Mahjong games

Mahjong

Developed during the Qing dynasty, Mahjong games have become an integral part of the Chinese culture and is very famous in Southern Asia. It has rapidly gained traction within the Indian gaming community due to its simplicity and involved strategies. Just like any other traditional games, Mahjong games are hard to grasp at first due to the definitive set of rules. However, Mahjong is fun to play once you understand the game well. In fact, people who play this game admit to having been playing it for years now. They say, the game never gets old. The evergreen essence of the game is clearly visible as you see the time it is known to be established. Centuries have passed, the world has changed but this Chinese game has always found a way to stay in the hearts of its players.

Recently, the game has begun gaining popularity in the Middle East and other parts of Asia as well. One of the fascinating aspects of Mahjong games is the combination of strategy, skill, and luck that does not exist in a casino game. Hence, a game that brings all these factors together is destined to excite any player who enjoys online gaming. If you are a beginner and want to try your luck on Mahjong games online for real money, then, our experts at Casino Bonus India, are here to guide you sequentially. Learn from the best!

How to play Mahjong games: Beginner’s guide

We, at Casino Bonus India, are dedicated to offering our Indian players with the best possible casino experience that they can possibly get. In order to enjoy epic Mahjong games online, you need to first get familiar with the basic guidelines properly. Continue to read on!

Online Mahjong vs real-life Mahjong

Online Mahjong

Before getting into the basics of the game, let us here understand the difference in playing Mahjong in real-life vs online.

In real life, the game has had a significant presence in the past. It has existed for a very long period in the history of countries like China and Japan. The various Mahjong games have a slightly different set of rules which has made the game a little difficult to understand for the outsiders. However, its true fan base in the native countries have kept the game alive and loved.

It has not been long since online gaming became popular. The late 90s saw the invention of the internet which was followed by the development of technology and computer gaming. These sets of events served as the perfect platform for games to go online. Mahjong, which is one of the oldest games that is still played, became more accessible to players of different ethnicity. Hence, it started gaining popularity in countries like India and Nepal. Now a player can get the original essence of playing Mahjong without actually going to China. The game has a large requirement of game equipment in real-life but to play on the online medium, all you need is an internet connection and a gaming device. Online Mahjong games do not require the download of any apps or upgradation of any device configurations. Even a device with 2G internet connection and basic specifications could run the game hassle-free. This has indeed made the game more convenient and easy to play.

Basic equipment associated with Mahjong games

In Mahjong games, there are 144 tiles (normally made out of ivory or plastic) which have a dimension of 30 x 20 x 15mm. Let us breakdown the list of tiles:

  • 4 Season tiles
  • 4 Flower tiles
  • 12 Dragon tiles
  • 16 Wind tiles
  • 36 Bamboo tiles
  • 36 Character tiles
  • 36 Circle tiles & a pair of dices

All these tiles are roughly categorized into three parts – suits, honor and bonus tiles. The suits are the largest category that comprises tiles like Bamboo, Character and Circle tiles. Each of the suits consists of 9 different tiles, that are numbered from 1 to 9.

The next category is honor tiles. The honor tiles category is made up of Wind and Dragon tiles. As you look deep in the tiles of the Mahjong game, you will find tiles with the letter N, S, E, W on their top left corner. These letters signify the four directions that the world knows about – North, South, East, and West. Such tiles are called the Wind tiles. While the tiles that have red, green or white dragons inscribed on them are called Dragon tiles.

The last and the final category is the bonus tile category. These tiles are not an integral part of the Mahjong game. Some variants of the game have them and some don’t. However, the standard variant that you are likely to find at most online casinos has them and therefore, a player who wants to excel in the game must know about them as well. Bonus tiles are the 4 Seasons and the 4 Flower tiles. These are relatively very less in the game stack and therefore, increase the difficulty level of the game. However, winning with a bonus tile might be more beneficial for a player. We shall learn about the winning later in the page.

Now that you know all the basic equipment of the game, we can get into the most exciting part of this game – playing it.

