Mahjong is a Chinese game of skill, which involves four players. Although the game play in general is similar in all of the versions of mahjong, the game pieces and scoring, however, slightly differ depending on the regional variations.
Almost similar to gin rummy, the object of mahjong is to build sets, as well as get the highest point value. In order to do this, each player selects and discards tiles (the game pieces, bearing different designs) until an entire set of combinations has been made.
For this article, we will cover the most popular variation, which is the Hong Kong Mahjong style.
So let's start the ball rolling (in this case, the dice), and begin playing Hong Kong Mahjong.
The basic Mahjong set has 136 pieces, which contains 36 distinct kinds of pieces (4 of each kind). There are three suits, which run from one to nine.
Furthermore, there are four directional tiles (Winds or Feng), labeled as East, South, West, and North (4 pieces each).
There are also three Cardinal tiles (Dragons or Special Honor Pieces), labeled as Red Dragon, Green Dragon, and White Dragon (4 pieces each).
Lastly, there are eight optional which consist of two sets of four tiles: each series marked 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The flower and season tiles differ in nature from the suit and honor tiles. There are only 4 flowers (1, 2, 3, and 4) and only 4 season tiles (1, 2, 3, and 4). When drawn, they are declared and a substitute tile is drawn. The flower(s) or season(s) corresponding with the winning player's wind may increase the score.
The Flowers are represented by a plum, orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo, and Seasons by a fisher, woodcutter, farmer and scholar.
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