Tuesday, May 4, 2010


It’s called by many names; Ma Jong, Mah Jong, Majiang or simply Mahjong, it is one of the many games we have adapted from the Chinese. I never really understood how a bunch of tiles with weird markings could be understood, much less played. Thanks to an extended weekend, it was only yesterday did I finally learn how to play the game.

It’s usually played with four persons with exactly 144 tiles with exotic markings.
They comprise 36 sticks, numbered 1 to 9, 4 sticks or bamboo sticks to each number;

36 dots, stones, circle or balls, also numbered 1 to 9 with 4 to each number;

36 characters numbered 1 to 9, with 4 for each number;

12 honor or decorations: comprising 4 red, green and white dragons each; 16 winds: 4 each for the north, south, west and east winds;

and eight flowers that are dealt after the game has started. Four of the flower tiles represent the four noble plants of Confucian reckoning: plum, orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo.

The other four flower tiles represent seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Each player has 16 tiles. I was told it is much like the pinoy card game pusoy (gin rummy) wherein you must form sets and flushes and with terms such as Pongs, Kangs and Chows which I haven’t really learned much of yet. There are even those who would simply “feel” the tile and they would know what character or symbol it contains.

I don’t really know the whole concept of the game yet, but I had a lot of fun playing while learning the game. I suppose it’s more of the company rather than the game we played; all in all I had a blast.

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