You will LOVE this simple yet very challenging method of playing the game. It can be fast, stimulating, and fun, fun, fun. . . . .
1. TWO PLAYERS / TWO RACKS EACH. Two players face each other; and place 2 racks in front of each player. (FOR INFORMATION ON THE 3 or 4-HANDED VERSION OF SIAMESE MAH JONGG®....PLEASE SEE BELOW)
2.WALLS. Build two (2) full walls of tiles, 19 stacks long, parallel to each other. Walls are required in Siamese Tournament play. (Rev 11/20/17)
(EASY OPTION: You can build one wall against each rack. When the tiles from the outside rack have been used, just move that rack behind the other rack.)
3. WALLS: **AN EVEN EASIER OPTION: Don't build any walls. Merely leave the shuffled unpicked tiles on one side of the table, and discard on the other side of the table.**
4. OPTIONAL: EAST THROWS THE DICE TO BREAK THE WALL. East throws one (1) die to break the first wall arbitrarily, and retains the amount of tiles corresponding to the dice throw (as with the standard 4-handed version of MJ). In Siamese, as in American-Style Mah Jongg, the wall is broken from the right side of the wall. Move the dice-designated stacks of tiles from the right side of the first wall, to the LEFT side of the first wall. (1) (Rev 11/20/17) It is an OPTION to use the dice to arbitrarily break the wall (EXCEPT in SIAMESE TOURNAMENTS). Dealing/picking will commence from East’s walls.
5. 28 TILES FOR EAST, 27 TILES FOR THE OPPOSITE PLAYER: Each player deals themselves four (4) tiles from one of the two (2) walls in front of East, until East has taken their last four (4) tiles which would give East 28 tiles. Player opposite then takes three (3) tiles, which gives him/her 27 tiles.
6. ARRANGING THE TILES. Players may arrange their tiles in both their racks...as many as desired; and may exchange tiles back and forth between their own racks. It does not matter how many tiles are on each rack at any one time.
7. CHARLESTON. There is NO Charleston. (NOTE: You have plenty of tiles and a multitude of tile combinations over which you have control.)
8. THE GAME BEGINS. East discards the 28th tile to begin the game; then the opposite player picks their first tile from the wall; then discards a tile; and so on. Picking and discarding proceeds.
9. JOKERS. You may exchange your own Jokers from your own exposures, or from your opponent’s exposures; but you can NOT exchange a Joker from any existing EXPOSED Mah Jongg hand. Jokers may be exchanged from exposures in a “dead” hand, IF that exposure did not cause the hand to be declared “dead.” (PLEASE NOTE: SEE 3 & 4 HANDED Royale Siamese Rule below for Quint Hand with NO Jokers)
10. MAH JONGG. Once a Mah Jongg is declared and exposed with the required 14 tiles by a player, and that player has discarded a tile to complete their turn, player may continue to keep their remaining tiles on one or both of the slanted portion(s) of their rack(s).
A. STRATEGY NOTE: The disadvantage of not exposing your own MJ is that the game might finish before you have declared your own Mah Jongg; and you must have a Mah Jongg exposed in order to be paid. You won’t be paid for a MJ that is still IN your rack, not ON your rack.
B. The longer you delay declaring a Mah Jongg and exposing those tiles, the longer you are able to use your own Jokers interchangeably.
C. Remember, once the Mah Jongg hand has been declared and exposed, the Jokers in the MJ exposures can NOT be exchanged.
D. A DISCARDED TILE IS CLAIMED FOR MAH JONGG BY 2 PLAYERS: the discarded tile may be claimed by the player CLOSEST in succession to the discarder....regardless if it is for a 1st or 2nd Mah Jongg. (A 2nd Mah Jongg does NOT take precedence in this case.) (
E. MAH JONGG IN ERROR: If a player claims two (2) Mah Jongg's at the same time, but literally has only one (1) actual Mah Jongg, then that one (1) Mah Jongg will be honored; and the other hand will be considered "dead." (Rev 11/20/17)
11. YOU ARE PLAYING BOTH RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY. Even though the TILES ARE INTERCHANGEABLE between the racks, players must be cautious to NOT combine their exposures on the WRONG Rack. A player's hand should be declared "dead" if the combined exposures do not match a hand on the NMJL card. Remember, the tiles are interchangeable IN the racks, not ON the racks. However, the player may continue playing to try to build a 2nd Mah Jongg on their 2nd rack.
12. IF A PLAYER IS DECLARED “DEAD” FOR 2 HANDS, THE GAME CEASES, and "dead" player pays opponent 4 times the value of opponent's existing Mah Jongg, or 4 times the lowest value on the card - whichever is relevant.
