Mahjong Original

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Mahjong Original

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Korean Mahjong removes the bamboo suit or at least its numbers 2—8 so that terminals can be used. Japanese Mahjong rarely uses Flowers or Seasons.

Some mahjong variants accept wildcard tiles. The wildcard tiles are decided at the beginning of the game by choosing one random tile.

The wild card could be the immediately following tile on the wall, after distributing tiles to all players, or it could also be separately decided by a dice throw.

Wildcard tiles can't be discarded and can only replace tiles in Chows. Wildcard tiles cannot replace tiles in Pongs and Kongs. For example, if a character 4 is chosen, then character 4 and the next sequential tile, character 5, can be used as wild cards in this round.

When the wildcard indicator is chosen and exposed, only 3 tiles remain of the same denomination, so the next tile in the suit will also be used as a wildcard, adding to 7 wildcard tiles for 4 players.

Also, if a tile numbered 9 is the indicator, the suits circle back to 1, after 9. Thus, the number 9 and 1 are wild cards.

A feature of several variations of Mahjong, most notably in American mahjong, is the notion of some number of Joker tiles.

They may be used as a wild card: a substitute for any tile in a hand, or, in some variations, only tiles in melds. Another variation is that the Joker tile may not be used for melding.

Depending on the variation, a player may replace a Joker tile that is part of an exposed meld belonging to any player with the tile it represents.

Rules governing discarding Joker tiles also exist; some variations permit the Joker tile to take on the identity of any tile, and others only permit the Joker tile to take on the identity of the previously discarded tile or the absence of a tile, if it is the first discard.

Joker tiles may or may not affect scoring, depending on the variation. Some special hands may require the use of Joker tiles for example, to represent a "fifth tile" of a certain suited or honor tile.

Japanese rule sets discourage the use of Flowers and Seasons. In Singapore and Malaysia an extra set of bonus tiles of four animals are used.

The rule set includes a unique function in that players who get two specific animals get a one-time immediate payout from all players.

In Taiwanese Mahjong, getting all eight Flowers and Seasons constitutes an automatic win of the hand and specific payout from all players.

Four of the flower tiles represent the four noble plants of Confucian reckoning:. These animal tiles are used in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and local variations.

They represent the cat , mouse , rooster and centipede. Like flower tiles, they also function as bonus tiles.

However, as they have no corresponding seat position, any player who draws one of these gets a bonus point. All tiles are placed face down and shuffled.

Each player then stacks a row of tiles two tiles high in front of him, the length of the row depending on the number of tiles in use:. Depending on the variation, two or three dice are usually used to decide what part of the wall to start dealing from.

They are six-sided dice, traditionally but not necessarily Chinese dice with red one and four pips. The dealer marker is a round or square object that the dealer places to the side to remind players who the dealer is.

The wind marker may be used which indicates the current prevailing wind. In some cases the dealer marker and the wind marker are represented by one large marker, usually a small wheel where one can swivel the outer circle to indicate the prevailing wind which the dealer holds onto , a cube with the four winds placed onto four of the sides which can be placed in a hollow square the dealer holds onto it , or a cylinder locked into frame which can be rolled to expose the wind on the top.

Japanese mahjong, especially in a gambling environment, may optionally use four yakitori markers to indicate which players have not won a hand yet and has to pay a penalty.

There are a variety of counting pieces used in different countries. They range from Chinese or Japanese counting sticks thin sticks with various dots on them to represent various points , jetons , play money , paper and pencil, or various apps on touchscreen devices used to calculate and keep scores.

Japanese and Korean Mahjong have some special rules. A player cannot win by a discard if that player had already discarded that piece, where players' discards are kept in neat rows in front of them.

Players may declare ready, meaning that they need one tile to win, cannot change their hand and win extra points if they win.

Some rules may replace some of the number 5 tiles with red tiles, as they can earn more points. Korean Mahjong does not allow melded stolen chows.

Taiwanese Mahjong adds three tiles to a hand requiring a 5th set to be formed, making a clean hand or all Pong hand very difficult to procure.

American Mahjong has distinctive game mechanics and the article on American Mahjong details these. Some differences include many special patterns, a different scoring system and the use of jokers and five-of-a-kind.

In the American variations it is required that, before each hand begins, a Charleston be enacted. In the first exchange, three tiles are passed to the player on one's right; in the next exchange, the tiles are passed to the player opposite, followed by three tiles passed to the left.

If all players are in agreement, a second Charleston is performed; however, any player may decide to stop passing after the first Charleston is complete.

