Hong Kong Old Style Overview
Hong Kong Old Style Overview Gameplay Scoring Penalties & Errors Resources
Hong Kong Old Style Mahjong
Length 4 rounds
Tiles Used
Wall 136 tiles (144 tiles)
Hand 13 tiles
Dead Wall if used, 14 tiles
System Fan-laak
Unit Fan converted to points
Minimum Varies
Maximum Varies
Payout Winner Only

Hong Kong Old Style mahjong (Chinese Old Style, or just Old Style) is probably the most popular variation of mahjong played in China. HKOS mahjong's gameplay and form is very similar to traditional mahjong. What is most prevalent and different from the traditional forms in HKOS is its scoring system. The scoring diverges from the Chinese Classical linear point-and-double system and takes up a progressive scoring system using doubles (fan). Sets such as pungs and kongs no longer earn points. Instead fan are earned, which corresponding to a payout table. There is no standardize scoring rubric, and as such many players abide by their own variations. A popular variation is having minimum of three fan before winning.


The variation of HKOS branched off of traditional mahjong after the Second World War, where it was prevalent amongst the upper class of Shanghai and Peking1.



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 Optional Optional 15px-X_mark.svg.png 15px-X_mark.svg.png
  • 136 tiles
  • 8 flower tiles (optional)
  • Dice


sheung (chow)
A sequence of three tiles.
Three identical tiles.
gong (kong)
Four identical tiles.
sik (mahjong)
Declaration of a mahjong hand.
A unit of score
A scoring system based on fan (unit of score). The fan is totaled and the score is calculated using a table.


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. Walls will be 17 tiles in length (18 tiles if playing with flowers and seasons). If a dead wall is used, it will always consist of 14 tiles.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 License