different version on the game’s real origins. Some people even believe the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius was the first one to invent the game. There is even one highly unlikely story that claims the game has been around since the time of Noah from the Bible.
The more likely version of Mahjong’s history is that the game evolved over years. It is believed Ya Pei a game that originated during the Sung dynasty which also used ivory or wood-based tiles similar to today’s modern game was the origin of Mahjong. There is still no clear indication as to who invented the game. However, most people agree the game was invented around the early 19th century and started spreading around the world in the early 20th century.
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Like most other table-based games Mahjong has many regional and international version like one version that uses American rules. In order to understand how the game is played we will focus on the basic rules which are common among most versions of Mahjong. The basic concept of the game is to arrange 14 tiles in to four sets and one pair. Pairs also known as “Pung”, are made up of 2 tiles identical tiles. Sets of 3 also known as “Chow” are 3 consecutive tiles of the same suit.
Mahjong requires 4 players to play the game. There are some versions which can be played using 3 players however we will focus on the 4-player version only. The game is comprised of 136 tiles in total. These tiles include 36 characters, 36 bamboos, and 36 circles which together make up all the suits. Each suit is further divided into numbers from 1 to 9. On top of this there are also 16 wind tiles and 12 dragon tiles. Some sets will also have some bonus tiles which include 4 flower tiles and 4 season tiles. The bonus tiles are not required to play the basic game of Mahjong.
The Goal of the Game
The tiles are arranged in rows of 17 tiles across and 2 rows up. Once you have 4 rows of tiles they need to be arranged in kind of a square pattern. The four players will need to role a dice or choose a tile of highest value in order to determine which player will be the dealer. The players will then sit accordingly around the table. The dealer will now need to roll the dice and count that many spots starting from the right side and start picking tiles. Each player will now receive 13 tiles with the dealer receiving an extra tile to begin the game.
Each player will now arrange their tiles in a row so the other players can’t see them. The dealer will then discard one tile and the game begins. Before the next person to the left can play his turn, priority will first be given to anyone how can complete a Mahjong hand on their next move. Next priority will be given to any player who can complete a pair. The player must yell out Pung and show the new pair that was made. Next priority goes to any player who can make a set. The player will need to yell out Chow and show the new set that was created. Finally, the person to the left of the dealer will be able to play their turn. The game continues until one person completes a Mahjong.
The popularity of the game has made its way online as well. Mahjong can now be enjoyed at casino Singapore and other websites. Currently there a few different versions available to play. One of the more popular versions is a solitaire-based version of the game which has you matching tiles like you would playing solitaire. Another variation of Mahjong is a slot-based version that uses slot mechanics to play the game. Each spin will reload the screen with a new group of tiles. Different combinations will reward you with different amounts of coins.
It’s not always easy to find 4 people to enjoy a game of Mahjong with. That’s why there are also online tournaments against other players that are played for real cash and prizes. You can now join online casino tournaments and play against people from around the world.
No matter what you style or level there is a version of Mahjong for everyone to enjoy. If you like similar games like rummy cube, then you’ll love Mahjong. We highly recommend it.