The Charleston is followed by an optional pass to the player across of one, two, or three tiles. The Charleston, a distinctive feature of American Mahjong, may have been borrowed from card games such as Hearts.

Many variations have specific hands, some of which are common while some are optional depending on regions and players. One example is the Pure Green hand made of chows or Pongs using 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 of bamboo and green dragon.

When a hand is one tile short of winning for example: , waiting for: , , or , as can be the eyes , the hand is said to be a ready hand, or more figuratively, "on the pot".

The player holding a ready hand is said to be waiting for certain tiles. It is common to be waiting for two or three tiles, and some variations award points for a hand that is waiting for one tile.

In tile Mahjong, the largest number of tiles for which a player can wait is 13 the thirteen wonders , or 13 orphans , a nonstandard special hand.

Ready hands must be declared in some variations of Mahjong, while other variations prohibit the same.

A new hand begins, and depending on the variant, the Game Wind may change. For example, in most playing circles in Singapore, if there is at least one Kong when the hand is a draw, the following player of the dealer becomes the next dealer; otherwise, the dealer remains dealer.

The rule is treated the same as "abortive draws". In Japanese Mahjong, rules allow abortive draws to be declared while tiles are still available.

They can be declared under the following conditions:. Scoring in Mahjong involves points, with a monetary value for points agreed upon by players.

Although in many variations scoreless hands are possible, many require that hands be of some point value in order to win the hand.

While the basic rules are more or less the same throughout Mahjong, the greatest divergence between variations lies in the scoring systems.

Like the rules, there is a generalized system of scoring, based on the method of winning and the winning hand, from which Chinese and Japanese base their roots.

American Mahjong generally has greatly divergent scoring rules, as well as greatly divergent general rules. Because of the large differences between the various systems of scoring especially for Chinese variants , groups of players will often agree on particular scoring rules before a game.

Points terminology of which differs from variation to variation are obtained by matching the winning hand with different criteria scoring different values.

The points obtained may be modified into scores for each player using some typically exponential functions.

Some criteria may be also in terms of both points and score. In many variations the dealer receives no scoring bonus and does not maintain his turn by winning or a dead hand.

In classical Mahjong all players score points. Points are given for sets and hand composition and winning bonuses, doubled and redoubled for basic patterns.

Sometimes a loser may score more points than a winner. Japanese Mahjong has a complex scoring system with several stages of scoring, rules and exceptions, evening out scores and bonus points at the end of a match.

Korean Mahjong has a simple scoring system where only winner scores without any form of doubling. Some variations give points for concealed hands, in which case no melds are made except by winning on a discard.

A single player game employs the tiles of mahjong, usually played on computers or devices.

Gameplay is entirely unrelated to mahjong or its variations and is a recent invention. A two-player version was published by Nintendo.

The game involves stacking tiles face up in various elaborate patterns and removing uncovered matching tiles at the end of rows.

In , in the interest of dissociating illegal gambling from Mahjong, the China State Sports Commission published a new set of rules, now generally referred to as Chinese Official rules or International Tournament rules see Guobiao Majiang.

The principles of the new, wholesome Mahjong are no gambling, no drinking, and no smoking. In international tournaments, players are often grouped in teams to emphasize that Mahjong from now on is considered a sport.

The new rules are highly pattern-based. The rulebook contains 81 combinations, based on patterns and scoring elements popular in classic and modern regional Chinese variants; some table practices of Japan have also been adopted.

Points for flower tiles each flower is worth one point may not be added until the player has scored eight points. The winner of a game receives the score from the player who discards the winning tile, plus eight basic points from each player; in the case of zimo self-drawn win , he receives the value of this round plus eight points from all players.

The new rules were first used in an international tournament in Tokyo , where, in , the first global tournament in Mahjong was organized by the Mahjong Museum, the Japan Mahjong Organizing Committee, and the city council of Ningbo, China.

One hundred players participated, mainly from Japan and China, but also from Europe and the United States. Mai Hatsune, from Japan, became the first world champion.

The following year saw the first annual China Mahjong Championship, held in Hainan; the next two annual tournaments were held in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Most players were Chinese; players from other nations attended as well. In , the first Open European Mahjong Championship [15] was held in the Netherlands, with players.

The competition was won by Masato Chiba from Japan. The second European championship [16] in Copenhagen was attended by players and won by Danish player Martin Wedel Jacobsen.

