The goal of the game

The goal of the game is to “go out” by completing a hand composed of four sets of three tiles each, plus a pair, thus totaling fourteen tiles. A set may also be composed of four tiles, the total of fourteen being increased by one for each such set.

Example of a complete hand. The hand is composed of a Concealed Chow (Bamboo 1, 2, 3), a Concealed Pung (Character 3), a Melded Chow (Dot 6, 7, 8), a Concealed Pung (Red Dragon) and a Pair of North Winds.

Another example of a complete hand. This hand consists of three Concealed Pungs (composed of Character 3’s, Dot 4’s and Dot 7’s), one Concealed Kong (Character 6), and a Pair of White Dragons. (Notice that a Concealed Kong must be declared.)

The sets can be composed either of tiles drawn from the Wall on player's own turn, or by claiming one missing tile from another player's discard. The game is played counter-clockwise, that is, the players receive tiles from the Wall and make their discards in the following order: East, South, West, North. In Four Winds, the players are positioned on top of each other and the playing order rotates from up to down.

When a player succeeds in collecting a complete hand, he declares Out and wins the deal. After the point calculation and payments, next deal is started. The complete game of Mah Jong consists of at least 16 deals. Usually there are extra deals, since traditionally the deal does not pass if the dealer (East) wins or if the deal ends in a draw (no one wins and no more tiles are left to play).

Normally each player starts the game with 2,000 points but this may be changed on the Payments option page (under the Scoring section in the category tree of the Preferences dialog box). The total of player's points stays always the same during the game: e.g., if the players start with 2,000 points, the total of points will be 8,000 points at any stage of the game. The player who has the highest score after the last deal of the game is played wins.

Related topics:
Regular tiles
Extra tiles
Regular pace of the game
Declaring a melded Kong
Robbing a Kong
Declaring Ready
Going out
Deal ends in a Draw
Faulty declaration of Out