Mah Jong

Mah Jong

Mah Jong is an ancient Chinese board game which is well known in the world of online games. This game has now wide spread all across the world and gained enormous popularity. The game is generally played with three sets and has many versions. The game is very similar to card games though it is played with tiles instead of cards.

Origin of Mah Jong

The Mah Jong board was invented by the people of China. This is a game played by four participants who match their strategies, skills, and evaluative powers. Mah Jong is an exciting game that involves certain level of chance factors. Fortune may play major part in success of the players depending on the kind of game they are playing. In most of the Asian countries this game is a popular gambling game. The players may deal with 13 tiles and in some games 16 tiles for each hand. The variation in number of tiles depends on game types.

Each player has to draw a tile and discard another at the same time on each hand. The main motive is to make 4 or 5 melds. This will be dependent on the type of game one is playing. In addition the players need to make pair which is known as “Head”. A player who draws a new tile and discards another tile and eventually completes the hand first will be declared as the winner of the game. The winning player will have 14 or 17 tiles.

Ancient Card Games and Mah Jong

According to the historians, the present game of Mah Jong originated based on ancient card game of China called Madiao, meaning “hanging horse”.  The game was played with 40 cards, which are very similar to the traditional Mah Jong tiles. While the earlier Madiao card game had the cards numbered from digits 1 to 9 in four different set of cards, in addition to the four flower cards that completed a total of 40 cards in all, Mah Jong is played with only three sets. The Mah Jong board game on the other hand is played with 4 packs of Madiao cards.

Though this game was banned in China with the uprising of Communist regime, the game continues to hold its swing in Western countries and sensationally popular in United States. The Mah Jong Association in America holds Tournaments throughout North America.

Relation to Domino and Rummy

Mah Jong is played with tiles and therefore can be related with Domino game and the style of play is very similar to that of card game, Rummy. Some of the classical variations of Mah Jong are Chinese Classical, Sichuan, and Hong Kong, Japanese, Taiwanese, Western Classical and most popular American version of Mah Jong. This game has a simplified version with three players, while the Singaporean and Malaysian versions are unique in their own style.