British Rules

The Game


Build the Walls

Each player then builds a wall, two tiles high and 18 tiles long.  

Each wall is then moved to the centre of the table until they meet.  The walls are pushed together so that each left end stands outside the right end of the adjacent  wall. It’s actually of no consequence - just one of the formal ceremonies that gives Mah-Jong its character.


The wall symbolises the Great Wall of China.  The four walls must touch to prevent dragons or evil spirits entering !


Break into one Wall

Determine which wall to break

East Wind throws 2 dice to determine which wall to break.  Starting with the wall in front of East Wind, count anti-clockwise.

Determine where to break the wall

The player who sits where the count ends then throws 2 dice again to determine where in the wall the break is to be made.   Add the numbers from the two throws together.  Starting from the right end of the wall, count towards the left.   If the end of the wall is reached continue counting into the next wall.

Pick up the two tiles at the break point – the two tiles are called  loose tiles – and put them on top of the tiles immediately to the right of the break so that the top-most tile lies furthest away from the break point.   This is the end of the wall.

The tiles on the other side of the break point are the start of the wall.   So when tiles come to be dealt from the wall it will be in a clockwise direction.

The Kong Box

At the end of the wall the last seven pairs of tiles (including the loose tiles) are moved away from the rest of the wall. These detached tiles are called  the  kong box  or  dead wall.

It’s function is to provide replacement tiles for kongs, Flowers and Seasons.  The loose tiles are taken in turn (the furthest from the end first) and replaced from the end of the kong box as required.

The session ends in a drawn game when the last tile in the live wall  (the one before the kong-box) has been taken and played without Mah-Jong being called.  This is called a “Wash-out”.

Note that the kong box is never replenished from the live wall.  If the kong box is exhausted and another replacement tile is required then the game is drawn.

Deal out the Tiles

East Wind receives 14 tiles and the other players 13 each.

East Wind deals out the tiles starting with himself.  Tiles are dealt by (East Wind) 4 at a time, beginning at the start point.

This is done 3 times, dealing to East Wind, South Wind, West Wind and North Wind in turn.  At this point each player should have 12 tiles.  East Wind deals out one more tile to each player following the same dealing sequence.  He finally takes one extra tile for himself.

Each player then arranges his tiles in the tile rack so they cannot be seen by anyone else.

Select out any Flower or Season Tiles

If anyone has any flower or season tiles then these need to be laid on the table and replaced by tiles from the kong box.

East Wind starts this process, followed by South Wind, West Wind then North Wind.  Should another flower or season be picked from the wall then this is laid out too, and replaced immediately from the kong box.

Text - The Game

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

Overview and page links
Overview and page links
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© 2008   Peter Gregory

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