Three Player Mahjong
Three Player Mahjong: Overview Three Player Gameplay Three Player Minimum Hand Three Player Scoring
Three Player Mahjong
Length 9 or 18 games
Tiles Used
Wall varies
Hand 13 tiles
Dead Wall None
System Simple Point Based
Unit Simple Point Based
Minimum 3
Maximum varies (20 - 80)
Payout Winner

Three Player mahjong is simply playing any rule set of mahjong with three players. Many players will be reluctant to play the game with no more or less than four and would almost never play for stakes this way. The Korean and Japanese versions of mahjong are probably the best ways to play with three players.

Three Player Variations

Japanese Three Player Mahjong

Tiles 2 to 8 is removed from the character set. All normal rules apply, however for some there is a broken wall of 13 piecies (the last 13 tiles of the wall is not used). The scoring for points can be modified a little depending on the players.

Malaysian Three Player Mahjong

Only the dots are used and the North Wind is removed, however all flowers, seasons, heads, animals and other honours are used. The fan table is modified a little.

Korean Three Player Mahjong

There are few changes with four player mahjong. Using the west wind is optional. Some variations include the terminals of the bamboo suit. The points are modified a little depending on the players. With the bamboo, terminal hands and 13 gates is possible. No broken wall.

Hong Kong Mahjong

Remove pieces 2-8 of one suit. All winds are used and a full game is atleast 16 rounds. Point system is modified. If playing Old Hong Kong rules, best to use variation number 3 in the points table, as it is more geared towards three players and all pong and one suit are more common. If playing Modern Hong Kong, some points should be removed, such as void suit, and the points are modified a little.

Chinese Mahjong

Not played often with 3 players.

Korean/Japanese three player

The following is a modern three player Korean version based on the classical Korean rules which incorporates some Japanese elements.



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-X_mark.svg.png 15px-X_mark.svg.png 15px-X_mark.svg.png
  • 110 tiles (Characters, Dots, 1 and 9 Bamboo and two tiles of the 5 Bamboo, Dragons, East, South and North wind and Flowers but no seasons). Omit West wind and some Bamboo tiles.
  • Dice
  • Counters or Yakitori Markers


For casual play any seating arrangement will do. Otherwise, mix the tiles from the East, South and West wind among a dozen or more pieces. Each player selects a piece one turn at a time until they select one of the winds. The other two players continue until one of them takes one of the remaining two winds. The other player will take the third wind remaining. No one begins as the North Wind.


See dealing. Dont forget, that as three players less pieces are dealt out. Do not deal pieces to an imaginary player. All pieces are used in the game.

Wall Building & Breaking

Four walls are built two stack high. The wall will be 13 or 14 tiles in length. There is no dead wall. Tiles are then dealt accordingly to each player. You may decide to play in a triangle and build 3 walls of 18 in length in casual play.

Missing West Wind

The west wind is not used. There is no round of the west wind and there is no west wind seat. There is no imaginary player who fills this position either. This makes for a total of nine games per round. You may wish to play two full rounds.

Seat Winds and Seat Dragons

All pongs and Kongs of honours scores one point, two points if it matches the players seat, or two points if the pong of wind matches the prevailing wind (round wind). Seat dragon can be seen in the table in the page on this subject.

Bamboo Suit

Only the 1, 5 and 9 tiles are used and only two tiles of the 5 piece. There are no chows possible in the bamboo suit. A player can only make a pair of the 5 bamboo by getting both from the deal and or the wall or by waiting for the 5 tile to form his pair by a discard. This scores many bonus points and is very difficult to acheive. The 1 and 9 bamboo tiles score one point each and a bonus point if you have both.

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