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The Goulash

If all the tiles are drawn from the wall without anyone calling Mah-Jong, then the game is declared a draw and no scores are made. The game is re-started with the same player as East Wind, but then played in a slightly different way called the “goulash”.


If the set contains jokers then these are used Instead of the four 2 of Bamboo tiles. If jokers are not present the 2 of Bamboo tiles act as jokers and become “wild” tiles (they can stand for any other tile, except a Flower or Season).

Playing the game

The game is played the same as a normal game except that “wild” tiles operate and no chows are allowed  (unless they are part of a Special Hand).  In consequence, there can be no doubling of the score for having no chows.

The introduction of wild tiles introduces the chance of more than one player wishing to pung or kong the same piece. In this instance the player nearest the right of the discard takes precedence.


Note that there are restrictions on how the wild tiles can be used:

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

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The building of the wall and the dealing are the same as the normal game, but then players are allowed to exchange a number tiles they do not want before they start to play  (after replacing  any season or flower tiles with tiles from the kong box).


There are three exchanges during which players try to improve their hands:


1.  East swaps with West and North swaps with South

Each player takes three unwanted tiles from his rack and places them face down in front of him. East Wind then swaps his three tiles with those of West Wind and North Wind swaps his three tiles with those of South wind. The swapped tiles are placed in the racks and the hands examined for further unwanted tiles.


2.  East swaps with South and West swaps with North

The above swapping procedure is repeated, except that this time East Wind swaps his unwanted tiles with those of South Wind and West Wind swaps his tiles with those of North Wind.


3.  East swaps with North and West swaps with South

The swapping is repeated again, but this time East Wind swaps with North Wind and West Wind swaps with South Wind.


A player must always exchange three tiles - even if he is within one or two tiles of a Mah-Jong hand. And it’s conceivable that East Wind may be able to call Mah-Jong between exchanges.

Two of bamboos
A joker tile
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© 2008   Peter Gregory
© 2008   Peter Gregory
Text - The Game
Overview and page links




Variations of Play