Asian styles for 3 players (you can use these rules for Chinese, Filipino, Taiwanese, HKOS, British/Western, etc.) -- Build 4 walls. Deal 13 tiles to each player (14 to the dealer) as normal. Just skip the empty seat (nobody is North) -- do not deal tiles to the empty seat (exception: Taiwanese players deal a dummy hand to the empty seat; it is never used). Player sitting to right of empty seat may chow from opposite player. Some people prefer to leave out the North tiles and the #4 flowers and all the Bams, and build only 3 walls (and play only 3 rounds, omitting the North round).
You can also click here to read Korean 3-player rules. You may use any 3-player rules that the three of you agree to use; for more on this concept, click here to jump to Tom's Three Rules on Table Rules.
Chinese style 2 players -- Build 4 walls. Dealer has 14 tiles, opposite player has 13 tiles (as usual). Don't deal tiles to the empty seats. No chow exposures allowed. Leave the flowers out even if you normally use flowers.
OR -- Use only one suit and honors. Build 2 walls. Deal to 2 seats only. Chows OK. Score as normal if you want, or make up your own scoring.
Click here to jump to Tom's Three Rules on Table Rules.
Western style mah-jongg (including British style and Wright-Patterson style) -- Deal 14 tiles to East and 13 tiles to the other 2 players as usual (don't deal tiles to the empty seats). Disallow chow exposures if playing 2P. If you use jokers and flowers, omit them. The Charleston and/or goulash are optional - if you use the procedure, the 3 players exchange tiles with the 4th (vacant-seat) wall. Click here to jump to Tom's Three Rules on Table Rules.
Got a question about this FAQ? Email the webmaster at sloperama.com. The answer will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board. Like this, for instance...
Two players, four walls
>From: christine w
>Sent: Friday, December 21, 2018 1:53 PM
>Subject: Two Players, Four Walls
>We’re beginners following (and very grateful for!) your simplified rules for Asian style. We have started by using only one suit plus honors, and building two walls.
>My questions concern the four walls variation for two players. Once the four walls are built, does the dealing and drawing from the walls (two players only) proceed clockwise through all the walls, including those of the unoccupied seats? And, do all four walls come down to be reshuffled and rebuilt once the hand has been played?
>It seems to make sense that way now that I write the question...but, I’m not entirely clear. It seems like a lot of wall building for two players!
>Thanks for your help!
Hi, Chris! To take your question in its separate parts, you wrote:
Once the four walls are built, does the dealing and drawing from the walls (two players only) proceed clockwise through all the walls, including those of the unoccupied seats?
Yes. "The wall" consists of four segments, but it's just one wall. The wall segments have no special relationship with their corresponding seats.
And, do all four walls come down to be reshuffled and rebuilt once the hand has been played?
Yes. If you don't, then you'll know what tiles are present in the wall segments you played, and by extension, what tiles are present in the wall that was not torn down. But maybe you'll find that that adds a new strategy to the game.
It seems like a lot of wall building for two players!
Yes. That's surely one of the factors in the preference for playing with more than two players. You've tried a one-suit variant, and you can try a two-suit variant. There's no "mah-jongg police" to arrest you for making up your own variant.
Are the two-player "Siamese" rules just for American mah-jongg, or can we use that idea with our variant?
On Sunday, April 19, 2020, 12:44:46 AM PDT, Frederick A wrote:
My mah-jongg question or comment is:
I hope you are doing ok in these strange times.
I am brand new to Mah Jongg - And have just received my 1st set of tiles.
I am in Coronavirus lock down with my partner Fred and so will be playing a 2 player version of the game.
In the process of googling the rules I came across a version called Siamese Mah Jongg - I believe this is played with American Mah-Jongg rules - Is there a version of Siamese MahJonng using British rules?
Many Thanks for your help,
The Siamese idea can work with any four-player variant. Print the American Siamese rules from SiameseMahJongg.com and X out all the parts that don't apply to British rules. You have to make up your own details in some instances. For instance, the American variant doesn't have chows, and doesn't use flowers the same way, and the Charleston/Goulash is done differently. Any time you run into a rule explaining something that makes no sense for British rules, X it out.
Just try it. You'll have fun, and you'll even have fun adapting your own rules.
Thanks for the question. I'm adding this Q&A to FAQ 13-B.
Stay safe. Don't touch your face. Don't panic! And may the tiles be with you.
Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
Author of the Sloper On Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
April 19, 2020
Los Angeles, California, USA
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