Mahjong Games

The varied gambles you must have played at casinos are a rich blend of many cultures, each of the games have an exhaustive history to it. For instance Mahjong an ancient tiles game, there are myths that Mahjong was played on Noah’s Ark. It is widely believed that the game was developed in the mid 1800s. Tile games have been found in China since 1120, and Mahjong’s creation is thus linked to China “Ma Tiae” or hanging horse was played with a deck of 40 paper cards. One of the theories suggests that Mahjong was founded and based on the basics of the game Ningpo around 1850.

The game spread like fire around the world, where it reached Japan in 1907 and entered the realms of United States in the 1920s. In the absence of any official absolute rules the game underwent many changes on how it is played. In Japan two main changes were made, the game became a race to make mahjong, rather than building points over a number of hands. Second, there were no points for second place. Only the winner of the hand received payment from the other three players. Although in the USA, numerous changes led the game to become confusing and thus in an attempt to induce clarity, The National Mahjong League Inc published the official American rules for the game in 1935.

The game popularly is known as a Chinese gambling game, which is played with a set of 136 or 144 tiles. The basic rules of the traditional game are similar to those of rummy. The players try to make a hand with three- or four-of-a-kind, or runs in the same suit. Hands consist of 13 or 16 tiles.

The tiles in the game are as follows:

  • Suits The majority of the tiles are divided into three different suits: Dots (Tung), Bamboos (Taio) and Characters (Wan). Each of the three suits run from one to nine with four tiles for each number.
  • Winds There are also tiles for the Winds. (East, South, West, North). There are four tiles for each Wind.
  • Dragons There are three Dragons (Red, Green,White). Again there are four tiles for each Dragon.
  • Flowers and Seasons The game can be played with the addition of eight more tiles; four Seasons and four Flowers. Flowers and Seasons are only used for bonus in the score. They are not part of the hand.
  • Honors Winds and Dragons are called Honors collectively.

The game ends when one player completes the hand or no one completes the hand when all tiles in the wall except the dead tiles are used. There are many scoring systems and payment methods among different variations. In a live game, players are required to play a pre-determined number of rounds, usually in increments of four.

Poker and Mahjong share many similarities, both being multi-player that require a table to play each other the difference is the rules of the game, and Mahjong only allows four players per table, at the same time online poker can have many more players on the same table.

As of today the game has earned immense popularity and is being played by millions of people around the globe, and further on the game is regaining its popularity in the USA. A lot of computer solitaire games were created using mahjong tiles in the 80s followed shortly by four player versions. In the online world a slew of websites offer a more traditional version of the game where one can play with anyone across the world.