Mahjong is a wonderfully crafted tile game for 4 players which started in China. The game involves a combination of skill, strategy, intelligence, calculation and often a little bit of luck.
The equipment needed for playing Mahjong is a set of tiles, chips and dice. The game of Mahjong is normally played with tiles, and sometimes with playing cards.
Increase your Mahjong vocabulary with Casino Cash Journey's mahjong reference guide below.
Click for details on history, how to play, and Chinese terminology.
A player forfeits a game and stops to make plays, causing an abandoned game.
To make a play – Pong, Chow or Kong.
One of the three suits.
A game of Mahjong played without the basic tiles.
The four flower tiles and the four season tiles, also known as optional tiles. These cannot be kept in a player’s hand and must be revealed or declared on a turn,
Breaking the Wall
A process used to decide the area of the wall from which tiles are dealt to the players.
Building the Wall
After the shuffling process, players each build a wall with their 17 or 18 tiles, stacked two tiles high. The structures are pushed towards each other to form a square known as the Mahjong wall.
One of the three suits – also known as a wan.
Chinese word for a sequence of three consecutive tiles of the same suit – also known as a Chow.
The lowest scoring hand, containing mixed suits and a combination of Chows, Pongs and Kongs.
A sequence of three consecutive tiles in the same suit, also known as Chi.
One of the three common suits.
Claim a Discard
To pick up a tile which was discarded by another player.
To match up tiles to form a group of three or more tiles.
108 tiles comprised of the four sets of the same suit, with each tile numbered from 1 – 9 in three different suits – circles, bamboo and character.
A winning hand made up of at least 14 tiles.
A complete hand which is not revealed to other players until a win is declared.
Pongs or Kongs that are formed by being dealt to the player or by picking a tile from the wall.
A discarded tile that can not longer be played. Once a tile is discarded, it cannot be recalled by the discarder. If it is not picked up by another player at the next turn, it becomes a dead tile – unusable.
A section of the Mahjong wall from which players receive replacement tiles for Kongs and bonus tiles.
The player chosen to begin the game by breaking the wall.
A player must reveal or declare their bonus tiles to the opponents at the beginning of their turn.
When a player removes a tile from his hands and places it, face up, into the discard area or well.
The section of the Mahjong table in the middle of the wall where unwanted tiles are discarded.
One of the honor tiles. There are three types of dragon tiles – red, white and green.
When the game ends after all the tiles in the live wall have been used and there is no winner.
One of the wind directions used to determine the direction of play and who the dealer is at the beginning of the game.
A hand made up of one or more sets that have been revealed during the course of the game.
A Pong, Kong or Chow made up from discarded tiles.
A matching pair of tiles, which is generally needed to complete a Mahjong hand and declare a win, along with four matching sets of three or four tiles.
The bonus tiles which feature a picture of a flower.
The four winds symbolize the seating arrangements: East, West, North and South. A player who is the East Wind, gets to be the dealer and starts the game.
A game is a set of plays between four players, starting with the East Wind. A game ends when a player goes Mahjong or a draw is declared.
The end of the game when someone goes Mahjong or a draw is called.
The term used when a player has completed his hand with the required sets and has won the game.
A set of four identical tiles, most often referred to as a Kong.
Great Wall of China
The four lines of players’ tiles which are pushed together to form a square, or Mahjong wall.
The set of tiles held by a player during the game.
Hong Kong Rules
The most common set of rules used in Mahjong.
The Wind and Dragon tiles are elevated from the common suit tiles and bonus tiles.
A set of four identical tiles – also known as a Gong.
Kong, Robbing the..
Taking the fourth tile of an exposed Kong from another player, resulting in a win.
The dealer performs this ritual when all the tiles are being distributed from the wall. The dealer does not wait until all the players have 13 tiles before selecting his first tile to play.
The section of the wall from which the tiles are dealt and the players select their tiles during the game.
Replacement tiles that are picked from the dead wall as a replacement for bonus tiles or a fourth tile used in a Kong.
A winning hand combination of tiles with a combination of Pongs, Kongs or Chows and a pair. To go Mahjong means to call the winning hand.
Two identical tiles, also known as the eyes.
A set of tiles which make up a Chow Pong or Kong.
A Chow, Pong or Kong – a set of matched tiles.
To combine tiles into sets of three or more to form a Pong, Kong or Chow.
A hand which consists of sets of tiles from more than one suit.
One of the wind directions used to determine seating arrangements at the start of play.
The Flower tiles or the Season tiles.
A player’s wind direction.
A set of two identical tiles, also known as eyes.
Penalties are sometimes granted when a player makes errors in play.
To select a tile from the live wall or from the discard area and to put it in your hand.
A move made by a player.
A set of three identical tiles.
A hand that is one tile short of winning.
Tiles picked from the dead wall in order to replace bonies tiles or tiles laid down with a Kong.
To turn a tile face up on the table so other players’ viewing.
A hand containing one or more sets of revealed tiles.
Matching sets that are revealed to the opponents during the game.
A set of consecutive numbered tiles made up from the common suits.
The total number of points gained at the end of the hand.
Four bonus or optional tiles depicting the seasons of the year.
A group of matching tiles – Chow, Pong or Kong; and eyes.
When a player selects a tile from the wall.
Three tiles in consecutive order, also known as a Chow.
A Chow, Pong or Kong, or pair.
Suit tiles from numbers 2-8.
One of the wind directions used to indicate seating arrangements.
One of the three symbols displayed on the common tiles – bamboos, characters or circles.
The 108 tiles numbered 1- 9 in the bamboo, character or circle suits.
Suit tiles numbered 1 or 9.
The structure made from the tiles at the beginning of play. When all four walls are pushed together, they form the Great Wall of China .
Another name for the character suit.
One of the wind directions used to determine seating arrangements.
One of the honor tiles indicating a compass direction.
A special disk and name plate combination that indicates the players’ seating positions – East, West, South and North.
A complete hand used to call a Mahjong.
Posted by Denise Marie