It’s a game that was invented just about five centuries ago in China. Since the 1600s, the game also spread to other parts of Asia. It’s not so surprising to learn that some Chinese immigrants brought this to the United States during the early 20th Century.
However, it might surprise some people to find out that a lot of Americans who did not have Chinese ancestors took to the game. Over the years, it has also sprouted many variations in the way it is played and the exact pieces used. The style of play called “Old Mahjong” is different than the way the modern version is played in many American settings. Other Asian countries also have their own variations. This article will just present a general overview.
What Is It?
Mah Jong sets come with a board, sets of tiles, and tile holders. Most commonly, four players sit at a table, but some variations allow it to be played with only three players.
The tiles are the main playing pieces and they can be quickly described like this:
* The tiles come in three suits that might be compared to the four suits in a standard deck of playing cards.
* Instead of hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds, Mah Jong suits include dots, bamboo, and characters.
* There are also bonus tiles that have suits of seasons and flowers.
* The main artwork on each tile should make it fairly easy to distinguish one suit from another in most sets.
About The American Version
To win with American M.J, a player must have a winning hand that matches one of the winning patterns shown on a card or booklet. American organizations publish a new booklet that shows the sets of winning hands every year.
Even though the game is very ancient, this can help keep keep it fresh. With so many tiles needed to complete the pattern for the winning hand, these patterns are rarely duplicated. Some purists argue that American M.J should be considered a distinct.
What Else To Know About It
Again, the brief description above will not be accurate for all M.J systems. It’s interesting to note that the oldest version that still survives is called Classical Chinese Mah Jong and was the version of this game that was first introduced in America during the early 20th Century. Of course, this version is not exactly the same as the ones from earlier centuries either.
Worldwide, there are dozens of variations of M.J. Some of these include Japanese, Competition M.J, and even South African. While Chinese people invented this, it has spread all over the world and has many serious players. One reason for the appeal of this game is that it is fairly easy to learn the basics and begin enjoying like the 10s of thousands who play it every day. On the other hand, it’s complex enough that players can continue to improve their entire lives.