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I've always wanted to learn to play Mah Jongg but with raising all the kids and stuff, I just never had the time or freedom and certainly couldn't afford a set anyway. Well, on Mother's Day, I got a Mah Jongg set! It's not the vintage or antique set I had always dreamed of having but I'm still just as happy as can be to even have a new set. Does anyone else play? I have to round up some friends now to see if I can get a game going here where I live. I've been doing my learning via Youtube so far, and by using the little booklet that came with it which doesn't help much.

 

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I've played a bit online some years ago. It's very much down to chance if you solve the thing or not. 

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I have always wanted a set. I have no idea how to play but the game looks fascinating. The closest I've gotten is those solitaire games that aren't really mah-jong but I like seeing all the different kinds of tiles people come up with.

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I've been looking at Youtube videos about how to play. It's kind of like rummy, it looks like to me. There are so many variations, though. Hong Kong, Siamese, American, European, Japanese Riichi---those are  the ones I can remember at the moment but there are more. I have the Hong Kong version which is the original version. I want to learn about all the versions eventually but to begin with, I'm just happy with that one. The American and Japanese versions use more tiles. The American version uses Joker tiles and I think, if I remember correctly, that the Japanese Riichi Mah Jong also uses red fives in addition to the Jokers. The set I have does include the extra tiles and I do have those, but I separated them out to use later on once I've got the Chinese version figured out. The game is hundreds of years old. The information I read online says it may date to 1200 years B.C. I also learned that Dominoes is a game with a Chinese heritage, too, and I think Yahtzee is as well. And Go is Chinese, if I remember right.

 

The set I have came with little thin plastic betting coins. I got a set of "bones" to use instead. The little coins just seem kind of cheap and crappy so I ordered a set of the betting sticks. Mine aren't made of bone but they're nice, anyway. 

 

I've just been sitting here thinking how amazing synchronicity is. Way back over ten years ago, I was in a little thrift shop and I saw a box there that has Oriental images painted on it. It's not expensive---just a sturdy plastic box with a top section and a bottom section and a lid. All these years later, my Mah Jongg tiles all just exactly fit in the bottom section and the extra tiles and dice and such fit into the top with room for the bones, too.  It's as though that's what the box was made for. I love when stuff like that happens.

 

Odin, was the game you played a real time game or one of the matching games you can get to play on your phone? I tried to find real time games so my daughter who lives in Washington can play with me but I couldn't find any.

 

 

 

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I have always wanted to have a set and play too, but I never have. All those pieces look so intriguing! I hope you have fun with it, Grizabella. 

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My parents had a set, in a red box. They belonged to my grandparents (just asked my mum as she's sat opposite me, she thinks they probably bought it on their way to India).

 

My sister and I loved looking at them, not sure what happened to it, or if all the pieces are still together. I'd love to see it again.

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I've read that some believe the game was invented by Confucius around 1200 years before Christ's birth (if I recall right) but others give other dates.  The name Mah Jongg means "four winds". There are four players of the game, each sitting at one of the four directions around the table. The person in the direction of East is the dealer. There can be a fifth player who just bets on who will win, I think. I'm not good with written directions and especially when it's a kind of a vague translation from the Chinese so I've been doing a lot of "cramming" from the instruction pamphlet and online sources to try to learn what I need to know. I haven't asked around yet to find out if there's anyone living here who knows the game, but it's possible I might be the only one who knows anything about it so I figure I'd better have a fair knowledge in case I'm the one who has to teach others how to play.  I'm hoping for at least one person who knows the game, but we'll see what we'll see when I start going around looking for players.

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