The objective of Mahjong games

The game has a very simple objective to fulfill. All the player has to do is make one pair and four sets of 14 tiles or get a ‘Mahjong’. You are not allowed to use a single tile in two sets at one time. However, what makes the game interesting is stopping other players from winning before you. You can do this by observing keenly and understanding the set or pair he/she is looking for. This kind of understanding of the game requires you to develop skills with experience.

Basic rules of Mahjong games

Casino Mahjong game is played between four players. In the game, you will find that there are 136 tiles in total out of which 36 are circles, 36 are characters, and 36 are bamboos. These symbols are further divided into four sets which are numbered from 1 to 9. The rule is that you cannot match a set of tiles with a different set of tiles. If you choose to do so, you will have to tell other players on the board by announcing the type of set you are trying to form.

There are three types of sets you can form in a game of Mahjong – Chows, Pungs and Kongs. A Chow set comprises 3 consecutive tiles of the same suit. For example, it can be 4,5,6 of the Bamboo suit. The Pungs set is a rather simple set to arrange. It asks you to arrange a set of 3 identical tiles of the same suit.

The gameplay of Mahjong games

The gameplay of Mahjong requires some amount of skill to be understood. This is the reason why the game is loved so much by the veterans of the game. A player gets better at the game with the more number of games he goes on playing. We here have described the gameplay and put them in 10 simple steps.

  1. At first, the dealer needs to be determined. The dealer is decided by rolling the two dice. Each player throws the dice on the board and the one with the highest number on the dice becomes the dealer.
  2. The dealer then deals the cards face down as per the Chinese traditions. Each of the players is dealt with a total of 13 tiles.
  3. The game is then played clockwise, with the player sitting to the left starting the game.
  4. Also, every player builds a 34 face-down tiles (17 tiles in length and 2 tiles in breadth) right in front of them after the tiles have been shuffled together. This is the rack from where the players can later exchange their tiles to form their sets and win.
  5. It is of utmost importance to arrange the tiles in such a manner that other players cannot see your tiles. If other players can somehow see your tiles, they won’t ever discard a tile you desperately need to win. This is why it is often called that Mahjong requires skill more than luck.
  6. Every next player must give the previous player some time to claim the last discarded tile before their turn. The player gets the first priority if he or she gets to complete a ‘Mahjong’ by claiming a discarded tile. The player can then claim the tile and reveal his 14 tiles winning hand.
  7. Players can also say ‘Pung’ to show their 2 matching tiles that match the discard. During a ‘Pung’, the player has to turn the completed set face-up, discard another tile and pass the turn to his right player.
  8. Suppose, the discarded tile is not claimed by anyone, then, a player can say ‘Chow’ during his turn and show the completed set face up. He, then, gets to discard a different tile and the game goes on. If none of the discards completes a set for you, you can go for the next tile from the wall. If you do not get a Mahjong, in that case, you get to discard a tile face up.
  9. Some players even go for ‘Kong’ which has four similar tiles. The same rules are applied for discarding a tile but the player gets to draw the extra tile before discarding. This can be advantageous in certain situations.
  10. The game ends when a player has revealed the complete 14 tile hand and declared a Mahjong. This is very similar to how you play a game of Bingo. The one who declares his win to others first is the winner of the game. Before starting the game, all the players on board agree to a predetermined set of rounds or points in order to end the game.

Strategies to win Mahjong

As mentioned several times, Mahjong is a game that depends more on skill and concentration. It is similar to how you would play a Poker game but without the huge involvement of luck.

The do’s of Mahjong

A player must know when to discard a tile and when to hold on to one. Many beginners live in the misconception that grabbing all the discarded tiles can create chances for them to win. This is not true. If you start grabbing all the discarded tiles, you sure might stop others from winning but you are also creating a complex situation for yourself. After you have taken a number of discarded tiles from the board, you may then realize that you are nowhere to form a suit. Rather you have a wide range of tiles of random sequence and suits. This is the last thing any avid Mahjong player would ever want for himself.

