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Club Activities

Whilst just playing the game itself is enjoyable, doing something a bit different can make it more interesting.   Here are a few suggestions.

Get people to mix

There can be a tendency for people to take the same playing partners each time.  We are creatures of habit !    Here’s a way of mixing them up...


Download  this PDF file  and print three copies.  Cut out the table number cards and take five of each, up to an appropriate number of tables.  If the numbers in your group vary then select the number of tables you can guarantee filling.


Before people arrive, place one of the cards on each table  (thus numbering them). Put the remaining cards (four of each table number) face down on another table and shuffle them.


As people arrive, get them to take a card and go to the table it describes.

Click to download PDF file


this PDF file

Try a variation in the rules

Try using the variation in the rules described  here.   It allows the next player to pick up the last discard.

As a consequence it becomes easier to collect special hands and to get a higher scoring hand.

Click to download PDF file

Download  this PDF file

Want to start a Mah-Jong club?


Learning the rules

Start with a simple, pared-down version of the BMJA rules. Click here  to download.

When you are happy with this move on to the next stage, and follow my gentle introduction to the full rules.

See  Learning the Game by Stages.

An eBook version of the full BMJA rules is available  here.

Or you can buy a  printed version and Aide-Mémoire card.


How many people do you need?

Although the game is meant to be played by four players it works OK for three.  So 6 to 8 players will give you two games and 9 to 12 will give you three.


Where to play

Play in someone’s home if you have sufficient tables.

Consider getting a card or bridge table (with 4 vertical legs).

See  eBay  or  Google Product Search.

Or consider hiring a local community hall for a couple of hours a week.


Attracting new members

Click here  to obtain a poster to attract more people.

If there’s an appropriate general meeting, why not stage an exhibition game of Mah-Jong?

Hand out cards / fliers with your contact details on (perhaps using this  PDF file).

Introduce the special hands

Players can forget (or not think) about some of the special hands, so it does some good to remind them.


Describe a special hand at the beginning of the session and suggest they consider going for it.


Download  this PDF file  which gives some descriptions that you can use or adapt.

Play the Goulash

Have a session where you just play  the Goulash.

It’s a way of familiarizing people with this variation.

Click to download

Adobe Reader

To see the downloaded PDF files you need to have Adobe Reader installed.


Click on the icon to obtain a free copy.

Meet up with another group

Look for other Mah-Jong groups in your region and arrange a visit.   You will need to agree on rules, or be tolerant of differences.

Hold a Mahjong-A-Thong

Arrange a day when you can play Mah-Jong all day long.   Perhaps someone has a particularly pleasant garden.


Start early – say around 10am – and continue until the evening.   Use  this form  to record your activities.

to get a hand with a very high score  - EXCEPT that the rules impose a limit of (normally) 1,000 points.

Nevertheless, it can be fun to note your highest scores.


Download  this PDF file  and use it to record the five highest scores attained.  As scores are toppled, record the new highest ones.   When the sheet is full, print another and transfer the five highest.


Note that the rule for doubling with special hands when you have your own flower or season is different. Only the value of the flower / season tiles is doubled.  For example, a Wriggling Snake with own season would score 1,008.

Note also that being East Wind doesn’t double your score, only the points that others pay you.

Record the highest scores

Whilst this highest score is unlikely in the extreme, it is still possible

Click here to see it

Click here to download a printable verson

The highest Mah-Jong score

Set this hand up for the members of your club to look at and ask them to try to work out the score.  (I would suggest you provide a calculator).


Here are some print outs to help with this:    Question      Answers

There is a hand that would score well over a million points  (if one did not impose a limit of 1,000 points).

© 2008   Peter Gregory

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