Smooth white tiles with red, black and green Chinese characters and symbols immediately attract us. Mahjong is a game that engages the senses while it challenges the mind. With a few tips, you can be on your way to becoming a master of this enticing game and the Mahjong leader of your entire Life Plan Community.
Set the Table
Organize the table so that each of the four players has 34 tiles arranged as walls in front of them. The dealer passes 13 tiles to each other player and keeps 14 since he or she will be the first to discard.
More importantly, set your mind. Know your goal and define a strategy as soon as you receive your tiles.
Pair – Pung – Chow
Determine the best strategy to match all your tiles. In order to win, you need four sets and one pair. Each set is composed of three tiles from the same suit.
Pung most often leads to success. Each bamboo, circle and character suit has four identical tiles representing the numbers 1 through 9. Wind and Dragon suits also have matching tiles. Pung occurs when you have 3 identical tiles. As soon as you have 2 identical tiles, you can claim a discard that matches those tiles. For example, if you have 2 of the number 5 circle tiles, you can also pick up the next one that is discarded.
Pursuing a chow will also win, but can take longer. Chow occurs when you have 3 sequential tiles. Once you have obtained two consecutive tiles, you may claim a discard of the next lowest or higher tile. For example, if you have number 5 and 6 tiles of the circle suit, you may claim the next 4 or 7 circle tile that is discarded.
Achieving a Mahjong (3 sets and 1 pair) wins the game! Even more, just playing the game strengthens your cognitive reasoning skills, reinforces your memory functions and exercises your brain. Mahjong is more than an enjoyable social activity at your Life Plan Community, it’s part of the path to a personal win against age-related medical conditions.