Ever since I watched The Joy Luck Club, I have always wanted to learn how to play mahjong. Unfortunately, I never found the right time or place to learn the game. I would try to read instructions online and even watch YouTube videos, and I would still be confused. I mentioned my desire to learn mahjong to some of my Chinese teaching friends, so for a farewell gift they taught me how to play the game!
|I was so excited to learn how to play mahjong. My friends gave me a fabulous Chinglish instructions as to how to play.|
So how do you play mahjong?
The answer is still fuzzy.
The rules of the game depend on where you live and what kind of mahjong you want to play. For my lesson, we played Shanghainese Teenager Mahjong. Here are some of the basic rules that I understand.
The mahjong tiles come in different suits: sticks, dots, characters, winds, and flowers.
|The wind tiles (located on the top) are the least valuable. The flower tiles (on the bottom) are the most valuable. I'm happy my set has both western and eastern characters on the tiles. The eastern tiles can be confusing!|
Here’s how you play:
1)Each player stacks up 36 tiles in three groups of 12.
2) Then the players line the groups of tiles to make a square.
3) The previous winner rolls the dice. The number on the dice determines which tiles are picked.
4) Players take turns grabbing three piles of four tiles. Then each player takes two tiles.
5) In an orderly manner, players swap tiles to make consecutive tiles of the same suite (chi), matching sets of three (peng) or four (kongs) of the same tile, or pairs.
6) The first person to have all of their tiles in chis, pengs, kongs, and/or pairs wins.
|I was very lucky to have my native friends help me out. I would've been clueless otherwise. The game is very fast paced, so I struggled to keep up.|
Keep in mind there are many other nuances to the game that I have failed to mention, and not all versions mahjong are played according to the same rules. If you are looking to learn how to play mahjong I suggest checking out some of these sites:
|I am happy to report that with a little time and help I actually won a hand or two!|