Binah (binah1013) wrote,

Mah Jongg

I received a proper Mah Jongg set for Christmas. It came in a nice cherry case. All together it's somewhat heavy--like carrying around 4-5 sets of dominoes or so. Today I sat down with a couple of friends and Cliff and proceeded to learn how to play.

First, I must state that it is very hard to learn a game when the instructions are in Engrish. We struggled through those instructions until I proclaimed I was going to google some instructions in English. I found a decent page to print off and we muddled through both instructions. After my friends left, I discovered That site had illustrated and easy to understand rules. Though don't be mistaken to think Mah Jongg is a simple game.

I'd describe Mah Jongg kinda like Gin on steroids. It's more complicated than Gin, but the heart of it is the same. You get a "Mah Jongg" when you build 4 sets of either 3-of-a-kind (pung), 3-sequential (chow), and/or 4-of-a-kind (kong). A kong can also be a "set" of 4 winds. The 3 dragons would be a chow. There's a bit more to it than that, but that's the gist of it.

How shallow of me is it to giggle that there's a such thing as a "kong box"? Cliff asked me if I thought somehow the name "Donkey Kong" came from Mah Jongg. I suppose we'll be happily shallow together.

One thing is you really need to have 4 players. This may limit my opportunity to play. Cliff and I played with Kimmi and Lynda. Kimmi is a bright girl, but Lynda isn't quite so. I adore Lynda. She's got a big heart and is fun, but a towering intellect she's not. Sometimes Uno can challenge her. She was pretty lost while the rest of us we arguing over rules and how to play things. The second set of rules I printed out solved our argument with the discovery of the kong box. Heh.

But seriously, I think I can inflict one more round of open-handed play on Lynda. I'm not sure we could progress to concealed hands and keep her going. I'll give it a try, though.

So, tonight I pondered my circle of friends and acquaintances that might be willing to delve into the world of Mah Jongg. Maybe we could play with Kimmi and her husband. I'm thinking a former Las Vegas card dealer would have no problems with Mah Jongg. I don't think I really want a weekly game, but it's a thought. Cliff has a friend that we might be able to rope him and his wife, but we don't generally socialize with them as a couple and learning Mah Jongg would not be just a casual thing.

The easiest thing would to work on Lynda, to be honest. Sigh. I guess I've become a lazy homebody. If we lived closer to my Uncle John, he'd be a great person to get into the game.

Tags: cliff, mah jongg

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