Mahjong is a very well known indoor game especially in the China it is quite famous. This game is also famous with the name of “Majiang”, “Mah jong” and so many other names. Mostly fans of this game trying to find out it with the other name which is “free Mahjong”. This game was originally invented a long time ago in China during the period of King Dynasty. Mostly this game is for 4 players but in some places like Japan and South Korea, it is with some variations for 3 players. Which has exactly same popularity as 4 player’s game.
Mahjong has a small amount of follower on the Western side of the global map but in south-eastern and eastern Asia, it is reaching its top popularity, because it is widely played the game. Mahjong is a game of calculation, strategy, skills, thoughtful mind, attentiveness, alertness and sometimes required luck. Card game Rummy, required all of these things are as well, whereas it is also a well famous game.
How to Play Free Mahjong
Free Mahjong game could be played with 144 tiles and these tiles do have Chinese symbols and special Chinese characters on them. At the same time, some variations do exist regionally on the number of tiles, symbols and on characters. It was happened in the past, that some regions remove or may change tiles and somewhere else add unique and additional tiles.
Mostly each player starts the game with having 13 or 14 tiles and when the player gets their turn they have to discard and draw tiles unless they can complete legal hand by using 13 or in some cases 14 drawn tile to form 4 group and a pair. There are quite simple and standard rules to draw a piece, to rob another piece from other players, to use honors (dragons and winds) and samples (tiles with numbers), melds which are allowed, how to handle with the tiles of play and order.
Anyhow, there are different regional variations in the basic rules plus different ranking system or mechanism, the basic principle for winning legal hands also rules on the private table which describes some variations as notably various styles of free Mahjong.
In the Chinese language, this game was actually famous with the name of “Pinyin”, whereas meanings of pinyin are “Sparrow”. And still, this is commonly known in most of the part of Japan and in some areas of China just like Min Nan and Cantonese. Anyhow, now name májiàng is a more popular name in Mandarin-speaking Chinese. Mahjong is also pronounced as “mo tsiaŋ” in Northern Wu Chinese (especially in Shanghainese).
History of Free Mahjong
Game Mahjong Base on discard and draw card games that were quite popular is 19th also in the 18th century in China and some of them are still popular even today. On that time players were playing with a uncover deck and these are called suited cards of money. These decks could divide into the 3 suits of Coins or Cash, Myriads and Cash against Strings. Each suit must have 9 ranks. Also, there must 3 wild cards and these are a White flower, Red Flower and old thousand. There could be multiple copies of each card depending on the game.
David Parlett who is so far known as the scholar of Mahjong game did write that card game in the west like Rummy and Conquian shares a common origin with Mahjong. Drawing and discarding involved in playing the game to make melds. An Early example of such game is Khanhoo.
It is not sure that when game shifted towards tiles from cards but it looks like that it has happened somewhere in the mid of 19th century. In the earlier tiles which were used in this game contains date around 1870. Also, these sets are quite different from modern sets in many ways. Glover sets do not have flower and green dragon tiles. These tiles are replaced by other symbols and in similar fashion 4 kinds of winds which are most likely taken as bonus tiles. Himly set does not contain zhōng (“red dragon”) tiles either. Cash flower, String Flower, and Myriad Flower plus an addition tile, all of these are known as wild cards. Jokers of that time are still available in Thai sets and Vietnamese. But, these were removed just because of the similarity.
Free Mahjong in Western
William Henry Wilkinson who was a British sinologist did write a paper in 1895 in which he has mentioned that a set of cards which is known as “ma chioh” in the central china, actually hemp sparrow, was the origin of term Mahjong which he maintained. Whereas he did not mention that what was the source of this information as well was which specific area did use this term.
Mahjong in the 1920s
In early 1920s game comes into the United States. In united Stated Fitch and Abercrombie start selling Mahjong sets for the first time in 1920. Selling sets of free Mahjong in Washington.D.C become a huge success, so Ezra Fitch who was the co-owner of that organization, sent a delegation to that village of China to buy each and every set of Mahjong which every is available. After that Fitch and their co-partner, Abercrombie sold more than 14,000 Mahjong sets.
The earliest version of the book on Free Mahjong published in united states of America was by Joseph Park Babcock published a book in the 1920s, which was on the rules of Mahjong called “Rules of Mah-Jongg”, at the same time Joseph Park assigned it to name “Red Book“. He starts learning Mahjong rules on that time when he was living in China, after that, he had tried to make game rules simpler to make the game easier so that game can get popularity in the USA.
Game of Thousand Intelligence
“Game of Thousand Intelligence” was another name of the game as Mahjong has many names with trademarks such as “Pung Chow”. During the Mahjong fad, several hit songs were recorded also Mahjong nights in the United States of America often involved decoration of houses in the Chinese style.Mahjong has been developed in many different variants in different periods of time. In the decade 1930s, many revision with the improvement of the rules of Mahjong has been developed, and most of them were much more different from Babcock’s classical version. Including some of that were taken as the basis of other variants, such as the nation of the standard hand.