13. A PLAYER HAS 1 MAH JONGG AND 1 DEAD HAND, the game continues by the opponent only - until opponent makes a second Mah Jongg, or all the tiles have been picked.
(NOTE: In a regular 4-handed NMJL version, the “dead” player has to cease playing, while everyone else continues. But, think of the other player’s 2 racks in the 2-handed version as 2 individual remaining players. If one hand is “dead,” there are still players alive.)
14. GAME CEASES when 1 player has declared 2 MAH JONGGS, -or- when the tiles from the walls have been used, and the last discard has been made.
15. IF A PLAYER HAS 1 "DEAD" HAND EXPOSED that player may continue to exchange the remaining tiles between the two racks, but may NOT USE any of the tiles from the exposures that MADE the EXPOSED HAND “dead” – in order to build another hand. Jokers may be exchanged from exposures in the “dead” hand, only if that exposure containing the Joker did not cause the hand to be declared “dead."
16. See NATIONAL MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT RULES and MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS RULES for additional information.
17. SCORING AND PAYOUTS: Payment is made at the END of the game(s), and is strictly paid based on the number of MJ's you and your opponent have. For easy payouts, KEEP SCORE. At the end of the game(s), the player with the lesser score will pay the winner the difference between the two (2) scores,
A. The 1st Mah Jongg by a player receives the value on the NMJL card, regardless if it is
self-picked, but if it is JOKERLESS, the value is doubled. Reminder: The Payer is not penalized for throwing a tile that is claimed for Mah Jongg.
B. If a player declares and wins the game with their 2nd Mah Jongg, the payout for the 2nd Mah Jongg is doubled, regardless if it is self-picked.
Payout is doubled again if the 2nd Mah Jongg is JOKERLESS (excluding singles and pairs).
C. A player who declares, exposes, and wins with two (2) Mah Jonggs AT THE SAME TIME receives double the score for both hands.
D. The player who discards a tile that is claimed for their opponent's 2nd Mah Jongg is penalized minus Twenty Points (-20); whether or not there is a first Mah Jongg already exposed on their opponent's rack.
18. TOO MANY OR TOO FEW TILES ON PLAYER'S RACK:
A. If a player has 1 legitimate Mah Jongg exposed on one rack, but too many or too few remaining tiles in their 2nd rack, they should be declared "dead." Too many tiles gives the player an unfair advantage to achieving a 2nd Mah Jongg to win the game; but receives points for the one legitimate Mah Jongg. Opponent continues to pick tiles from the wall.
B. If immediately after the deal it is discovered a player has too many tiles on their racks (more than 28 if they are East, or more than 27 if the are not East),..it is a mis-deal. Just re-deal the tiles
C. If it is discovered during play that a player has too many tiles (29 tiles after picking to begin a player's turn, or 28 tiles not during a player's turn), that player should be declared "dead." Please also see RULE 12. This Rule also applies to too few tiles.
ROYALE SIAMESE MAH JONGG: VARIATIONS
3 - HANDED & 4 - HANDED ROYALE SIAMESE MAH JONGG
1. (a) Use 2 sets, and set up 2 racks for each player FOR 4-HANDED
(b) Use 2 sets, and set up 2 racks for each player for 3-HANDED ....
..... but REMEMBER TO REMOVE 4 JOKERS & 4 FLOWERS
2. Generally use rules as above (please note minor changes for 3 & 4-handed Siamese below)
3. SCORES are kept for each player after each full game: PAYMENT is made out of a "POT "that is predetermined before the game begins: (for instance......$3.00, $5.00, $10.00 from each person). After the games, payment is made to each player out of the "POT" in accordance with their scores. Any remaining money left in the "POT" is redistributed equally back to each of the players.
PLEASE NOTE: QUINT HANDSthat are made WITHOUT JOKERS do NOT RECEIVE DOUBLE POINTS FOR JOKERLESS HAND
4. PLAYER HAS 1 MAH JONGG AND 1 DEAD HAND. Play continues by the remaining opponent(s).
5. A PLAYER HAS 2 DEAD HANDS., (or 2 players have 2 dead hands, or 3 players have 2 dead hands).. . . . Play continues by other opponent(s).
6. A DISCARDED TILE IS CLAIMED FOR MAH JONGG BY 2 PLAYERS: the discarded tile may be claimed by the player CLOSEST in succession to the discarder....regardless if it is for a 1st or 2nd Mah Jongg. (A 2nd Mah Jongg does NOT take precedence in this case.)
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