How to Play Japanese Mahjiangg

At the start of each Japanese Mahjong game, every player gets scoring counters totaling 30,000 points (sometimes 27,000 points), usually broken down in the following manner: 1 10K, 2 5K, 9 1K, and 10 100's.

Arrange 1 of each kaze, and 1 odd tile, and 1 even tile. Place them face down and mix them.

The winner of the last game rolls the dice (or if it's just the first game, randomly pick a player). Counting counter-clockwise, starting from whoever rolled the dice, go to number on the dice. This determines where East is.

The person sitting there rolls the dice. Flip the tiles over, move numbers to opposite ends, depending which end they are close to. From the odd or even end, depending on the number rolled, deal the tiles out counter-clockwise from the number/position rolled. These are your positions. Move to new position based on where East is. All of this was simply to determine who sits where.

To determine who is dealer, the current East rolls. The next person rolls. This roll decides who is the dealer, ie the new East.

Once the tiles are mixed, start to build the wall. Each player should build a wall in front of them 2 tiles high, stacked next to each other. This would come out to about 17 tiles long.

Now it's time to start the first hand. The dealer (East) rolls the dice: the number rolled determines which player's wall we start picking from, and where on the wall we start. Count number rolled from the right end, and separate the wall at that point. Flip the top tile 3 tiles from the left (from center of table) of the new break in the wall. This is how the dora (wild) is determined. It is the next tile in whatever sequence the flipped tile is in. If in a suit, the next number, wrapping from 9 to 1. If a kaze, the next wind, wrapping from North to East, and if a sangenpai, wrapping from Chum to Haku.

The dead wall consists of the seven pairs of tiles before the break (this includes the dora). There must always be 14 tiles in the dead wall, so any removed because of kans must be replaced by going backwards further in the wall. If the original wall runs out, you absorb some from the right end of the wall to the left (again from the center of the table).

Next, pick your initial hand out of the wall, to the right of the break you made in the wall. East picks 4, then South... Pick 4 tiles, 4 more, 4 more, then 1. When you're making your hand, you (usually) need 4 sets of 3 tiles and a pair, a total of 14, which includes a tile you draw.