Understanding How Online Mahjong in Malaysia Works

Mahjong is almost inseparable from Chinese culture. Where there is celebration for Chinese communities, mahjong is always the confirmed guest of the occasion. The rare appearance of this crowd favourite game leaves people wanting more, and the online casino has answered this demand. Online mahjong in Malaysia is increasingly common, for all the right reasons.

In this article, you will learn about:

    1. What is mahjong?
    2. How many types of mahjong are there?
    3. How do you play mahjong with multiple people?
    4. What is the difference between American and Chinese mahjong?
    5. What is the best online mahjong game?
    6. Are there any free mahjong games online?
    7. Frequently Asked Questions


Understanding How Online Mahjong in Malaysia Works

What is mahjong?

Mahjong is played with a set of tiles which involves four players. The goal is to get mahjong which consists of 14 of your tiles into four sets and one pair. A pair has two identical tiles. A set can either be a “pung,” which is three identical tiles, or a “chow,” which is a run of three consecutive numbers in the same suit. The first player who successfully completes the goal in game of 136 tiles (36 characters, 36 bamboos, and 36 circles, a.k.a suits) will win.

What was once considered a Chinese pastime with origins in the 1800s has become a game known worldwide today. The game originates from Shanghai and it slowly spread to other major cities, while American expatriates become acquainted with the game. In the early 1920s, entrepreneurs and American tourists introduced the game to their homeland where it turned out to be a hit. Slowly, it became more commercialized with physical casinos and find new life online too.


How many types of mahjong are there?

Mahjong is a game played by various communities worldwide. Hence, it’s unsurprising that the game has many variations that suit the culture of the players. Through the many incarnations, the game survived the changing times and prospered in online casinos. However, there are four versions that stood out to be widely recognizable.

American mahjong: The Americanized version of mahjong, introduced by Joseph Park to the United States in the 1920s. This version is recognized and standardized by the National Mah Jongg League and the American Mah-Jongg Association. It is played in the same manner as card game gin rummy.

Chinese mahjong: Due to many incarnations of the game in mainland China, China’s State Sports Commission integrated those rules into a single official version. Hence, the game has since developed a new identity with its official status as 255th sport.

Hong Kong mahjong: A popular version of the game where it closely mirrors the American counterpart. However, the joker tiles or the Charleston are absent in the version, which are the distinguishing features for the American version.

Singaporean-Malaysian mahjong: This version shares broad similarities with the Hong Kong version. Differences are present in scoring rules, tiles design, plus meld. In addition, payout can occur in the middle of the game if some conditions are fulfilled.


To date, there are approximately 25 versions of the game, and each version is given unique twists which creates interesting mechanics for gambling.


How do I start a game of mahjong?

To get started in the game, four players are required, Three player mahjong exists but it is less commonly played. The play style of the mahjong is very much dictated by the location of the player. However, it is also not impossible that the players may learn rules for different versions from online mahjong in Malaysia. While the rules of the game may be confusing for the players, they can take advantage of no deposit bonus in online casinos. Hence, the players may play without actually paying. 


How do you play mahjong with multiple people?

Assuming the player is playing American version of mahjong, with 4 players present, the game can be played in this manner:

Step 1: One person is appointed to be East Wind (dealer). Each player rolls the dice, and whoever rolls the highest will be appointed.

Step 2: Everyone shuffles the tiles together until everyone agreed that it is enough.

Step 3: The East Wind will distribute 13 tiles to each player and the game begins.

Step 4: The South Wind (player) begins the round by drawing and discarding/keeping a tile.

Step 5: Other players may claim discarded tile if it suits them. Otherwise, they may select from the draw pile.

Step 6: The game continues after all players have claimed their tiles. The right player sitting next to South Wind will be next.

Step 7: The game concludes when a player succeeds in forming the right combination of sets and pair.


What is the difference between American and Chinese mahjong?

Both versions of the mahjong are alike but they stand on their own merits. One of the key differences is the number of tiles. The American version has 152 tiles, whereas the Chinese mahjong only has 144 tiles (indicating the difference of 8 tiles). In addition, the joker tiles are only present in American mahjong in which they can be used as substitutes for any tiles in the game. Therefore, in theory, American mahjong tiles can be used for Chinese mahjong once the joker tiles are removed.


What is the best online mahjong game?

The recommended online mahjong games are as follows:

Desktop Smartphone Online casino
Mahjong Time Mahjong Epic Locowin
My Jongg Mahjong Crimes LevelUp
Real Mah Jongg Mahjong Master Path 7Bit Casino
Mahjong!! Casiqo
Mahjong Deluxe 3
Mahjong Master
Mahjong Journey


Are there any free mahjong games online?

Not all good things in life come with a price tag. Free casino games for online mahjong in Malaysia is one of them. A simple Google search online would reveal the wide variety of options available. While some are more closely aligned to elements of gambling, there are those which exist without such traits. Even in online casinos, playing mahjong may not always involve real money thanks to free plays which allows test runs of how the game works.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you win money playing mahjong?

Yes. Some online casino include mahjong as one of their staple games. There is actual payout from winnings in the game.


2. Can I play mahjong with friends online?

Yes. Selected mahjong games allow the players to invite their friends to participate in the game. In addition, communication can also occur through voice chat to facilitate the overall gameplay.


3. Is there an app to play mahjong?

Yes. Specialized apps to play mahjong can be found in Google Play and App Store for smartphones.


4. Is playing mahjong good for you?

According to this study, playing mahjong is good to sharpen the mind. The game can help the elderly to delay cognitive decline, which is associated with dementia.


5. Is mahjong a brain game?

Mahjong is a good brain game because it is partly a game of skill. The players are required to act fast and recognize patterns to form correct pairs. Hence, it helps to exercise the brain.


6. Can 2 people play Mahjong?

Yes. While 4 players is the norm, it is entirely possible to play the game with 2 players only. However, certain rules must be revised to accommodate the reduced number of players.