There were participants. This organization held its first World Mahjong Championship in November in the Chinese town of Chengdu , attended by participants from all over the world.

MJM tournaments host between and participants at these larger events; and there are several smaller scale, but equally successful tournaments held annually by other hosts.

Prize pools are based on the number participating. Rules are based on the National Mah Jongg League standard rules.

Mahjong is based on draw-and-discard card games that were popular in 18th and 19th century China, some of which are still popular today.

Each deck is divided into three suits of Cash or coins, Strings of cash, and Myriads of strings. There are nine ranks in each suit.

In addition, there are three wild cards : Red flower , White flower , and Old thousand. Depending on the game, there are multiple copies of each card.

Games scholar David Parlett has written that the Western card games Conquian and Rummy share a common origin with Mahjong.

Khanhoo is an early example of such a game. It is not known when the conversion from cards to tiles took place precisely but it most likely occurred in the middle of the 19th century.

The earliest surviving tile sets date to around and were acquired in Fuzhou , Shanghai , and Ningbo. In their place were "king" tiles for heaven, earth, man, and harmony and also for each of the 4 "winds" which may have acted as bonus tiles.

Instead there were the wild cards known as Cash Flower, String Flower, and Myriad Flower plus an additional tile, the king of everything.

These early jokers are still found in the Vietnamese and Thai sets. The ban on gambling after the founding of the People's Republic in led to a decline in playing.

The game itself was banned during the Cultural Revolution — In , British sinologist William Henry Wilkinson wrote a paper which mentioned a set of cards known in central China by the name of ma chioh , literally, hemp sparrow, which he maintained was the origin of the term Mahjong.

He did not explain the dialect of the originator or region specific etymology of this information. The game was imported to the United States in the s.

It became a success in Washington, D. This was the earliest version of Mahjong known in America. Babcock had learned Mahjong while living in China.

His rules simplified the game to make it easier for Americans to take up, and his version was common through the Mahjong fad of the s.

Later, when the s fad died out, many of Babcock's simplifications were abandoned. The game has taken on a number of trademarked names, such as "Pung Chow" and the "Game of Thousand Intelligences".

Mahjong nights in America often involved dressing and decorating rooms in Chinese style. Many variants of Mahjong developed during this period.

By the s, many revisions of the rules developed that were substantially different from Babcock's classical version including some that were considered fundamentals in other variants, such as the notion of a standard hand.

The most common form, which eventually became "American Mahjong", was most popular among Jewish women. Many consider the modern American version a Jewish remake, [30] as many American Mahjong players are of Jewish descent.

In , this large scale seagoing event hosted its 25th Silver Anniversary Cruise, with players from all over the States and Canada participating.

In , a second organization was formed, the American Mah Jongg Association. Millington revived the Chinese classical game of the s with his book The Complete Book of Mah-jongg This handbook includes a formal rules set for the game.

There are many governing bodies which often host exhibition games and tournaments for modern and traditional Mahjong gaming.

Mahjong, as of , is the most popular table game in Japan. Saki and Akagi devoted to dramatic and comic situations involving Mahjong.

Newer units can connect with other arcade machines across the Internet. Mahjong culture is still deeply ingrained in the Chinese community.

Sam Hui wrote Cantopop songs using Mahjong as their themes, and Hong Kong movies have often included scenes of Mahjong games.

Many gambling movies have been filmed in Hong Kong, and a recent subgenre is the Mahjong movie. Although the popularity of the game in China is still broad, since , mahjong was frowned upon by the government because it is seen as a means of gambling addiction, an issue that the government always sought to tackle.

Prolonged playing of Mahjong may trigger epileptic seizures according to a study. Some doctors speculate that this may be due to stress and complex manual movement correlated with intense brain function similar to playing chess or card games such as poker.

Studies by doctors have also shown in Hong Kong that the game is beneficial for individuals suffering from dementia or cognitive memory difficulties, leading to the development of Mahjong therapy.

Mahjong was also adapted into several puzzle video games such as Mahjong Trails , listed as one of the top-grossing games on Facebook.

Even though both skill and chance play a fundamental role in the game, there is no shortage of superstitions in which players believe where they sit, how they hold their pieces or objects they have on their person will somehow affect the outcome.

For example, players will try to find seats with the best Feng Shui or wear their lucky clothing or trinkets.

Some believe that specific pieces one dot for example bode bad luck if received in their opening hand. More elaborate superstitions in Mahjong range from those found in the game poker, like not counting one's wins and losses, to the comical, like changing one's undergarments after a loss.