Therefore, it is better to concentrate on your game and keep a peripheral vision on the other players. Such an unsaid interaction is one of the most important things to do in a Mahjong game. If you keep an eagle’s eye on the tiles other players have been discarding and grabbing, you can have an idea of the set the other players are trying to form. Now that you know what other players are desiring from the table, you can play the game accordingly to stop them from winning.

However, simultaneously, you also need to maintain a Poker face or Poker action. Poker actions here refer to stiffness in your actions by not letting other players understand the set you are looking for. Your strategy of keeping an eye on other players can also be a strategy of some other player on your table. Hence, the key here is to maintain adequate interaction with other players on the table.

The don’ts of Mahjong

Since we are talking about the strategies to help you win, let us focus on the don’ts for the game. We often learn the do’s to win a game and forget about the don’ts that are more important than any other thing. The dos might help you set up your tiles but the don’ts will save your time and effort at the game.

The best way to save time and win before anyone else is to know which sets to hold on to. Mahjong has different prizes for different winning hands, depending on the rules and the variants of the game you are playing. You surely can go for the highest-ranking set to earn a maximum winning prize but this takes a lot of time for you. A high-rank set is often rare to find and therefore, takes more time than other sets. Hence, while you are trying to aim big some other player might already be shouting ‘Mahjong’ on the table. The race here is to form a winning hand before anybody else. Having a higher rank card is beneficial only when two players call for Mahjong at the same time.

Winning money in a Mahjong game

Mahjong game

Now you have learned how you can play a Mahjong casino game. Playing a Mahjong game requires a combination of skill, strategy, concentration, and luck. The journey till here might have made you well-versed in how each of them is important to the game and how you can acquire them. Now, it is time to know how you are rewarded when you hit a ‘Mahjong’ in the game. So let’s get started!

When a player hits a Mahjong, his winnings are decided by the types of hands he has made. To judge the hands, each hand is given points according to its constituents. Finally, the points are summed up and the prize money is transacted to the player’s account.

There is one more way to decide the prize money for the winner of the game. Many online casinos give the player a ‘score’ before starting the game. As the game progresses, the score is reduced for every loss. The one with the highest score at the end of all rounds is given the ultimate prize. However, this scoring method is usually used for experienced players.

The first method of scoring is a simple method. This is why it is considered the preferable method for point calculation of new players. Below is an example of the simple scoring method. The left side showcases the type of set and symbols, and the right side depicts the points awarded for each of them.

Set of Tiles Points
A sequence of three or more tiles 0
Sets of threes (2-8) 4 (if the winning tile is from the stack)
Sets of threes (2-8) 2 (if the winning tile is a discarded one)
Sets of threes (1 or 9) 8 (if the winning tile is from the stack)
Sets of threes (1 or 9) 4 (if the winning tile is from the stack)
Pair of dragons 2
Pair of special winds 2
No runs in hand 10
Each flower or season 4

Although there are several other ways of scoring and rewarding points to the players. The simple method of scoring is the most followed one in online casinos. And why should you go anywhere else when you can play this super-exciting game from the comfort of your homes? Hurry! Get started by signing up with one of the premier online casinos right away!

Is Mahjong allowed to play in India?

Of course, the game is not considered illegal. A majority of the online casinos that are licensed and regulated offer players the chance to play this game fairly and securely.

Which is the best online site to explore Mahjong?

We, at Casino Bonus India, bring to you a plethora of online casino sites that offer the Mahjong game at your fingertips. Pick your choice today, hurry!

Can I play Mahjong live?

Yes, Mahjong can be played live against a real dealer in real-time without any hassles. The live streaming video provides a crystal-clear view with HD quality graphics and sound effects.

Can I apply any particular strategy to win the Mahjong game?

Mahjong is a combination of luck, skill, and focus. Therefore, you may apply any strategy depending on your convenience.  But before that, it is important to understand the rules of the game thoroughly before playing for real money.

Is cheating possible in Mahjong?

Not at all! You cannot cheat in the Mahjong online game. So, if you happen to find any guide, resources, or software that claims to cheat at this game, then, please do bear in mind that it is totally a scam.

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