The Game involves the following steps:
(1) Picking The Seats
(2) Creating And Breaking The
(3) Dealing The Tiles
(4) Drawing The Tiles
Seats – The players initially assume their seats randomly and they pick up a wind tile
each. They then put them face down on the table. Then two tiles, one of odd number and the other of even number, are taken and placed
face up on either side of the shuffled wind tiles. The wind tiles are sandwiched between the numbered tiles. Now the two (sometimes
three) dice are thrown by a random player and the player indicated by the count on the dice is given with the dice.
This player again throws the dice and if the count on the dice is odd he picks the wind tile first at the "odd number" end
and this course of action passes in the counter clockwise direction as the players pick the subsequent tiles. If the dice count is even, the same process is continued starting from the "even number" end.
The player who got the "East" wind tile takes his respective seat and the
remaining players occupy the seats in
counter clockwise direction (as seen in the figure above).
In a hand each player belongs to a certain wind direction and a wind tile matching the seat’s
direction is one’s "Seat Wind" and melding a "Seat Wind" would help a player
score more points. The East player is
referred to as dealer and after each hand
(irrespective of a hand won or lost) the players change their seats
and therefore change their wind
directions. When we consider the player who sat in the east seat as the east player and also identify the other players with directions of the seats of their first hand,
then the directions of their seats in
subsequent hands can be visualized as in the
Building And Breaking the wall
As of now the players have assumed their seats.
The 136 tiles (144 with flower and season) are shuffled and are placed on the table faced down. Each player now selects 34
if the flower and season tiles are included) and
places them on the table arranging them in 2 stacks of 17
tiles (18 with flower and season) each. These tiles are moved forward
by each player forming a hollow square generally referred to as
the "Wall". The Wall can be seen in the figure
The player on the "East"
throws the dice to determine the side (direction) where the breaking of the wall procedure has to start.
Now as the side is determined by the dice count, the player at this point again throws the dice
and the number of tiles (stacks) as in the dice count is counted starting from the right end and
are shifted apart slightly to show a distinction
thus breaking the wall and these tiles are generally
referred to as a "Dead Wall".
The tiles on the left of the Dead Wall are known as
a "Live Wall".
The Dead Wall is reserved for the replacement tiles whenever a player has
Concealed Kong or when he
encounters a flower or season tile. Generally in the Mahjong, whenever
a flower or season tile is dealt
or drawn from the wall, the tile has to be put aside face up and a replacement tile has to be drawn
from the Dead Wall. If the tile drawn from the
Dead Wall is again a flower
or season tile, this has to be
put aside and another tile has to be drawn. When a player has a
Concealed Kong, he can retain it to the
end of the hand or else he can declare it to pick up a replacement tile.
The Tiles: East being the
priority wind, starts with taking two stacks
(that is four tiles) from the Live Wall,
followed by the South player taking two
stacks, the West player taking two stacks
and finally the North player. This continues
until the players have twelve tiles each.
The players other than the East player pick
one tile each and the East player picks two
tiles as he has to start formally with the
first tile discard. The East player can pick
up the last two tiles in two different ways.
In one way, he picks two tiles after every
other player picks his 12th tile. In a
different approach, he picks one tile after
everyone has picked his 12th tile and
another tile after everyone has picked his
13th. The second way is shown in the figure:
The player to the East side, with an extra
tile, starts the play by discarding a tile.
The discarded tile is placed face up in the
middle of the wall. The player to the right
of the dealer may pick up this discarded
tile or can draw a tile from the wall. If
the discarded tile is not claimed, the
player to the dealer's right ie South draws
and discards a tile followed by the
West drawing and discarding a tile and
finally North drawing and discarding a tile.
If the discarded tile is claimed by any of
the players, then the player claiming it
picks and discards a tile consequently
breaking the sequence and the game continues