As with all superstitions in gaming, none of them have been properly demonstrated as effective, though, for some, the rituals have become an integral part of the game experience and its aesthetics.

Mahjong tiles were added to the Unicode Standard in April, with the release of version 5. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Tile-based game.

This article is about the Chinese tile-based game. For the card-matching solitaire game, see Mahjong solitaire. For others uses, see Mahjong disambiguation.

Main article: Mahjong tiles. Main article: Hong Kong Mahjong scoring rules. Play media. Main article: Mahjong solitaire.

Main article: Mahjong Tiles Unicode block. China portal Asia portal Games portal. World Series of Mahjong. Archived from the original on 16 June Retrieved 25 January Daily Southtown.

The Courier. The complete book of Mah-Jongg. London: A. Retrieved 24 August North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle , p. Retrieved 7 September Three-player mahjong.

Retrieved 17 November Archived from the original on 12 October Archived from the original on 27 February Asia Society. The Penguin Book of Card Games.

The Playing-Card. History of Mahjong FAQ Retrieved 6 November They are the two oldest set Mahjong tiles found in the world.

Is my set complete? Retrieved 16 May Win Mahjong. Retrieved 29 December The American Anthropologist. The New York Times.

Harper, , ch. The World of Japanese Comics. Kodansha, , Chapter 5. The Burn-In. Retrieved 5 August Chang; Raymond T.

Cheung; S. BBC News. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 19 February Int J Geriatr Psychiatry.

Retrieved 8 November Archived from the original on 6 April Retrieved 30 November Retrieved 5 September Lo, Amy. Tuttle Publishing: Zhou, H.

The Origin and Development of Mahjong. The great mahjong book: History, lore and play. Cornell University Press: Pritchard, David B.

Sloper, Tom. Self-published: n. Wright Patterson Mah Jongg Group: XI, , p. Also found at; Gamesmuseum. In: The Playing-Card , Vol.

In: Mahjong Museum Report , Vol. Greene, M. Wilkinson, William H. Can also be found at; [1]. Mah-jongg Sales Company of America: Standardization Committee: Millington, A.

Competition mahjong Official International Rulebook. Takeshobo: Handbook for the Competitions of the Chinese MaJiang. Organizing Committee of Chinese MaJiang: Right Way: See: Gambling games.

Gambling mathematics Mathematics of bookmaking Poker probability. See: Gambling terminology.

Casino game Game of chance Game of skill List of bets Problem gambling. Category Commons Wiktionary WikiProject. Categories : Mahjong Chinese games Gambling games Traditional board games s fads and trends.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.

It is a social game that allows friends and family to get together and have fun. The online mahjong rules are simple — match identical mahjong tiles that are not covered, and free from sides.

Any special tiles such as flower tiles and season tiles can be matched. You can learn more about scoring and how to play mahjong by clicking the question mark in the upper-right corner of the mahjong games.

You will want to challenge yourself by matching the tiles quickly because the game is timed. Best of all: You can play mahjong online — no download needed!

The clacking of mahjong tiles during shuffling resembles the chattering of sparrows. They are all correct, depending on how you translate it from Chinese.

Games home Mahjong. Contact Arkadium, the provider of these games. Mahjong players also enjoy: See More Games.

They may be used as a wild card: a substitute for any tile in a hand, or, in some variations, only tiles in melds. A Pong may either be concealed formed by drawing tiles or exposed formed by seizing another player's discard. Mahjong Garden Mahjong Garden. Only bamboo is used no other simplesscoring extra points clean hand. Later, when click to see more s fad died out, many of Babcock's simplifications were abandoned. Gameplay article source of finding a pair of tiles source match each other and that are open to be removed from the Mahjong Original. There are two different sets source Honors tiles: Winds and Dragons. For these reasons Hong Kong mahjong is a suitable variation for the introduction of game rules and play and is the focus of this article. In tile Mahjong, the largest number of tiles for which a player can wait is 13 the thirteen wondersor 13 orphansa nonstandard special hand. Or come to our Facebook page and tell us all about it.

A winning hand with 9 faan is worth four base points. Losing players must give the winning player the value of these base points.

The following special cases result in doubled base points:. If two of these criteria apply to any player, he must double and then redouble the points owed to the winner.

Hong Kong Mahjong is essentially a payment system of doubling and redoubling where winning from the wall adds great value to the final payment and where the dealer is highly rewarded or penalised if they win or lose.

