Mahjong – The Game of Sparrows
The word “Mahjong” means “game of sparrows” in Chinese. It is a strategy-based rummy game in which players try to match the tiles on their score cards with those on their rack. The mahjong tiles are usually made of bone, bamboo, or ivory. Unlike other traditional games, mahjong requires the players to constantly think and pay close attention to the tiles. The game’s complex scoring system has cognitive benefits similar to chess.
Regardless of the origins of the game, the basic rules are the same for all mahjong games. These rules include how pieces are drawn, robbed, used of suits and honors, and the types of melds. However, regional variations will often include different criteria for winning hands and scoring systems. There may also be extra rules that are customarily included in the game. Whether or not you choose to use the dummy method will depend on the individual.
In Mahjong, tiles are arranged in four sets of four. Each tile represents one of the four directions of wind and three colors. Each player is required to have thirteen tiles on his or her board. The player with the East wind tile gets an extra tile. The player with the East wind tile gets a card that can only be used to discard a single tile. The players are referred to by their sets of tiles as Sextet, Quint, Kong, and Pung.
The three-player version of Mahjong is played with four walls instead of three. This is called the triangle game. The three-player game is a lot simpler and elegant than the four-player version. In South East Asia, this variation is a favorite among players. It is similar to the American version, but differs only in the number of tiles. A person can play with as many tiles as they like, and they can create as many sets as they can.
The game has a long history of controversy. A recent critic of the game’s “refresh” echoed concerns raised during the game’s early popularity in the early 20th century. The author of a new book on the history of mahjong in the United States discussed the game’s role in modern culture. The author of the book spoke to TIME to discuss the controversial history of the mahjong and how the popular game has changed.
There is a long history of controversy surrounding mahjong. A recent critic of the game’s “refresh” echoed concerns raised during the game’s early twentieth century popularity. A new book, The History of Mahjong: The Game’s controversies and its place in contemporary American culture, Ashley Walters says, are only part of the story. She argues that the game is a “cultural phenomenon” and should be studied in order to understand how it came to be popular.