Variations in Mahjong

Mahjong has undergone many variations since its origin. There is a lot of confusion surrounding Mahjong variations. Some claim they are wrongly played. The main structure of the game hardly varies with only the scoring patterns differing from one to another. Some of the notable variations are:

  • Japanese Mahjong is largely played in Japan. The game has commonly found its place in video game versions. Changes in scoring have been done in the game. Certain rules like rīchi (ready hand) and dora (bonus tiles) have been included in this Mahjong variation. There is a variation named ‘sanma’ which is best played by 3 players. Sanma varies from the original Japanese Mahjong with the main difference being chī (Chow) is not allowed and tiles from 2 to 8 of one suit are removed. There are other variations in rules where some number 5 tiles get replaced with red tiles in order to increase the value.
  • Hong Kong Mahjong or Cantonese Mahjong is arguably the most commonly played mahjong games. They differ from the traditional Chinese Mahjong in scoring patterns. The game disallows multiple players to win from one discard.
  • Western classical mahjong is similar to the traditional version introduced in America in the 1920s. Babcock had introduced the game in USA and all the variations brought into the game are closer to the rules set by Babcock.
  • Variations in Mahjong
  • American Mahjong has been officially named by the US National Mah Jongg League and American Mah-Jongg Association. The game interestingly uses joker tiles, the Charleston, melds of five or more tiles. American Mahjong eliminates ‘Chow’ and a standard hand. Gaming enthusiasts think that this game is a different game altogether having a separate identity of its own.
  • Mahjong Solitaire is played by stacking up Mahjong tiles with different configurations. The pairs of tiles are discovered and removed from the stacks. The game was initially made for PLATO system and released as Mahjong solitaire. But it was further developed and named Mahjong Titans which was pre-installed with Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Mahjong has numerous variations. There are developers working round the clock to modify Mahjong and come up with the best set of variations.