In Hong Kong Mahjong there are a series of "limit hands". These are exceptional hands, difficult to obtain and are very valuable in point scoring.

As many table rules put a limit on the number of points a winners hand can score, full limit hands score that maximum.

Table rules dictate if these rare and special hands are allowed, which ones, and the limit for scoring. A common scoring limit is 64 points, which is the highest base points doubled twice.

A winner receives the scoring limit from each player without any doubling. Some limit hands by necessity must be completely concealed not discards used or semi-concealed the only discard used is the one needed to go mahjong.

This includes the 13 orphans, 4 concealed pongs, heavenly hand and earthly hand. It is usually expected that the heavenly gates hand be concealed or semi-concealed.

As for the dragon limit hands and the great winds, table rules dictate if the hand must be concealed or not. Some table rules claim that a semi-concealed hand winning from a discard scores a half-limit.

Some groups also play with the "great Flowers" rule. If a player picks up all four Flowers and all four Seasons during their hand, they instantly win the hand and receive the maximum points from all of the players.

This is exceptionally rare. Variations may have far more complicated scoring systems, add or remove tiles, and include far more scoring elements and limit hands.

In many places, players often observe one version and are either unaware of other variations or claim that different versions are incorrect.

In mainland China alone, there are over thirty variants. Three-player Mahjong or 3- ka is a simplified three-person Mahjong that involves hands of 13 tiles with a total of 84 tiles on the table and may use jokers depending on the variation.

Any rule set can be adapted for three players; however, this is far more common and accepted in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

It usually eliminates one suit entirely, or tiles 2—8 in one suit leaving only the terminals. It needs fewer people to start a game and the turnaround time of a game is short—hence, it is considered a fast game.

In some versions there is a jackpot for winning in which whoever accumulates a point of 10 is considered to hit the jackpot or whoever scores three hidden hands first.

The Malaysian and Korean versions drop one wind and may include a seat dragon. Mahjong tables are square and small enough to be within arm's length of all equipment.

The edges are raised to prevent tiles from sliding off and the surface is covered in felt to limit wear on the tiles.

Automatic dealing tables, often used for high stakes playing and tournaments, are able to shuffle tiles, build walls, and randomize dice.

It is an elaborate device built into a table which uses two alternating sets of tiles. It prepares one wall while the players play one hand.

After the hand is finished the tiles are dropped into the table and a new wall raises upwards. In theory the table should avoid cheating by stacking the deck and or using loaded dice.

There are variations that feature specific use of tiles. Some three-player versions remove the North Wind and one Chinese provincial version has no Honors.

Korean Mahjong removes the bamboo suit or at least its numbers 2—8 so that terminals can be used. Japanese Mahjong rarely uses Flowers or Seasons.

Some mahjong variants accept wildcard tiles. The wildcard tiles are decided at the beginning of the game by choosing one random tile.

The wild card could be the immediately following tile on the wall, after distributing tiles to all players, or it could also be separately decided by a dice throw.

Wildcard tiles can't be discarded and can only replace tiles in Chows. Wildcard tiles cannot replace tiles in Pongs and Kongs.

For example, if a character 4 is chosen, then character 4 and the next sequential tile, character 5, can be used as wild cards in this round.

When the wildcard indicator is chosen and exposed, only 3 tiles remain of the same denomination, so the next tile in the suit will also be used as a wildcard, adding to 7 wildcard tiles for 4 players.

Also, if a tile numbered 9 is the indicator, the suits circle back to 1, after 9. Thus, the number 9 and 1 are wild cards. A feature of several variations of Mahjong, most notably in American mahjong, is the notion of some number of Joker tiles.

They may be used as a wild card: a substitute for any tile in a hand, or, in some variations, only tiles in melds.

Another variation is that the Joker tile may not be used for melding. Depending on the variation, a player may replace a Joker tile that is part of an exposed meld belonging to any player with the tile it represents.

Rules governing discarding Joker tiles also exist; some variations permit the Joker tile to take on the identity of any tile, and others only permit the Joker tile to take on the identity of the previously discarded tile or the absence of a tile, if it is the first discard.

Joker tiles may or may not affect scoring, depending on the variation. Some special hands may require the use of Joker tiles for example, to represent a "fifth tile" of a certain suited or honor tile.

Japanese rule sets discourage the use of Flowers and Seasons. In Singapore and Malaysia an extra set of bonus tiles of four animals are used.

The rule set includes a unique function in that players who get two specific animals get a one-time immediate payout from all players. In Taiwanese Mahjong, getting all eight Flowers and Seasons constitutes an automatic win of the hand and specific payout from all players.

