What is Majiang ?
• Overall speaking, Majiang is a game for four
players that originated in China. It involves skill,
strategy, and calculation, as well as a certain
degree of chance. Depending on the variation
which is played, luck can be anything from a
minor to a dominant factor in success. In Asia,
Majiang is also popularly played as a gambling
game. In this game, you are given either thirteen
(mainland and Hong Kong style) or sixteen
(Taiwan style) tiles for a hand which is depending
on the variation being played.
What is Majiang ? (Cont.)
• When your turn comes, you draw a tile and
discard one. Your goal is to make four or five
melds and a pair, or quot;headquot;. You win quot;on the
drawquot;, by drawing a new or discarded tile that
completes your hand. Thus a winning hand
actually contains fourteen (or seventeen) tiles.
How Does Majiang Organized
• Wan (10 thousand)
• Bing (Circle)
How Does Majiang Organized (Cont.)
• Tiao or Suo (line or stripe)
A misunderstanding for Majiang
• Majiang is branded as the quintessence with
Beijing opera in China.
• When it comes to Majiang, usually people will
combine it with “gambling opium”.
• Majiang essentially is not a bad thing but a
daughter of the long historic Chinese culture.
• On some level, Majiang is the main stream of
Chinese civilization in that it has reflected
many aspects of ancient Chinese culture.
The Origin of Majiang
• Shui Hu Zhuang version: Majiang represents the
108 characters in the novel.
• Zheng He (a famous Chinese sailor) version: the
five directions stand for the essential elements
for sailing and Wan, Bing, Tiao represent the
currency in Ming dynasty.
• Ning Bo version: a lot of Majiang language have
the same pronunciation with Ni Bo dialect.
• Jiang Su Tai Cang version: Majiang comes from
Majiang is not made by a person or an
• Majiang is created by the development of
Chinese social activities and entertainments.
• Majiang corresponds to the taste of demotic
entertainment and traditional Chinese culture.
• Majiang has become a fashionable game
which is enjoyed by young and old throughout
Traditional Chinese Philosophical
Concepts in Majiang
• War strategic
Taoism in Majiang
• The seven special character tiles (East, West, South,
North, Central, Blank and Wealth)
• Taoism was focused on Wu Xing (Five Elements) and Ba
Gua. They believe that the world is made by the five
elements: gold, wood, water, fire and earth.
• East-Jia, Yi, Wood; West-Geng, Xin, Gold; South-Bing,
Ding, Fire; North-Ren, Gui, Water; Central-Wu, Yi, Earth.
• Ancient Chinese believe that the world is organized by a
round sky and a squarish ground. So Baiban (blank tile)
represents the ground whereas Facai (wealth tile)
represents the sky.
Mathematics in Majiang
• Wan, Bing and Tiao represent the three form of existence
of substance respectively.
• The entire world was basically organized by circles, lines
and the transformation from circles and lines. On top of
that, the numbers represent the quantity of the
substances in the world.
• 3 is the cardinal number and 9 is the limited number.
• 12 accounts for a fairly important position. For instance,
traditional Chinese culture has the 12 animals which
stand for human`s sign, and one day has 12 Shichens (1
Shichen =2 hours) in Chinese calendar.
Mathematics in Majiang (Cont.)
• In Majiang, 144 are the square of 12 yet 108 (the
total number of three main tiles) is the multiple
• In order to win the game, the super player usually
has a very good mathematic background for
probability, arrangement and probability.
• Sometimes people are supposed to give up
winning just because the bonus is too small and
he still has a chance to make a “big one” .
War Strategic in Majiang
• Tile maneuver, Tile suspension, Tile
unfamiliarity (Majiang Language).
• The player performs as a commander with
abundant experiences, trying to conquer the
other three troops.
• Guessing, estimating, and adventuring are
throughout the whole game.
• Spying on the former player; supervising the
latter player; watching the opposite player.
Confucianism in Majiang
• The mood when the players are playing Majiang.
• All the Majiang masters have a same
characteristic; that is the pacific temper which is
strongly advocated by Confucianism.
• Maintain a pacific temper from the beginning to
• The lack of patient will always push the player
into a dangerous situation which one can hardly
make a correct decision and very easy to “set the
Astronomy and Calendar Relationship
• The 8 flower tiles: spring, summer, fall, winter,
chrysanthemum, orchid, bamboo and wintersweet.
• The ancient Chinese use spring, summer, fall, winter to
form the calendar and which are just suitable for the
four season tiles and their special flowers.
• Every player has 13 tiles. 13 times 4 are 52 and a year is
organized by 52 weeks.
• Another origin hypothesis it that majiang is invented by
Seng Yixing, a prestigious researcher for calendar and
Prerequisite for A Proficient Majiang
• One can speak out the Chinese name for each
• In a good mathematic standing.
• Good memory.
• Good at reading people by looking at other
• Be polite.
• Each Player represent a direction.
• One is the dealer, the dealer is like the leader
of the game. Game starts from him.
• The game runs counterclockwise.
• The players need to draw the tiles clockwise.
• Player is responsible for speaking out the
name of his throwing-out tiles to remind the
Basic Playing Rules
• 4 melds plus 1 pair.
• About-to-win player has 13 tiles, he win the
one he needed to make the 4+1 series.
• Hu (win) can be self-made or somebody set
• Peng (bump) and Chi (eat)
• Gang is a special action which will increase
your bonus and player need to draw a tile
from the tail. (3+1)
• New technology is used for playing Majiang
• Automatic Majiang Table
• A Growing Number of Majiang Competition
Organizations has set up.
• People play Majiang all over the world.