Home > Gambling Strategy > Mah Jong Strategy

Mah Jong Strategy

Mah Jong GameMah Jong is a game that many see strictly as a game of luck, but it really does require a great deal of strategy and skill in order to actually play it well. It might be luck when you go to draw a hand, there are some decisions that players need to make in order to determine this success. In order to use strategy in Mah Jong, it's about evaluating future plays of the game and the tiles that are needed in order to claim a victory!

Here are some Strategy to use in order to help you to win at Mah Jong:

  1. As soon as you take your first tiles form the Mah Jong walls, consider how far away from winning you are. Look at how many tiles you will need and the shortest way to get to a win
  2. If you think that you will only need four or less tiles, you can play to win in 9 turns if you play correctly
  3. If you think that you will need five tiles, how long it takes to win does depend on the luck of the draw of your tiles
  4. If you think that you will need 6 or more, focus on playing defensively because that's your only real chance of winning
  5. If you're playing Mah Jong and you have a chance of winning, because you'll only need 4 or 5 tiles to win, then discard even lucky tiles and any others that will not help your overall game.
  6. After 6 or 7 tiles when playing to win you can say "chow" or "pung"
  7. If you will need 6 or more tiles to win at Mah Jong, just focus on trying not to lose. Don't dicard all of your times, make cautious decisions. Make 4 draws, and then if you find you'll only need 3 tiles or less for a win call "chow" or "pung", otherwise wait for the draw and see how your tiles stack up
  8. When you're playing Mah Jong for the draw, there are a few specific tips that you should consider. Never be the first to discard a wind or dragon, don't play doubles, and make sure that your hand is always concealed
  9. When discarding tiles in Mah Jong, the following order is recommended - start with the isolated ordinary winds if they are not of any use to you; they're also less likely to be useful to your opponents so other players might not take advantage of your discard. Discard in order from the East, then the player on your left, followed by the one on your right if you're not the East.
  10. Mah Jong StrategyWhen discarding tiles, discard starting with the 9 and then get rid of the shorter suit. If you have a 2-3, the 1 is useful; but if you have a 7-8 you won't need the 9 - that's how the order of discard works
  11. Discard dragons early in the game if you don't need them. Pairs can be helpful, but otherwise get rid of them and doing it early will make sure that other players can't use them in "pung"
  12. The wind should also be discarded early, especially the prevailing wind if you can't use it for a pair, because otherwise it might be snatched up by someone else who can use it later in the game. Don't discard the double wind until it's absolutely useless because it can be very valuable
  13. Hand onto simples like 4,5,6 as long as you can. Only start discarding them if you don't need them after turn 10 , and discard only if it seems like other players won't need them!

See also:

Mah Jong Rules

Mah Jong British Rules

Mah Jong History