Four of the flower tiles represent the four noble plants of Confucian reckoning:. These animal tiles are used in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and local variations.

They represent the cat , mouse , rooster and centipede. Like flower tiles, they also function as bonus tiles. However, as they have no corresponding seat position, any player who draws one of these gets a bonus point.

All tiles are placed face down and shuffled. Each player then stacks a row of tiles two tiles high in front of him, the length of the row depending on the number of tiles in use:.

Depending on the variation, two or three dice are usually used to decide what part of the wall to start dealing from. They are six-sided dice, traditionally but not necessarily Chinese dice with red one and four pips.

The dealer marker is a round or square object that the dealer places to the side to remind players who the dealer is.

The wind marker may be used which indicates the current prevailing wind. In some cases the dealer marker and the wind marker are represented by one large marker, usually a small wheel where one can swivel the outer circle to indicate the prevailing wind which the dealer holds onto , a cube with the four winds placed onto four of the sides which can be placed in a hollow square the dealer holds onto it , or a cylinder locked into frame which can be rolled to expose the wind on the top.

Japanese mahjong, especially in a gambling environment, may optionally use four yakitori markers to indicate which players have not won a hand yet and has to pay a penalty.

There are a variety of counting pieces used in different countries. They range from Chinese or Japanese counting sticks thin sticks with various dots on them to represent various points , jetons , play money , paper and pencil, or various apps on touchscreen devices used to calculate and keep scores.

Japanese and Korean Mahjong have some special rules. A player cannot win by a discard if that player had already discarded that piece, where players' discards are kept in neat rows in front of them.

Players may declare ready, meaning that they need one tile to win, cannot change their hand and win extra points if they win.

Some rules may replace some of the number 5 tiles with red tiles, as they can earn more points. Korean Mahjong does not allow melded stolen chows.

Taiwanese Mahjong adds three tiles to a hand requiring a 5th set to be formed, making a clean hand or all Pong hand very difficult to procure.

American Mahjong has distinctive game mechanics and the article on American Mahjong details these. Some differences include many special patterns, a different scoring system and the use of jokers and five-of-a-kind.

In the American variations it is required that, before each hand begins, a Charleston be enacted. In the first exchange, three tiles are passed to the player on one's right; in the next exchange, the tiles are passed to the player opposite, followed by three tiles passed to the left.

If all players are in agreement, a second Charleston is performed; however, any player may decide to stop passing after the first Charleston is complete.

The Charleston is followed by an optional pass to the player across of one, two, or three tiles. The Charleston, a distinctive feature of American Mahjong, may have been borrowed from card games such as Hearts.

Many variations have specific hands, some of which are common while some are optional depending on regions and players.

One example is the Pure Green hand made of chows or Pongs using 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 of bamboo and green dragon. When a hand is one tile short of winning for example: , waiting for: , , or , as can be the eyes , the hand is said to be a ready hand, or more figuratively, "on the pot".

The player holding a ready hand is said to be waiting for certain tiles. It is common to be waiting for two or three tiles, and some variations award points for a hand that is waiting for one tile.

In tile Mahjong, the largest number of tiles for which a player can wait is 13 the thirteen wonders , or 13 orphans , a nonstandard special hand.

Ready hands must be declared in some variations of Mahjong, while other variations prohibit the same. A new hand begins, and depending on the variant, the Game Wind may change.

For example, in most playing circles in Singapore, if there is at least one Kong when the hand is a draw, the following player of the dealer becomes the next dealer; otherwise, the dealer remains dealer.

The rule is treated the same as "abortive draws". In Japanese Mahjong, rules allow abortive draws to be declared while tiles are still available.

They can be declared under the following conditions:. Scoring in Mahjong involves points, with a monetary value for points agreed upon by players.

Although in many variations scoreless hands are possible, many require that hands be of some point value in order to win the hand. While the basic rules are more or less the same throughout Mahjong, the greatest divergence between variations lies in the scoring systems.

Like the rules, there is a generalized system of scoring, based on the method of winning and the winning hand, from which Chinese and Japanese base their roots.

American Mahjong generally has greatly divergent scoring rules, as well as greatly divergent general rules. Because of the large differences between the various systems of scoring especially for Chinese variants , groups of players will often agree on particular scoring rules before a game.

Points terminology of which differs from variation to variation are obtained by matching the winning hand with different criteria scoring different values.

