English Mahjong Instructions

Written by eve roberts
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English Mahjong Instructions
British mahjong uses the flower and season tiles as bonuses. (mah jong image by Crisps85 from Fotolia.com)

Mahjong is a four-player game that originated in China. Mahjong is played with a set of 144 tiles--not unlike playing cards--and involves both skill and luck. Winning is by points, and gambling is optional. There are both American and British versions of mahjong. The British, or English, version is very similar to the Chinese version, in that each of the four players draw and discard a tile in turn until they have formed winning groups of tiles, at which point they can call “pung” or “mahjong.”

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Chinese mahjong set
  • Four players

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  1. 1

    Remove the flower and season tiles before building the city walls. In British mahjong, the flower and season tiles are used as bonus tiles, and players must declare when they have been dealt a flower or season.

  2. 2

    Build the four city walls using 36 tiles each rather than 34, i.e. two rows of 18.

  3. 3

    Starting from the break in the wall, take the first seven pairs of tiles, including the pair dislodged at the break (total 14 tiles) to make a kong box. When a player declares a flower or season, it is replaced by a tile from the kong box.

  4. 4

    Include the following special hands: all pair honours, knitting and triple knitting, which are all half limit. Fourfold plenty, the gates of heaven, imperial jade, twofold fortune and all winds and dragons are all limit.

  5. 5

    Going mahjong scores double in the British or English version. Flowers and seasons score 4 points. Complete sets of flowers or seasons score double. Three dragons score double.

Tips and warnings

  • This version of mahjong can be played with three players, but four is best. Expert players do not use the flowers and seasons, as they diminish the amount of skill required to win.

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