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How to Play Classic Mahjong



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Mahjong, originating in ancient China, has gained global popularity as a captivating game that combines simplicity with challenging depth. The objective is to eliminate all tiles from the board by forming pairs or groups.

In this comprehensive guide, delve into the essentials of playing Mahjong. We'll cover the fundamentals, encompassing rules, strategies, and tactics, providing insights into various types of mahjong and suitable gaming locations.

Mahjong Tiles


To engage in Mahjong, ensure you have the necessary equipment:

  • Mahjong Tiles: Classic Mahjong employs 144 tiles, organized into 34 groups of 4 tiles each, featuring the same pattern but different colors.
  • Mahjong Platform: A flat surface designated for tile placement.
  • Counter: Used to track players' points.

Each tile bears symbols representing four seasons, 36 elements, five colors, and four animals, contributing to three main categories: columns, bindings, and base groups.

Mahjong Platform

The mahjong platform serves as the stage for the game, typically measuring around 60 cm in length and 30 cm in width. Key areas on the platform include:

  • Wall: The region storing tiles picked up by players.
  • Playing Field: The space where players position tiles.
  • Con: The area for tiles no longer in use.

Rules of the Game

The Mahjong game initiates with shuffled tiles forming a wall on the platform. Players take turns drawing tiles from the wall, aiming to create pairs or groups. A pair comprises two tiles with identical patterns and colors, while a group consists of three or more tiles with the same pattern but different colors. Players can only draw tiles if unable to form a pair or group. Tiles drawn must be replaced with one from the player's hand. The game concludes when all tiles are collected, with the first player to achieve this emerging as the winner.

Types of Mahjong

Explore various types of Mahjong, each featuring distinct rules and characteristics:

  • Classic Mahjong: The most prevalent type employing 144 tiles divided into 34 groups.
  • Romantic Mahjong: A simplified version utilizing 120 tiles in 24 groups.
  • Mahjong with Flowers: Tiles categorized into red, black, green, and white groups.
  • Mahjong with Animals: Tiles grouped into dogs, cats, birds, and fish.

Playing Mahjong

Strategy and Tactics

To succeed in Mahjong, develop effective strategies and tactics:

  • Think About Your Goals: Keep the primary goal of removing all stones from the board in mind with every move.
  • Be Careful with Platform Tiles: Leaving tiles that benefit opponents on the platform may lead to game loss.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Experiment: Trying different strategies enhances your gameplay.

Strategy for Classic Mahjong

Consider specific strategies for Classic Mahjong:

  • Collect Pairs and Groups with the Same Color: Provides flexibility for creating additional pairs and groups.
  • Pay Attention to Tiles on the Playing Field: Quickly find pairs or groups for tiles created on the playing field to prevent opponents from utilizing them.
  • Don't Hesitate to Use Bonus Tiles: Gain advantages by removing tiles from the board or creating pairs and groups not normally feasible.

Mahjong Tiles on the platform

Tactics for Classic Mahjong

Tailor your tactics for Classic Mahjong:

  • Occupy the Center of the Playing Field: This grants more maneuvering space and complicates opponents' efforts.
  • Utilize Combinations: Combine tiles strategically to form pairs and groups.
  • Be Prepared for Changes: Adapt your strategy as the game progresses, responding to evolving situations.

Additional Tips

Enhance your Mahjong skills with these additional tips:

  • Practice Regularly: Increased gameplay deepens your understanding and improves your chances of winning.
  • Explore Strategies and Tactics: Consult online resources to broaden your knowledge of Mahjong strategies and tactics.
  • Play with Others: Engaging with friends or family provides a dynamic environment to enhance skills and enjoy the game.


Mahjong stands as a captivating and strategic game suitable for all ages. If you're seeking a new and enjoyable gaming experience, Mahjong is an excellent choice

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