The points obtained may be modified into scores for each player using some typically exponential functions. Some criteria may be also in terms of both points and score.

In many variations the dealer receives no scoring bonus and does not maintain his turn by winning or a dead hand. In classical Mahjong all players score points.

Points are given for sets and hand composition and winning bonuses, doubled and redoubled for basic patterns. Sometimes a loser may score more points than a winner.

Japanese Mahjong has a complex scoring system with several stages of scoring, rules and exceptions, evening out scores and bonus points at the end of a match.

Korean Mahjong has a simple scoring system where only winner scores without any form of doubling. Some variations give points for concealed hands, in which case no melds are made except by winning on a discard.

A single player game employs the tiles of mahjong, usually played on computers or devices. Gameplay is entirely unrelated to mahjong or its variations and is a recent invention.

A two-player version was published by Nintendo. The game involves stacking tiles face up in various elaborate patterns and removing uncovered matching tiles at the end of rows.

In , in the interest of dissociating illegal gambling from Mahjong, the China State Sports Commission published a new set of rules, now generally referred to as Chinese Official rules or International Tournament rules see Guobiao Majiang.

The principles of the new, wholesome Mahjong are no gambling, no drinking, and no smoking. In international tournaments, players are often grouped in teams to emphasize that Mahjong from now on is considered a sport.

The new rules are highly pattern-based. The rulebook contains 81 combinations, based on patterns and scoring elements popular in classic and modern regional Chinese variants; some table practices of Japan have also been adopted.

Points for flower tiles each flower is worth one point may not be added until the player has scored eight points. The winner of a game receives the score from the player who discards the winning tile, plus eight basic points from each player; in the case of zimo self-drawn win , he receives the value of this round plus eight points from all players.

The new rules were first used in an international tournament in Tokyo , where, in , the first global tournament in Mahjong was organized by the Mahjong Museum, the Japan Mahjong Organizing Committee, and the city council of Ningbo, China.

One hundred players participated, mainly from Japan and China, but also from Europe and the United States.

Mai Hatsune, from Japan, became the first world champion. The following year saw the first annual China Mahjong Championship, held in Hainan; the next two annual tournaments were held in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Most players were Chinese; players from other nations attended as well. In , the first Open European Mahjong Championship [15] was held in the Netherlands, with players.

The competition was won by Masato Chiba from Japan. The second European championship [16] in Copenhagen was attended by players and won by Danish player Martin Wedel Jacobsen.

There were participants. This organization held its first World Mahjong Championship in November in the Chinese town of Chengdu , attended by participants from all over the world.

MJM tournaments host between and participants at these larger events; and there are several smaller scale, but equally successful tournaments held annually by other hosts.

Prize pools are based on the number participating. Rules are based on the National Mah Jongg League standard rules.

Mahjong is based on draw-and-discard card games that were popular in 18th and 19th century China, some of which are still popular today.

Each deck is divided into three suits of Cash or coins, Strings of cash, and Myriads of strings. There are nine ranks in each suit.

In addition, there are three wild cards : Red flower , White flower , and Old thousand. Depending on the game, there are multiple copies of each card.

Games scholar David Parlett has written that the Western card games Conquian and Rummy share a common origin with Mahjong. Khanhoo is an early example of such a game.

It is not known when the conversion from cards to tiles took place precisely but it most likely occurred in the middle of the 19th century.

The earliest surviving tile sets date to around and were acquired in Fuzhou , Shanghai , and Ningbo.

In their place were "king" tiles for heaven, earth, man, and harmony and also for each of the 4 "winds" which may have acted as bonus tiles.

Instead there were the wild cards known as Cash Flower, String Flower, and Myriad Flower plus an additional tile, the king of everything.

These early jokers are still found in the Vietnamese and Thai sets. The ban on gambling after the founding of the People's Republic in led to a decline in playing.

The game itself was banned during the Cultural Revolution — In , British sinologist William Henry Wilkinson wrote a paper which mentioned a set of cards known in central China by the name of ma chioh , literally, hemp sparrow, which he maintained was the origin of the term Mahjong.

He did not explain the dialect of the originator or region specific etymology of this information. The game was imported to the United States in the s.

It became a success in Washington, D. This was the earliest version of Mahjong known in America. Babcock had learned Mahjong while living in China.

His rules simplified the game to make it easier for Americans to take up, and his version was common through the Mahjong fad of the s.

Later, when the s fad died out, many of Babcock's simplifications were abandoned. The game has taken on a number of trademarked names, such as "Pung Chow" and the "Game of Thousand Intelligences".

