How to Play Mah-Jongg

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Mah-Jongg is a game of Chinese origin that is usually played by four people with 144 tiles that are drawn and discarded until one player secures a winning hand. Play mah-jongg and get a booklet that describes the change of the wind with tips from a gaming specialist in this free video on card games.

Part of the Video Series: Board Games & Card Games
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Windy, and this is an introduction to the game of Mah Jongg. Mah Jongg means the sparrows, in Chinese. It's a tile game. There are different sets that you can buy. Traditional ones that are made out of bone or ivory, and wood, bamboo traditionally, and other sets that are made out of high quality palm or plastic, which is a replica of ivory, since ivory is no longer allowed. Your set will come with tiles, that have different shapes on them. They're divided amongst bamboo, circles, characters, numbers, the four directions, north, south, east, and west, and three dragons. Players play on a square table. There are four players. You can play it three, but it is better to play it with four people. When you start the game, you take turns, taking one of the four directions, which represents the four directions that the winds blow across China, and you sit in the direction, that is indicated by your chip on the board, north, south, east, and west. League play involves a booklet, which tells you specific special rules for how the winds are behaving, and they change every year. You have to buy a new one of these books, little booklets, every year, according to the mystical change of the winds in China, which is actually set by a certain formula. Prices are ranging from thirty to hundreds of dollars, for a nice wooden and bamboo sets. It's not the same as the game that you play on the internet, which is a simple tile matching game, sort of like what you would play with dominoes. Instead, it is a betting game. These sticks with dots here, are bets for partners. They tell you how much money you have to put into the pool, and it's played somewhat like a tile version of bridge, and that's my introduction to Mah Jongg.


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