Mahjong Rules


I’m writing this Mahjong Reference trying to understand better the many rules and nuances
of Japanese Mahjong. I hope I can learn more from this. I will use mostly Japanese terminology, because I think it is the best way to learn the game and above all as a reference. Anyway i will include the most usual english translations of the terms.

In this text I will use the spelling Mahjong to refer to the game. Other spellings used in western world are Mahjong, Mah-jongg, Mahjongg, Ma chueh, Ma jiang and many others.

The Japanese Mahjong spelling is Majan (マージャン). In ideograms (kanji) it’s written 麻雀.

A bit of history

Mahjong was created in China around 1880 and first hit Japan in 1907. Here the rules were modified during the years until reaching the very standardized form used today.
Japanese rules take two general forms, those adopted officially by the Japanese Majan Association and “riichi”, all the unofficial but sometimes more popular versions played by casual players.

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