British Rules
A gentle introduction to the game
The Game
Examples of sets and advice about where to buy them
Mah-Jong sites, their content, and an indication of how interesting it is
Mah-Jong clubs, organisations and other contacts
Download printer friendly rules
Mah-Jong teachers and courses in the UK
Bookmark and Share

Stage 4 - Introducing Additional Doubles

There are more doubles available to the player who goes  Mah-Jong.

These have a strong influence on what a player decides to collect.

It gives a reason, for example, to avoid chows and to try to collect tiles from the same suit.

Aiming for as many doubles as possible is generally a good strategy for achieving a high score.

See how to score doubles for the player who goes Mah-Jong

Stage 5 - Introducing Special Hands

There are a number of special hands which, because they are unusual, score 500 or 1,000 points. Not surprisingly, a lot of luck is required to go out with such a hand.

See special hands

Doubling doesn’t apply to special hands, but it can apply to any additional bonus tiles.  


At this point it may worth looking at some example hands to check that you properly understand how to score Mah-Jong.

See how doubling applies to special hands

Some of these special hands do not conform to the 4 sets and a pair but, nevertheless, allow you to declare  Mah-Jong.   Collecting such hands is

See example Mah-Jong hands
See example non-winning hands

Stage 6 - Using Tallies

Using tallies, rather than scoring sheets, adds to the charm of the game.  They take a little getting used to as the points markings are somewhat counter intuitive.  They do vary as well.  You may need to make your own decisions on what each tally is worth.  The rules give each player tallies worth a total of 2,000 points.

Stage 7 - Playing the Goulash

There is a special form of the game which is played after a drawn game  (where no one has been able to declare  Mah-Jong and so no scores are made).  This is called the goulash and involves the use of Joker tiles.  If there are no Joker tiles in the set then the Two of Bamboos tile becomes “wild”.

Perhaps one criticism of the official rules is that the tally points distributed at the start are not many, so that a player who loses heavily could find himself with none left.  Introducing some additional tokens (each standing for 1,000 points) gets around this problem.

See how to use tallies
See how to play the goulash

The game starts with three exchanges of unwanted tiles.

risky because, if you are not successful, you could end up with a hand which is worth no points.

© 2008   Peter Gregory
© 2008   Peter Gregory
Previous Page
Previous Page

Learning the Game by Stages


Stage 1

       Some Basic Rules


Stage 2

       The Winds

        Some Scoring


Stage 3




      The Kong Box


Stage 4

       Additional Doubles


Stage 5

       Special Hands


Stage 6

       Using Tallies


Stage 7

       Playing the Goulash

Text - Beginners
Overview and page links
Learning the Game by Stages