Mah Jongg - LASFS Rules Codification of Tile Gaming Principles

The “Codification of Tile Gaming Principles” is used to score the game of Mah Jongg.
The Rules for Mah Jongg may be found elsewhere.

Definition of Some Essential Terms

Pung -­ three identical tiles
Kong ­ – four identical tiles
Chow – ­ three consecutive tiles in same suit
Mah Jongg – ­ having four sets of three (in either pungs or chows) and a matched pair for a total of 14 tiles (each kong counts as an honorary three and adds one to the total of tiles held: each flower or season is considered a bonus and not counted in the total of tiles, merely in the scoring).
Simples – ­ tiles in suits numbered 2 through 8
Terminals – ­ tiles in suits numbered 1 or 9
Honours ­ – Winds or Dragons
Limit Hand – ­ anytime you exceed the limit score of 500. (East always pays and collects double. Therefore, East wind’s Limit Hand is 1000.)
Open – ­ tiles placed to the front of the rack because one of their number comes from someone else’s discard.
Concealed – ­ tiles still on the lower part of the rack when you or someone else Mah Jonggs because none of them were gotten from someone else’s discard.
Grounded – ­ placing tiles on the front of the rack; especially used for concealed kongs which must be put out on the front of the rack with
the end tiles face down so that the player may draw a replacement tile from the tail of the wall in order to keep the hand balanced.
Pung of simples open = 2
Pung of simples concealed = 4
Kong of simples open = 8
Kong of simples concealed = 16 (must be grounded or in Mah Jongg hand, or counts only as pung.)
Pung of Terminals or Honours open = 4
Pung of Terminals or Honours concealed = 8
Kong of Terminals or Honours open = 16
Kong of Terminals or Honours concealed = 32 (must be grounded or in Mah Jongg hand, or counts only as pung.)
Flowers and Seasons (1 through 4 of each) = 4
Pung or Kong of Dragons = 1 double
Pung or Kong of own or prevailing Wind = 1 double
Pung or Kong of both your own and prevailing
Wind= 2 doubles
Own Flower or Season = 1 double
Bouquets (all four Flowers or all four Seasons)= 4 doubles (including your own Flower or Season double)
Mah Jongg = 20 points
All Chows = 10 points All Pungs (including but not all Kongs) = 10 points Drawing Mah Jongg tile from head of wall = 2 points Drawing Mah Jongg tile from tail of wall = 10 points Mah Jongg on last possible tile (only that tile will allow hand to go Mah Jongg and the other three of it are already visible)
Mah Jongg on last available tile (no additional
= 10 points

play possible)= 10 Points Pair of own Wind = 2 points Pair of prevailing Wind = 2 points Pair of Wind if own AND prevailing Wind = 4 Points Pair of dragons = 2 points Robbing a Kong for Mah Jongg = 10 points

Totally concealed hand (no tile from discards) (concealed Kong that is grounded still O.K.)
= 1 double

Pure (all one suit) with Honours = 1 double
Pure (all one suit) with no Honours = 3 doubles
All Terminals with Honours = 1 double
All Kongs (4 Kongs and a pair) = 1 double
SPECIAL HANDS (all are Limit Hands)
1. Gift from Heaven ­ being dealt Mah Jongg (East only).
2. Gift from Earth ­ going Mah Jongg before your first turn is over (anyone except East).
3. Thirteen Noble Scholars ­ 1 each of all Honours and Terminals with one of those 13 paired.
4. Heavenly Twins ­ 7 pairs of Honours only (2 of each wind, 2 of each dragon).
5. Nine United Sons ­ pung of each Terminal in one suit with the 2 through 8 of same suit, one of which is paired (may not pair one of a grounded chow).
6. All Honours.
7. All Terminals (with no Honours).
Please note: All other special hands including all green, all red, etc., have been disallowed.
1. False declaration of Mah Jongg ­ exposing tiles of an inaccurately declared Mah Jongg ­ declarer pays half limit (as always, East pays and collects double) to all others.
2. False claim of discarded tile ­ if not noticed before next player discards ­ player forced to keep badly matched tiles open and will not be able to Mah Jongg.
3. Hand short by one tile (fouled hand) ­ regularized at next turn by a draw of one tile from head of wall and one tile from tail of wall; if Mah Jongg occurs during this regularization, no bonuses awarded.
4. Hand long by one tile (fouled hand) ­ player does not draw on next turn and may not take another’s discard until after hand is regularized.
5. Undeclared Flower or Season = 0 (No points nor benefit for Flower or Season).
Upon arrival at the last tile before the block upon which the tail sits (either 7 or 8 tiles), the last player to draw plays out his turn and his discard may only go to a Mah Jongg hand.
When a “dead round” occurs (no Mah Jongg and no tiles drawable) everyone scores against each other and East wind moves to the next player.
A dealt Kong is replaced on your first turn (after all Flowers and Seasons have been replaced).

Books on Mah Jong
Hammer, Marcia. Learn to Play Mah Jong. (Tartan serial: Number 64). 158 pages. Paperback $5.95 (ISBN 0­679­14375­0). David McKay Co., Inc., (subsidiary of Random House Inc.), 201 E 50th St., MA 11­7, New York, NY 10022. Order from Random House, Inc., 300 Hahn Rd, Westminster, MD 21157, 800­638­6460,
Kanai, Shozo & Farrell, Margaret. Mah Jong for Beginners. LC 58­12108. (Illustrated). bds. $5.25 (ISBN 0­8048­0391­9). Charles E Tuttle Co., Inc., P O Box 410, 28 S Main St, Rutland, VT 05707­0410, 8O2­773­8930
Li, Tze­Chung. Mah Jong: The Rules for Playing the Chinese Game. 68 pages, 1981. Paperback. $6.95 (ISBN 0­937256­02­1). Chinese Culture Service, P 0 Box 44, Oak Park, IL 60603, 312­848­2210.
Lim. Willie. Mah Jong Made Easy: Standard Chinese Rules Simplified. (Illustrated). 32 Pages. 1982. $6.00 (ISBN 0­682­49850­1). Exposition­Phoenix Press, Inc., 1620 S. Federal Hwy #751. Pompano Beach. FL 33062, 305­979­3200.
Stauser, Kitty & Evans, Lucille. Mah Jong, Anyone. LB 64­16009. (Illustrated). 1964. bds. $7.95 (ISBN 0­8048­0390­0) Charles E Tuttle Co., Inc., P O Box 410, 28 S Main St, Rutland, VT 05707­0410, 8O2­773­8930
Whitney, Eleanor N. Mah Jong Handbook: How to Play, Score, & Win the Modern Game, LC 64­17162. (Illustrated). 1964. $9.95 (ISBN 0­8048­0392­7). Charles E Tuttle Co., Inc., P 0 Box 410, 28 S Main St. Rutland, VT 05707­0410, 802­773­8930.

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LASFS Member Gary Louie

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