British Rules
A gentle introduction to the game
The Game
Examples of sets and advice about where to buy them
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The aim of the game is to win the most points, often represented by the special tokens (called tallies).  You can play any number of sessions until you decide to finish.   A session consists of:                         

Number of people

Four people are needed to play the game, though it can be made to work quite well with three.

There are also versions for 2 and 5 people.

Getting started

People who have no experience of Mah-Jong may find all the rules that follow quite daunting.

Example of a winning hand

The player who was South Wind went  Mah-Jong  with the following (exposed) hand.

It scored 544 points and South Wind collected a total of 2,176 points in tallies from the other three players.

The Game


The Aim of the Game

       General Strategy


Preparing to Play

       Distribute the Tallies

       Determine who is N, S, E, and W Wind

       Determine the Prevailing Wind

       Shuffle the Tiles

       Build the Walls

       Break into one Wall

       The Kong Box

       Deal out the Tiles

       Select out any Flower or Season Tiles


Playing the Game

       Starting the Game

       Collecting Sets

       Special Hands

       Obtaining a New Tile

       Claiming the Discarded Tile

       Flower and Season Tiles

       Concealed Sets

       Converting a Pung to a Kong

       Robbing the Kong

       One for Mah-Jong

       Finishing the Game


Variations of Play

       The Goulash

       The Game for 2 Players

       The Game for 3 Players

       The Game for 5 Players

       Suggested Rule

Building a four-sided City wall from the tiles


Dealing out a portion of the tiles to each player


Assembling the tiles into sets or a special hand by:

        Picking a tile from the wall or claiming one discarded by another player

         Discarding a tile you no longer want

          . . . until a completed hand is obtained

          The first player to do this wins the session and cries  Mah-Jong !


Scoring  then exchanging tallies based on who wins and the sets collected

Example hand
Next Page
© 2008   Peter Gregory
© 2008   Peter Gregory
Skip to 'Learning the game by Stages'

It may be advisable for them to skip to a more gentle introduction where they will be able to learn the game in stages.

General Strategy

Winning is helped by skill and knowledge of the game, but there is a large element of luck.


The game is made more interesting and exciting if people aim to achieve a high score in each session, rather than complete a Mah-Jong as quickly as possible. To this end it is better to collect sets of the high scoring tiles (called Major tiles) and to look for combinations which will double your basic score.


Watching the tiles that other people are discarding and claiming may allow you to determine what they are collecting and so influence your play.


The winner is not necessarily the one who declares Mah-Jong, as payments are also made between the other players based on the value of any sets in their hands.

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Text - The Game
Overview and page links
The Aim of the Game