Mahjong Rummy- All You Need To Know!

Mahjong Rummy- All You Need To Know!

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Rummy is played in different parts of the world, which makes it one of the most popular games of cards. Given the diversity of the nations where rummy is played, the game has many variations. You must already be familiar with some of these variations like the gin rummy or the 7 card rummy, but in some variations cards are not used at all to play the game.

There is a variation of rummy which originates in China and is called the Mahjong rummy, which is played by using the mahjong tiles. These tiles are used in the place of cards and they have different suits as well, which is similar to playing cards.

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Mahjong Rummy and Rules of the game

Mahjong rummy is a variation of rummy which originated in China. This game is played using the mahjong tiles instead of playing cards which are used in the traditional game of rummy. This game is quite similar to gin rummy in which the players try to collect cards in the same suit or same value.

Mahjong rummy is mostly played between 4 players and each player is dealt 20 tiles at the beginning of the game. The remaining 32 tiles are left on the table, and are unused for the rest of the game.

The objective of mahjong rummy is to get rid of all your tiles as quickly as possible. The first player to get rid of all their tiles is declared as the winner. However, if no player is successful in achieving that, the player with the least number of tiles is declared to be the winner.

On your first turn, you must try to play a straight flush, that is three tiles of the same suit in a sequence with or without the joker. After that, you can play any meld. The meld can be of three tiles of the same suit or three tiles of the same value but of different suits. By forming these melds or by melding with other players’ tiles, you have to form sequences and get rid of your tiles.

The sequences are usually formed using two tiles and the rules can sometimes differ based on where you are playing. In some games, picking up discarded tiles is not allowed if you don’t already have two tiles to complete the sequence.

Mahjong Tiles

Mahjong rummy is played using tiles instead of playing cards. These tiles are called mahjong tiles. Mahjong rummy has a total of 112 mahjong tiles, these are two sets of four suits that are numbered from two to ace, which comprises 13 tiles in each suit and a total of 104 tiles including all four suits. In addition to that there are 8 tiles of jokers. This makes it a total of 112 tiles to play the game of mahjong rummy.

The suits present in tiles are dots, bamboo and characters. These tiles are numbered from 1 to 9. There are no face tiles, but you have honor tiles which correspond with the face cards. The honor tiles are wind and dragons. Along with these there are a few bonus tiles that represent seasons and flowers.

Each player is dealt a total of 20 mahjong tiles each at the start of the game and 32 tiles are left unused throughout the game.

Melds in Mahjong Rummy

Similar to the traditional game of rummy, it is also necessary to form melds in Mahjong rummy. These melds will help the players to form sequences of the tiles quicker and get rid of the tiles faster, which is the ultimate aim of the mahjong rummy game.

Each player, during their first turn must go for a straight flush and form sequences with three tiles of the same suit. This straight flush can be formed with or without the use of the joker tile. After the first turn, the players can form sequences using any form of meld which may or may not include all three tiles of the same suit. Players can also add on to their opponents’ melds.

Melds formed with three tiles is called a pong, with four tiles is called kong.


The positions in the mahjong rummy game are chosen by various means. The wind tiles that represent the direction of wind—east, west, north and south are used to choose the dealer and the positions of other players.

Each player chooses one tile randomly, whoever picks the east is the leader, south sits at the right of the dealer, across the dealer is west and left to the leader is north. The order of play in mahjong rummy is counter-clockwise, which is opposite to that in rummy.

In each round, four hands are played with each player taking the position of the dealer at least once. If the dealer wins the hand or if there is no winner, it is called a draw or “goulash hand”. In this case, an extra hand is played with the same positions.

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