British Rules
A gentle introduction to the game
The Game
Examples of sets and advice about where to buy them
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Starting the Game

East  Wind chooses one tile from his hand and discards it by placing it face-up inside the walls.

A discarded tile is dead (plays no further part in the game) unless it is claimed immediately.

Turns move in an anti-clockwise direction (to the right), so it’s normally South Wind’s turn next to obtain and discard a tile.

However, to appreciate what can happen next you need to understand what is involved in collecting sets, claiming a  chow,  pung  or  kong, and declaring  Mah-Jong.

Collecting Sets

You build up sets by obtaining and discarding one tile at a time. The discarded tile is placed face up inside the walls. You can, of course, discard the tile you’ve just acquired.


A chow does not score, so it is only useful in that it may allow a player to call “Mah-Jong”.

Only one chow is allowed in a hand and it’s not allowed when there are only 3 players.

There are a number of special hands which, because they are unusual, score 500 or 1,000 points.

1,000 points is the maximum that can be scored in any one hand so, not surprisingly, a lot of luck is required to go out with such a hand.

Some of these special hands do not conform to the 4 sets and a pair described above but, nevertheless, allow you to declare  Mah-Jong.   Collecting such hands is risky because, if you are not successful, you could end up with a hand which is worth no points.

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

       One for Mah-Jong

       Robbing the Kong

       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

Skip to section on specials hands
A chow
A pung
A kong
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© 2008   Peter Gregory
© 2008   Peter Gregory

Types of sets

There are 3 types:   

Chow  - a run of 3 tiles in the same suit


Pung  - a set of 3 identical tiles


Kong  - a set of 4 identical tiles

Sets and “Mah-Jong”

The aim is to arrive at 4 sets, plus a pair of identical tiles – this is  Mah-Jong.

There is no discard after the final tile is acquired to make a Mah-Jong.

Special Hands

Text - The Game
Overview and page links
Playing the Game