Mahjong Rules: How to Play Mahjong Game?

 Kevin Brown
  Feb 25, 2019

Rules of Mahjong Game


A game in which generally 4 people play, tiles are drawn and discarded until a player wins is known as Mahjong Game. All the players have to follow the sitting manner which is they have to sit at a square table: north, west, east and south. Each player will be given 14 tiles.

Mahjong Rules

The aim of the Game

The main motive of this game is to collect tiles in order to form a Mahjong hand. This game can be played as per the turn and players need to pick a tile from the wall and one the same tile. If in case the player declares Mahjong Hand then that player is known as the Winner of the Game.


This game should be played with 4 players.


Important components for this game are as follows:

  1. 136 Tiles
  2. 36 Characters
  3. 36 Bamboos
  4. 36 Circles.

The above-mentioned components further can be classified in the following:

  • The Suit tiles consist of bamboos, characters, and dots.
  • The Honor tiles consist of dragons and winds.
  • The Flower tiles consist of flowers and seasons.
  • The Joker tiles consist of a joker.

How to play Mahjong Game?

A player who will claim the most recent discarded tile can start the game. The respective player will then receive a winning hand of 14 tiles. But if any player fails to claim then a player should say “pung” and then has to reveal 2 matching tiles that match the discard. If you complete a chow and nobody claims the discarded tile then that player should claim it during the beginning of the move by saying “chow” and then that player has to face up and reveal the completed run. Then you can continue the game in the usual way.

When the discarded tile does not complete the set for you then you can select another tile from the wall. Remember, only the recent discarded tile can be claimed.

Claiming Tiles

  1. In order to declare a chow, the player can claim a discarded tile from the next player (left side).
  2. A player can claim a discarded tile from any player to declare a Kong or pong.
  3. The above-mentioned case is also applicable if the player wants to declare Mahjong.

The priority list to claim the same discard:

  • Mahjong
  • Kong
  • Pong
  • Chow


Two steps have to be followed in order to calculate the score. First, give Minipoint to the sets and the pair. Secondly, hands should be analyzed for the patterns that actually matters for the game. Then there is a unique concept known as Fan which is awarded for the different patterns. A Fan will help you to double the Minipoint once. Ultimately the resulting score is the Hand score. At times, hand score is not taken into consideration but only the number of the fan is counted.


An entire pot is being taken by the player who has scored the highest points. A pot means the sum of the buy-ins from all the participants. There is a feeding penalty which is explained as below:

A player that discards the winning tile will have to pay extra (the feeding penalty) and the player that does not discard the winning tile has to pay less (the feeding penalty).


The money which was the part of the game will get divided among the players. Following are the settlement types:

  1. Winner Takes All
  2. Riichi House
  3. Hong Kong

Necessary terms of Mahjong Game.

Term Explanation
Draw When a player is drawing a tile from the wall is known as Draw.
Discard A situation where already the tile is in one’s hand or tile just draw then one can discard the tile present same tile.
Claim If a tile that can complete a chow can only be claimed, this has been already discarded by a player.
Meld Show the tiles face-up to everyone when it has been claimed by a player.
Concealed When a hand or set has not been declared then it can be concealed.
Hand Tiles that are useful to the player are known as hand.
Pong Three of a kind.
Kong Four of a kind.
Chow When three tiles are found to be same then one should observe if it is straight then it is known as Chow.
Yaku A pattern of similarity of the tiles has some unique appearance then it is known as Yaku.
Minipoint At a point when points are collected and the value of all sets then that case can be named as Minipoint.
Hand point The actual value of hand after the process of the fan being applied is known as Hand point.
Wall When tiles are not selected for the game yet is known as Wall.
Furiten A player has discarded the tile before but actually, it was useful to go Mahjong is known as Furiten.
Riichi The player requires only one tile in order to declare Mahjong then that player is known as Riichi.
Tenpai When there is only one tile required in order to declare valid Mahjong that player is known as Tenpai.
Mahjong Rules:  How to Play Mahjong Game?

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a journalist at his own start-up, born and residing in Seattle, Washington. He has a knack of reading up newspaper articles and coming up with summaries and points of view, hence taking up a profession similar to his interest. Simply covering events and activities is something he can do as good as a professional, but he seems to enjoy writing on events that need viewpoints and suggestions.

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