The object of Mahjong is for players to gather suited or related groups of tiles that make up certain strong hands, or “melds” to win.
Decide the seating positions by rolling dice. There should be four players. The highest roll sits at the east end of the table, with the next highest roll sitting in the next seat in the clockwise direction. The second highest roll sits to the south, also known as the third seat to the west.
Establish each player’s wall of tiles by shuffling the tiles face down on the table. Each player should retrieve their own tiles simultaneously, 36 tiles per player. Each player stacks his tiles, face down, two layers high in a wall-like formation until all four walls form a square in the middle of the table.
Draw tiles from the walls until each player has at least 13 tiles. Do this by starting with the east player, and having her roll the dice. The number on the dice dictates the number of tiles the player should take from the wall to her right. This should be done until each player has at least 13 tiles and at most 16. If the dice roll instructs a player to take a number of tiles that would leave him with more than 16 tiles, the extra tiles should be discarded into the center of the table.
Playing the Game
Initiate and complete a full turn by drawing one tile from the wall to your right and discarding one tile from your wall into the center of the table and placing it face-up. You also have the option to select your tile from the pile of discarded tiles in the center of the table.
Assemble and declare a “meld” by collecting tiles that form either a “chow,” “kong,” “eye,” or “pong.” In most cases this will mean you have collected tiles of the same value or suit, or that make up some consecutive order. A “chow” is a meld made up of three tiles that bear consecutive numbers; a “pong” is a meld of three tiles of the same value; an “eye” is composed of two identical tiles and an “kong” is made up of four identical tiles.
Win by being the first to assemble three melds and discarding the rest of your tiles. You can discard tiles into the center of the table that you don’t want, and other players may retrieve those tiles on during their turn, but the winner is the one who can form a three melds and discard all excess titles.
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