24 Variations Of The Classic Board Game Mahjong

Posted by Steven Barnhart on 3rd Feb 2021

Mahjong Game Sets

Chinese classical Mahjong tile game :

It is the oldest surviving variety of Mahjong and was the version introduced to America in the 1920s under various names.

Hong Kong Mahjong or Cantonese Mahjong:

Is the most common form of  Mahjong game sets, differing in minor scoring details from the Chinese Classical version.

This version does not allow multiple players to win from a single discard.

Competition Mahjong:

This version is the international standard founded by All-China Sports Federation in July 1998 that some Mahjong societies have adopted for competition play and in some cases for all play.

Sichuan Mahjong:

This game is a growing variety, particularly in southern China, disallowing chi melds, and using only the suited tiles. Play continues until a loser is decided or a draw. It can be played very quickly.

Wuhan Mahjong:

This game version is growing rapidly and become popular in southern China.

It's different from other parts of China in a way that

1) It has a tile that can be used as everything, called Laizi.

2) You have to have a set of special 2 tiles, namely 2, 5, 8, as prerequisite for winning.

Changsha Mahjong:

This game version is widely played in Hunan Province. Like Wuhan Mahjong, players need to obtain special Jong consisting of only tiles of 2, 5 or 8.

Changsha Mahjong forbids using winds and some special tiles, those tiles are first drawn out from the table when playing.

Tianjin Mahjong:

Using normally 7 jokers, with special scoring such as joker-free, joker-waiting-pair, catch-5, dragon, joker-suited-dragon.

Shenyang Mahjong:

Using 13 hands in a game, and Shenyang Mahjong has a really fast speed on playing, which allegedly might be said in some regard to perhaps match the personality of North-east people in China.

Taiwanese Mahjong:

A variety prevalent in Taiwan and involves hands of 16 tiles (as opposed to the 13-tile hands in other versions), features bonuses for dealers and recurring dealerships, and allows multiple players to win from a single discard.

Filipino Mahjong :

16 tile hands. Certain tiles can be wild. Honors are treated as bonuses.

Fujian Mahjong :

13 tile hands. Certain tiles can be wild. No dragons. Winds are treated as bonuses.

Shanxi Mahjong :

The players of this version must win with the first four blocks drawn which are placed separately in front of other.

These four blocks cannot be touched until the player has a ready hand.

Singaporean or Malaysian Mahjong:

Two similar variants with much in common with the Hong Kong mahjong game.

Unique elements of Singaporean/Malaysian Mahjong are the use of four animal bonus tiles (cat, mouse, cockerel, and centipede).

In addition there are alternatives in the scoring rules, which allow payouts midway through the game if certain conditions (such as a kang) are met.

Melds may also be presented in a form different to most other variations.

South African Mahjong:

A version of Cantonese Mahjong. It is very similar in terms of game play and follows most of the rules and regulations of Cantonese Mahjong.

Thai Mahjong:

Features eight specialized jokers with eight extra flowers and eight animals for a total of 168 tiles.

Vietnamese Mahjong:

Features the same eight specialized jokers but with only eight different extra flowers for a total of 160 tiles.

Modern variant triplicates or quadruplicates the jokers for a total of 176 or 184 tiles.

Japanese classical Mahjong:

This game version is still used in tournaments. It is closer to the Chinese classical scoring system but only the winner scores.

Japanese Mahjong:

This version is a standardized form of Mahjong in Japan and is also found prevalently in video games.

Korean Mahjong:

Is rather unique in numerous ways and is an excellent version for three players.

One suit is omitted completely (usually the Bamboo set or 2–8 of bamboo) as well as the Seasons.

The scoring in this game is fast and simple. 

Pussers bones:

This game version is a fast-moving variant developed by sailors in the Royal Australian Navy.

It uses an alternative vocabulary, such as Eddie, Sammy, Wally, and Normie, instead of East, South, West, and North respectively.

San Hako Riichi Mahjong:

This is a variant of Japanese Mahjong that can be played with either two or three players.

Western classical Mahjong:

A descendant of the version of Mahjong introduced by Babcock to America in the 1920s.

Currently, this term largely refers to the " Wright-Patterson" rules, used in the U.S. military, and other similar American-made variants that are closer to the Babcock rules.

American Mahjong:

This form of Mahjong standardized by the National Mah Jongg League and the American Mah-Jongg Association.

It uses joker tiles, the Charleston, plus melds of five or more tiles, treats bonus tiles as honors, and eschews the Chow and the notion of a standard hand.

Mah Jongg Card Game:

Winning Moves is a card game variant based on the basic Mahjong board game.