Four Winds Rule Collection Chinese Old Style


These rules represent the so called Old Style Mah Jong, also known as Hong Kong Mah Jong, which is probably the most popular version of Mah Jong played today, though in Western introductions to the game, the later developments of Mah Jong (both in China and elsewhere) have often been considered as a degradation of the classical rules, resulting from the popularization of the game in the hands of non-educated players not aware of the underlying classical culture and philosophical and symbolical aspects of the game. 

But it seems that the classical Mah Jong continued to develop in a direction that is known as "Old-Style" and "New-Style" already before the Second World War, and above all amongst the upper class of Shanghai and Peking. This development continued later in Hong Kong and Taiwan (where a special 16-tile version of the game was developed) and today the classical Mah Jong has practically no adherents in the Asian countries.

The innovations of the "Old-Style" are mainly related to the payoff scheme. First, only the winner is paid (settlement of scores between the losers has been abandoned). In addition, East does not pay and receive double as in the classical rules. Instead, a player going out self-drawn is rewarded (each loser pays double the winner's final score). Furthermore, the discarder of the winning tile pays twice as much as other losers individually. 

As for scoring system, point scoring for basic sets has been completely abandoned along with disposal of the point unit. Doubles, or faan, on the other hand, no longer multiply scores linearly, but in a way that is regulated by a settling table. A concept of multiple limits (laak) is also introduced. The scoring patterns, however, are pretty much the same as in the classical rules (excepting the point-scoring bonus for ways of going out, double for Three concealed triplets, and Limit hands Fully Concealed Suit Hand and Dealer's Consecutive Wins, which are normally not acknowledged).

Related topics: