Guildford Mahjong Club

More Fun Playing Mahjong, aka the Playing Protocols or the Doa€?s and Dona€?ts of Riichi

What follows is intended to remind us all of many of the good things that we do as a matter of course when playing mahjong, and also act as a reminder of the occasional opportunity for improvement in that department!

Why do these things matter at all, always assuming, of course, that they do? Well, for the most part they save time. Whata€?s the rush? Simply that we have more fun by playing more mahjong if we eliminate as best we can, the things that consume time unproductively, and, as the Scots say, a€?Mony a mickle makes a mucklea€? - many small things make a big thing!

So, award yourself a big tick/a pat on the back for each time you are on the a€?right enda€? of the following encouragements and hints on how to have for yourself, and how to proffer to others, more mahjong-playing a€?bang for your bucka€?!

The Deal

The Shuffle

The Discard

The Draw

The Steal

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This is one of the least disciplined manoeuvres in routine play. Ita€?s only another version of being ready to discard, but this sequence saves the time taken while the stolen tile is placed in hand. The announcing part is important, quite apart from being part of a€?The Rulesa€?. Failure to do so is the most common cause of a player being unaware of their turn when play is disrupted by a steal.

The Pause

All this might seem to suggest that you are not allowed any time for reflection and assessment during the play of a hand. Not so. Admittedly, mahjong is a fast game but everyone needs a pause from time to time to consider (a change of) strategy and/or to find a safe discard at a particularly dangerous point, and it is perfectly reasonable to do that from time to time. The operative phrase, of course, is a€?from time to timea€?. Think of all the above hints as not only helping the game to go with a swing, but also as building up some time a€?savingsa€? for the occasion when you need to pause and think.


If you have a perfect score on all these points, then beatification awaits you in the near future.

Any minor blemishes in your personal score should be seen as representing opportunity to be a€?even more fun to play witha€?!