American Modern > Introduction

Four Winds Rule Collection American Modern

Introduction

These rules represent the modern American Mah Jong, where the winning hand may not contain mixed suits nor more than one Chow. The emphasis is on collecting special hands (the rules acknowledge over 50 different special hands, many of which are irregular). In addition, the American rules use typically four (or eight) jokers, and apply Charleston (exchange of tiles) at the start of each deal.  

Several very different versions are played in the United States. E.g., the Mah Jong rules of the National Mah Jong League have abandoned Chows altogether and allow Quints (five identical tiles). In addition, all acknowledged hands are irregular and change yearly. The payoff scheme resembles that of the modern Chinese Mah Jong (as the losers pay double if the winner goes out self-drawn, while if the winning tile is a discard, only the discarder pays double and other losers pay normally), and there are no payments between losers.
The rules presented in Four Winds rule collection are more classically oriented and represent a sort of a middle way between the extremes: while using the typical American features (prohibition of mixed suits and allowing a maximum of 1 Chow in a winning hand, use of jokers and Charleston, and acknowledgment of dozens of special hands), the scoring, payments and other rules are still based on the classical Chinese game.

Related topics:
Tiles
Preliminaries
Playing
Miscellaneous
Scoring
Payments