Mahjong nights in America often involved dressing and decorating rooms in Chinese style. Many variants of Mahjong developed during this period.

By the s, many revisions of the rules developed that were substantially different from Babcock's classical version including some that were considered fundamentals in other variants, such as the notion of a standard hand.

The most common form, which eventually became "American Mahjong", was most popular among Jewish women. Many consider the modern American version a Jewish remake, [30] as many American Mahjong players are of Jewish descent.

In , this large scale seagoing event hosted its 25th Silver Anniversary Cruise, with players from all over the States and Canada participating.

In , a second organization was formed, the American Mah Jongg Association. Millington revived the Chinese classical game of the s with his book The Complete Book of Mah-jongg This handbook includes a formal rules set for the game.

There are many governing bodies which often host exhibition games and tournaments for modern and traditional Mahjong gaming.

Mahjong, as of , is the most popular table game in Japan. Saki and Akagi devoted to dramatic and comic situations involving Mahjong.

Newer units can connect with other arcade machines across the Internet. Mahjong culture is still deeply ingrained in the Chinese community.

Sam Hui wrote Cantopop songs using Mahjong as their themes, and Hong Kong movies have often included scenes of Mahjong games.

Many gambling movies have been filmed in Hong Kong, and a recent subgenre is the Mahjong movie. Although the popularity of the game in China is still broad, since , mahjong was frowned upon by the government because it is seen as a means of gambling addiction, an issue that the government always sought to tackle.

Prolonged playing of Mahjong may trigger epileptic seizures according to a study. Some doctors speculate that this may be due to stress and complex manual movement correlated with intense brain function similar to playing chess or card games such as poker.

Studies by doctors have also shown in Hong Kong that the game is beneficial for individuals suffering from dementia or cognitive memory difficulties, leading to the development of Mahjong therapy.

Mahjong was also adapted into several puzzle video games such as Mahjong Trails , listed as one of the top-grossing games on Facebook.

Even though both skill and chance play a fundamental role in the game, there is no shortage of superstitions in which players believe where they sit, how they hold their pieces or objects they have on their person will somehow affect the outcome.

For example, players will try to find seats with the best Feng Shui or wear their lucky clothing or trinkets. Some believe that specific pieces one dot for example bode bad luck if received in their opening hand.

More elaborate superstitions in Mahjong range from those found in the game poker, like not counting one's wins and losses, to the comical, like changing one's undergarments after a loss.

As with all superstitions in gaming, none of them have been properly demonstrated as effective, though, for some, the rituals have become an integral part of the game experience and its aesthetics.

Mahjong tiles were added to the Unicode Standard in April, with the release of version 5. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Tile-based game. This article is about the Chinese tile-based game. For the card-matching solitaire game, see Mahjong solitaire.

For others uses, see Mahjong disambiguation. Main article: Mahjong tiles. Main article: Hong Kong Mahjong scoring rules.

Play media. Main article: Mahjong solitaire. Main article: Mahjong Tiles Unicode block. China portal Asia portal Games portal.

World Series of Mahjong. Archived from the original on 16 June Retrieved 25 January Daily Southtown.

The Courier. The complete book of Mah-Jongg. London: A. Retrieved 24 August North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle , p.

Retrieved 7 September Three-player mahjong. Retrieved 17 November Archived from the original on 12 October Archived from the original on 27 February Asia Society.

The Penguin Book of Card Games. The Playing-Card. History of Mahjong FAQ Retrieved 6 November They are the two oldest set Mahjong tiles found in the world.

Is my set complete? Retrieved 16 May Win Mahjong. Retrieved 29 December The American Anthropologist. The New York Times.

Harper, , ch. The World of Japanese Comics. Kodansha, , Chapter 5. The Burn-In. Retrieved 5 August Chang; Raymond T.

Cheung; S. BBC News. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 19 February Int J Geriatr Psychiatry.

Retrieved 8 November You can learn more about scoring and how to play mahjong by clicking the question mark in the upper-right corner of the mahjong games.

You will want to challenge yourself by matching the tiles quickly because the game is timed. Best of all: You can play mahjong online — no download needed!

The clacking of mahjong tiles during shuffling resembles the chattering of sparrows. They are all correct, depending on how you translate it from Chinese.

Games home Mahjong. Contact Arkadium, the provider of these games. Mahjong players also enjoy: See More Games.

Mahjongg: Age of Alchemy. Top Scores Today. This Week.

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