What You Need To Play: An American Mah Jongg Set consisting of 8 Flowers, 8 Jokers, 4 Red Dragons, 4 Green Dragons, 4 Soap(White) Dragons, 4 North Winds, 4 East Winds, 4 West Winds, 4 South Winds, 1-9 Craks Suit(4 of each number), 1-9 Bams Suit(4 of each number) and 1-9 Dots Suit(4 of each number), 4 racks, 2 dice and 4 Mah Jongg Junior Cards.
Object: The object of the game is to be the first player to complete a hand on the Mah Jongg Junior card. The winner of each game gets the points value of their hand that is listed on the card. Players collect points for each game they win. Games continue until the first player reaches 50 points and he/she is declared the winner of that set of games.
Setting Up: One rack is placed in front of each player. It holds your tiles while you are playing. The four racks will form a square. The 152 tiles are placed face down in the middle of the square formed by the racks and shuffled. Each player takes 38 tiles from the center of the table and sets up a wall in front of their rack that is 19 rows across of 2 tiles high, all stacked face down. All 152 tiles should now be in walls and no tiles should be left in the center of the table.
Dealing: Each player rolls 2 dice. The player with the highest number rolled becomes East. East pushes their wall out to the center of the table and takes 4 tiles(2 stacks of 2 tiles). Then the player to the right takes 4 tiles. This continues counterclockwise until 2 tiles remain in the first wall. The player to the left of East pushes out their wall and adds the 2 remaining tiles to the end of it. Then picking 4 tiles each continues counterclockwise until all players have 12 tiles in front of them. East then takes the first and third top tile on the wall in the center of the table and going counterclockwise the rest of the players each take 1 tile from the end of the wall. At the start of each game, East will have 14 tiles and all other players will have 13 tiles. Dealing is now complete and all the players can put their tiles on their racks for sorting and analyzing which hands to play.
Sorting your Tiles: Start by putting your tiles on your rack. Next group your tiles by suit. Place any flowers together on the left side of your rack. Place any Winds to the right side of your rack. Place any dragons with their appropriate suit. When you organize your tiles, it helps you to be able to pick a hand to go for on the Mah Jongg Junior card.
The Charleston: It is an exchange of unwanted tiles for a chance to improve your hand. It is also the last step before play starts. Each player selects 3 unwanted tiles and passes them to the player on the right. Next 3 tiles are selected and passed to the player across from them. Then 3 tiles are selected and passed to the left player. A second round of the Charleston is then performed. All players select 3 tiles and pass them to the left player again. Next all players pass 3 tiles to the player across from them. Then all players pass 3 tiles to the right player. The final pass to the player across from you is called a Courtesy Pass and it completes the Charleston. It can be for 0, 1, 2, or 3 tiles. During the Courtesy Pass, players across from each other must pass each other the same amount of tiles. Any player for any reason can stop the Charleston after the first left pass and before the second left pass. If the Charleston has been stopped then a courtesy pass is performed and that completes the Charleston.
Play: The East player discards an unwanted tile face up in the center of the table. The player to East’s right can either take that tile or draw a new tile from the wall in the center of the table. Then that player discards an unwanted tile from their hand to the center of the table. Play continues counterclockwise with each player either picking up a discarded tile or drawing a new tile and then discarding an unwanted tile from their hand. When all tiles have been drawn from the first wall. Then the player to East’s left pushes out their wall and play continues until the second wall is done. The player across pushes their wall out and play continue until that wall is done. Then the player to the right pushes their final wall out and play continues until that wall is done. Mah Jongg can be declared by a player at any point in the game. If all tiles have been drawn and discarded without any player calling Mah Jongg then it is called a Wall game and all players get zero points. During play, it is important to keep track of the tiles on your rack. You should ALWAYS have 13 tiles. The 14th tile is the tile you need to call Mah Jongg.
Hands: Each hand on the Mah Jongg Junior card is made up of 14 tiles. There are 2 types of hands on the Mah Jongg Junior card. They are OPEN hands and CLOSED hands. In a OPEN hand, a player can pick up a discarded tile in the center of the table to complete a PUNG or KONG. The player can also pick up a tile to complete Mah Jongg.
A PAIR means 2 of a kind in like tiles.
A PUNG means 3 of a kind in like tiles.
A KONG means 4 of a kind in like tiles.
In a CLOSED hand, the player can pick up a discarded tile in the center of the table ONLY for Mah Jongg. You will NEVER have any exposure out on your rack if you are playing a Closed hand. You can NEVER pick up a discarded tile to complete a pair.
Jokers: Jokers are ALWAYS used as wild tiles. This means a Joker can be substituted for any tile in a PUNG or a KONG. A Joker can NEVER be used in a single or pair. Jokers can NEVER be used in the year(2018) because the year is considered to be made up of single tiles. Joker/Jokers can be taken in any PUNG or KONG exposure on your rack from any player ONLY when it is your turn. Jokers can be used in any PUNG or KONG in an exposure. Jokers can be discarded at any time of the game. Jokers can NEVER be called if they are discarded. Jokers can also be called and exchanged from any exposure on the rack BEFORE your hand was called dead. Jokers can NEVER be passed during the Charleston.
Dragons: ONLY the Soap Dragon(also called the White Dragon) can be used for a ZERO in yearly hands. In yearly hands, the soap dragon can also be used with craks, bams or dots. Red dragons belong to the Craks suit. Green dragons belong to the Bams suit, Soap/White dragons belong to the Dots suit.
Calling a Discard: When tiles are discarded, they are placed face up in the center of the table. In order to call a discarded tile, a player must verbally and correctly call the tile by saying “call” or “take”. The discarded tile must ONLY be called when it completes a PUNG or KONG in the player’s hand. When the discarded tile is called and picked up, the player that called it must expose their completed PUNG or KONG face up on their rack. A discarded tile CANNOT BE PICKED UP once the next player has picked up and RACKED their tile or if he/she has discarded a tile in the center of the table.
Dead Hands: A hand is considered dead when you have an incorrect number of tiles in your hand. It can also be called dead when you have the wrong number of tiles exposed on your rack. Any player can call your hand dead at any time during play. A dead hand stops picking and discarding immediately. The player of the dead keeps his hand concealed and sits out until the game is either won by another player or until the game is over. The player with the dead hand receives zero points at the end of the game.
Orange Flower = Flowers, Red = Craks, Green = Bams, Blue = Dots, d = Dragons, and n,e,w,s = Winds