Whilst just playing the game itself is enjoyable, doing something a bit different can make it more interesting.
Here are a few suggestions that the club leader might wish to consider.
There can be a tendency for people to take the same playing partners each time. We are creatures of habit!
Here’s a way of mixing them up…
- Download this PDF document and print 3 copies. (You may want this PDF as well if you have a larger group)
- Cut out the table number cards and take 5 of each.
- If you think it appropriate, only apply this to some of the tables you normally use.
- Before people arrive, place one of the cards on each table (thus numbering them).
- Put the remaining cards (4 of each table number) face down on another table and shuffle them.
- As people arrive, get them to take a card and go to the table it describes.
Players can forget (or not think) about some of the special hands, so it does some good to remind them.
Describe a special hand at the beginning of the session and suggest they consider going for it.
Download this PDF document which gives some descriptions that you can use or adapt.
There is a hand that would score well over a million points (if one did not impose a limit of 1,000 points).
Set this hand up for the members of your group to look at and ask them to try to work out the score. Don’t tell them that it is the highest possible score. You could give them this handout.
I would suggest you provide a calculator or use this website’s Mah-Jong score calculator.
Whilst this highest score is unlikely in the extreme, it is still possible to get a hand with a very high score – EXCEPT that the rules impose a limit of (normally) 1,000 points.
Nevertheless, it can be fun to note your highest scores.
Download this form and use it to record the five highest scores attained. As scores are toppled, record the new highest ones. When the sheet is full, print another and transfer the five highest.
Note that the rule for doubling with special hands when you have your own flower or season is different. Only the value of the flower / season tiles is doubled. For example, a Wriggling Snake with own season would score 1,008.
Note also that being East Wind doesn’t double your score, only the points that others pay you.
Take a photo of any Mah-Jong hand (with and without the player) which you consider to be a very good one. It might be a special hand or one that exceeds the 1,000 points limit. Hands which give scores well over the limit might be given more status.
At the end of the month circulate a list (with photos) of all these hands and ask members of the group to vote on which hand they consider to be the best.
Give a prize to the winner.
Each week give the group an interesting Mah-Jong fact (Tom Sloper’s website is a good source) or a point from BMJA rules that they may not be aware of (use Questions Answered to help you find something.
Use a white board if you have one.
Arrange a day when you can play Mah-Jong all day long. Perhaps someone has a particularly pleasant garden.
Start early – say around 10am – and continue until the evening. Use this form to record your activities.
Look for other Mah-Jong groups in your region and arrange a visit. You will need to agree on rules, or be tolerant of differences if they don’t play by BMJA rules.
If there’s an appropriate general meeting, why not stage an exhibition game of Mah-Jong?
Hand out cards / fliers with your contact details on (perhaps using this PDF document).
Make sure that your club is listed on this website (if appropriate):
- Table numbers for helping members mix … More table numbers for larger groups
- Introduce the special hands
- The highest Mah-Jong score … The hand set out without the answer
- Record the highest score obtained in the group
- Did you know that…
- Join our Mah-Jong group
- Start a Mah-Jong group
- Mah-Jong, some basic rules
- Hand-out cards for your Mah-Jong group
- Beginner’s score card
- Score sheet
- Score sheet for a longer session
- Playing aids available
- Mah-Jong gifts