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Chinese Mahjong Continued

Tutor: Eenie Khoo

Chinese Mahjong based on the Cantonese version will be played. Malaysian/Singaporean style gameplay, rules and scoring system are used.

Please note: This class is not suitable for beginners, a beginners class will be available in subsequent terms.

The Game

A standard Mahjong set has 144 tiles comprising suits of Bamboo, Circles, Chinese Characters, Winds, Dragons and bonus tiles of Flowers and Seasons or Animals. The game is generally played by four players. Starting in an anti-clockwise direction from the East Wind position, each player draws and discards tiles to eventually obtain a complete hand of 4 sets and a pair to win the game. The number of points awarded and not the number of games won determines the winner of the game for the day. The game is only deemed to be completed when all Four Rounds of the Winds have been played. A Round is usually made up of 4 games (unless the East Wind player, known as ‘the Banker’ wins the game and get another chance at being ‘the Banker’) and begins with the East Wind Round followed by the South, then West and finally the North Wind Round. Therefore it is only at the end of the 4th Round that the player who scores the highest points is proclaimed the winner!

Brief History of Chinese Mahjong

Mahjong is a Chinese game played with engraved tiles. This game, originated in the Ningbo Area on China in the late 19th Century, spread to East Asia and Southeast Asia. It was introduced to the West in early 20th Century and since then it has become a popular game worldwide. Many variant forms of the game exist. However in my opinion, some variants have deviated far too much from the original classical Chinese game, to be even considered as Mahjong!

The name Mahjong, ‘ma cheuk’ in Cantonese means ‘hemp sparrow’. At the start of each game, the tiles have to be shuffled before the wall is built. Accordingly, the noise from the shuffling is likened to ‘the twittering of the sparrows’ hence the source of the name. It is interesting to note that in any Mahjong set, a picture of a bird (symbolising the sparrow) is engraved on number 1 of the Bamboo suit tile.

Suitable for: Novice and Experienced players
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