The Winds & "the Oya"
Playing the Game
Building a Hand - The Basics
Building a Hand with Special Combinations
How to Complete a Hand
Interrupting Play with Pon and Kan
Points and Payments
Mahjong in Japan
Books on Mahjong
Mahjong Sets & Accessories
Drop me a line
Mahjong TilesA standard (four player) Mahjong set consists of 144 tiles. There are 35 different types of tile, each type occurring four times (4 x 35 = 140 tiles). However, in the standard Japanese three-player game only 108 of these tiles are used.
SuitsThere are three suits, Coins (Pinzu), Bamboo (Souzu), and Characters (Manzu). Each suit runs from 1 to 9, with four tiles for each number, making a total of 36 tiles per suit. In the Japanese three-player game the tiles 2 to 8 of the Characters suit are removed. Only the 1 and 9 tiles of this suit are used.
Winds (Kazepai)There are four winds: East (Ton), South (Nan), West (Sha), North (Pei). There are four tiles for each wind making a total of sixteen wind tiles altogether. All these tiles are used in the three-player game.
Dragons (Sangenpai)There are three Dragons: White (Haku), Green (Hatsu), and Red (Chun). There are four tiles for each Dragon, making twelve Dragon tiles in all. All these tiles are used in the three-player game.
Flowers and SeasonsThese tiles are only occasionally used as Bonus tiles in three-player Mahjong.
Tiles for the Three-Player GameThe tiles that are used in the three player game are:
Dice (Saikoro)Mahjong sets usually include three or four dice. However, in Three Player mahjong only one die is used.
Scoring Tallies (Tenbo)There are four denominations of scoring tally:
Each player starts the game with a tally of 45,000 points, divided into the following denominations:
Allocation of SeatsTake one of each of the wind tiles East, South and West, place them face down on the table and shuffle them. Each player takes a tile. The person who drew the East tile chooses a seat and sits down. His seat is the temporary-East seat. The person who drew the South tile sits to his right, and the person who drew the West tile sits opposite him.
Building the WallsTo build the wall, turn all 108 tiles face down and shuffle them well. Then each player should build a wall consisting of two layers of tiles, 18 tiles long.
The players then push their walls a few inches towards the centre of the table so that they meet to form three sides of a square.
After the walls have been built the Oya is chosen.
The Four Winds
The Three Dragons
Flowers & Seasons
Click here to view all the tiles that are used in Three Player Mahjong.
10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 100