Chinese Official Overview
Chinese Official: Overview Gameplay Scoring Penalties & Errors Resources
Chinese Official Mahjong
The 2006 Rulebook
The 2006 Rulebook
Length 16 hands
Tiles Used
Wall 144 tiles
Hand 13 tiles
Dead Wall None
System Pattern-based
Unit Point
Minimum 8 Points
Maximum None
Payout Winner only

Chinese Official Rules (CO) is also known as International Rules, Mahjong Competition Rules (MCR), the New Mahjong. The rulebook contains 81 combinations, based on patterns and scoring elements popular in both classic and modern regional Chinese variants. Some table practices of Japan have also been adopted.


Chinese Official mahjong was developed in 1998 by the China State Sports Commission, in the interest of changing mahjong from an illegal gambling game to an approved ‘healthy sport’. The principles of the new, healthy mahjong are: no gambling, no drinking, no smoking. In international tournaments, players are often grouped in teams to emphasize that mahjong from now on is considered a sport.

Critics say that the new rules are unlikely to achieve great popularity outside of tournaments. They argue that regional versions are too well-entrenched, while the Mahjong Competition Rules use many unfamiliar patterns. The new mahjong's advocates claim that it meant to be a standard for international events, not to replace existing variations.1

World Mahjong Championship

The new rules were used in an international tournament first in Tokyo, where in 2002 the first World Championship in Mahjong was organized by the Mahjong Museum, the Japan Mahjong Organizing Committee and the city council of Ningbo, China, the town where it is believed mahjong most likely originated. One hundred players participated, mainly from Japan and China, but also from Europe and the United States. Miss Mai Hatsune from Japan became the first world champion. The following year saw the first annual China Majiang Championship, held in Hainan. The next two annual tournaments were held in Hong Kong and Beijing. Most players were Chinese, but players from other nations attended as well.

Although the Championship 2002 it was generally accepted to be the first World Mahjong Championship, the 2007 event in Chengdu, Sichuan, China was titles the First World Mahjong Championship. The next championship in 2010 in Holland was named the 2nd world championship.

Open European Mahjong Championship

In 2005 the European Mahjong Association (EMA) held its first Open European Mahjong Championship (OEMC) in the Netherlands, with 108 players. The competition was won by Masato Chiba from Japan. The second European championship, in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007, with 136 players, was won by Danish player Martin Wedel Jacobsen. First Online OEMC was held on MahjongTime server in 2007 with 64 players and the winner was Juliani Leo from USA and the best European Player was Gerda van Oorschot from Netherlands. The next OEMC will be held in Austria, 2009.2



Bams Cracks Dots Winds Dragons Flowers Seasons Jokers Red tiles
Tiles used 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-Yes_check.svg.png 15px-X_mark.svg.png 15px-X_mark.svg.png

The necessary equipment needed in order to play:


Declaration of mahjong.
A run or sequence of three tiles.
Three identical tiles.
Kong (gang)
Four identical tiles.
Declaration of a flower.


Normally seating is arranged by the tournament committee prior to play. For casual play any seating arrangement will do.

Main Article: Seating

Before the tiles are shuffled and the wall is built, each player sits down arbitrarily at the table. Set aside one of each wind tile, an even, and an odd numbered tile. Shuffle the wind tiles face down and arranged them sandwiched in between the odd and even tile as seen below.


b1.gif z1.gif z1.gif z1.gif z1.gif b2.gif
Random wind tiles face down

Any arbitrary player rolls two dice and counts off, starting with him/herself as one, the next player as two, etc. continuing counterclockwise. The indicated player, then rolls the dice once more noting both the total and if the total is an even or odd number. This will determine who draws first and from which side. Again, he/she counts off starting with him/herself.

b1.gif w2.gif w4.gif w1.gif w3.gif b2.gif
Wind tiles face up for illustration purposes.

If the number is odd, for example, the indicated player draws the face down wind tile closest to the odd-numbered tile (in this case South). The next player in turn draws the next wind tile (North), and so on (East and last West). The wind tile drawn is your seat wind. The player who is east remains stationary while the other players arranges themselves accordingly. Shuffle up all of tiles and build the wall.

Playing order: East, South, West, North


See Main Article: Seat and Prevalent Winds

Seat winds are winds assigned to each player prior to the start of the game. The player who is in the East position is the dealer. Following counterclockwise, is South, West and North.

The player sitting at the star is East in the first hand

If the deal passes when the hand is over the player’s wind change. The player who was originally East position is now North, the player starting as South is now East, etc. In other words, the winds rotate counterclockwise.

The player sitting at the star is now South

When the player who was originally East becomes East again (deals again) a new round begins.

Each round is assigned a wind, known as the prevalent wind or round wind. After each round the prevalent wind changes. For the first round the prevalent wind is East, for the second South, third West, and fourth North. A marker or indicator is commonly used to keep track of the round.


Tiles are then dealt accordingly to each player. The wall will be 18 tiles in length.

There is no dead wall. All tiles in the wall are used. Replacement tiles are drawn from the very end of the wall.

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