How to Play Japanese Three-Player Mahjong
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Introduction

Preliminaries

The Winds & "the Oya"

Bonus Tiles

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

Special Cases

Mistakes

Points and Payments

Yaku Table

Other Stuff

News

Acknowledgements



Mahjong in Japan

Books on Mahjong

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Building a Hand - The Basics

The aim of Mahjong is to complete a hand before any other player does. The most common method of completing a hand is to collect four sets of three tiles - either "Three-of-a-Kind" or "a Run-of-Three" - and a "Head" of two similar tiles.

Each tile within a set of three must be of the same type - the same suit, the same dragon, or the same wind. For example:

Three-of-a-Kind:
A Run-of-Three:




A hand can consist of a mixture of sets, so a completed hand of 14 tiles might look like this:



Or this:



Or this:




Next


Note 1: Although not every completed hand consists of four sets of three tiles, with but one exception, no hand is complete if it lacks a "Head" of two similar tiles.

The Exception: If a player goes "Kan" four times he automatically completes his hand even if it lacks a head.


Note 2: In the Three-Player game a Run-of-Three can only be made with tiles from the Bamboo or the Coin suits!




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Page last modified: 10th September 2011