What are the Rules of Classic Mahjong 247 Game

There are many forms of Mah Jong, just like other traditional games. This makes it difficult to determine the right set of rules. These rules are based on the original Chinese game, which is probably the easiest and most skilled. Additional rules are also provided for the British version. This mahjong 247 game is slightly different from the Chinese game in that only one chow can be served per hand, while the Chinese game allows for more “special hands”. While some may find the British game more appealing than the Chinese one, the Chinese game is more traditional and elegant.

These games are very different from the American style of play. There is a complex set of “special hands” that have been created beyond the original Chinese set. A player can’t go Mah Jong without one suit and a larger set of suits. It’s also more strategic than the Japanese game, which is essentially a race for the first person to go Mah Jong.

A Mah Jong version for three players is also available.

Basic Equipment

A Mah Jong tile set typically consists of 144 tiles, each measuring approximately 30 x 20x15mm. They were traditionally made of bone or ivory, but they are now usually made of plastic. They are made up of:

  • 36 circle tiles, in four sets of 9 tiles each, numbered 1-9. Each picture shows the number of circles.
  • 36-character tiles, in 4 sets of 9 tiles each, numbered 1-9. These pictures show the Chinese symbol that represents the number.
  • 36 bamboo tiles, each set of 9 tiles. Numbered 1-9. Each picture shows the number of bamboos in each set, except for the One of Bamboos, which is often denoted with a sparrow (or rice-bird) and does not feature any bamboos. The picture depicting the number of bamboos 1, 5, 7, 7 and 9 is a combination of red and green. Other bamboo tiles can only be represented by green bamboos.
  • 16 Wind tiles – 4 tiles per wind
  • 12 Dragon tiles – There are 4 Red dragons with a bright red color, 4 Green dragons with a bright green color and 4 White dragons that have a completely blank tile. Some sets however denote the white dragon with the capital ‘P’. This stands for “Pai”, which is white or pure.
  • 4 Flower tiles – The Four Flowers are numbered 1-4. They are optional and give bonus points if drawn. The number of flowers depicted varies greatly between sets, but the most popular are Orchids, Chrysanthemum, Plum blossoms, and Bamboo.
  • 4 Season tiles – The Four Seasons are numbered 1-4. They are optional and can be used if desired. The way the seasons are represented varies greatly between sets. People who don’t know Chinese may not be able to recognize them as such.

Suits are also known as characters, circles and bamboos. The “minor” tiles are the suit tiles between 2 and 8. The “major” tiles are the remaining suit tiles 1 through 9. The Wind and Dragon tiles are called “honor tiles”.

Two dice are also required in addition to the tiles. Two dice are required. The numbers 1 and 4 are traditional Chinese dice.


Optional Equipment

The tiles and dice are enough to play the game. These rules were written as though there was no other equipment. Other equipment is sometimes part of a set. If the following equipment is not available, the players can use it at their discretion:

  • Many sets include spare tiles that can be used to replace damaged tiles.
  • Joker tiles can also be included. These tiles are identified by a Chinese horse, and they are used to play another game called Ghoulash.
  • To hold the tiles of each player, 4 racks can be useful accessories.
  • Four special counters are included in the more expensive sets to indicate the four winds. These special counters are used instead of the four standard winds tiles. They are placed in a box called a Tongbox, with the topmost tile showing which wind is predominant for each round.
  • Finally, all sets include tally sticks that can be used to score. You can keep the score using any medium. For those with a gambling bent, money and paper and pencil are two other options.

There are many types of scoring sticks. As long as the values are agreed upon up front, each player will start with the same amount of each type of stick. Higher values are required for American or Japanese games. However, the following values can be used to assign the Chinese and British versions of the game at the start:

  • 4 red dots and 3 green dots = 500 points – 1 stick for each player
  • 5 red dots = 100 points – 2 sticks for each player
  • 1 red dot = 10 points – 9 sticks for each player
  • 8 black dots – 2 points – 10 sticks per player

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