Mahjong is a popular online casino game that originated in China and came to the West in the 1920s. It is a game played with dice and tiles and while it may appear complicated at first, it is growing in popularity and availability.
Starting the Game
To begin the game, a dealer must be chosen. The players will each have a turn to roll the dice and the highest roll will be the dealer. Each player will be given a wind and the prevailing wind will change each round, unless the dealer wins. The dealer's wind is East, with the player to his right being South, then West and then North.
The tiles are shuffled face down and the players must build walls by stacking the tiles two high and one deep in front of their place. The dealer rolls the dice and counts the dice total anti-clockwise until landing on a player's row. He begins at the right corner of the row and counts tiles which are moved to the right. The South Wind moves four tiles from his left and remaining players move four tiles from their right.
Continuing the Game
In each round, a player moves one tile from their wall to their hand and discards a tile onto the table. The exception is a flower tile which must be discarded immediately and replaced from the dead wall or the back wall.
A meld is a group of tiles that the player must form. Different variations of mahjong allow different types of melds, but three are common – kongs, pongs and chows. If a player discards a tile onto the table and another player needs it to form a meld, they can make a bid for it. They will need to announce the type of meld they are forming and place it face up on the table.
- Kongs – a set of four identical tiles. A kong formed from four tiles in the hand is known as a concealed kong. A kong formed by using a discarded tile is known as an exposed kong. The player cannot split a declared kong.
- Pongs – a set of three identical tiles. Also known as a pung.
- Chows – a sequence of three suited tiles. A player can only declare a chow from a tile discarded by the player to their left.
Mahjong games can be played at the following online casinos
Winning at Mahjong
If a player is waiting on one tile to complete a winning combination, this is known as a ready hand. If you create a mahjong or form a standard mahjong hand, you will win the round. In order to do this, players must create a number of different melds. Different mahjong games use different numbers of tiles and the number of melds required to complete the game will depend on the number of tiles in the game. Players will need to make 4 melds in a 13-tile game or 5 melds in a 16-tile game.
There will be no winner if the dead wall remains. This is known as a goulashed (drawn) round.