Mah Jongg Instructions & FAQs

This tutorial explains the game of Mah Jongg and the process in detail. These instructions have been field tested by teachers and grateful beginners who praise their usefulness and merits. The visuals on the Help Sheet and the reminders are great! Some of the examples are not found in any lesson books. The fake practice beginner card allows you to start playing the game immediately.

Mah Jongg is a game of strategy and requires the ability to shift between two or more possible solutions to a problem. A bit of luck also helps! It can be somewhat addictive — you have been warned!

The Mah Jongg instructional tutorial is shown below. Just click on the link. These instructions are based on the American version of Mah Jongg which contains Jokers. In order to win the game, one player must accumulate the 14 tiles required to make one of the sequences (or hands) shown on the card which is available from the National Mah Jongg League.

Have fun! Enjoy!

Mah Jongg Instructions

Many readers have questions. Here is a compilation of frequently asked questions:

Mah Jongg FAQs

Here is a one-page Help Sheet that you may want to keep handy while you are learning. It has some tips and focuses on specific aspects of the game which players seem to forget. For example, you cannot use a Joker in a single or a pair, never, not ever! Not even for Mahj! The abbreviated instructions are useful after new players have played a few times and might want to quickly look up a step if they are in doubt what happens next. Complete instructions are above.

Mah Jongg Help Sheet And Abbreviated Instructions

One of my readers created a compact “cheat sheet” to help beginners, modifying my Help Sheet above. This card can be printed, back-to-back, on 8-1/2″ x 14″ paper. Thanks to Anita Mullen for this great idea!

Mah Jongg “Cheat” Sheet

This sheet gives an explanation of the sequences on the Mah Jongg card, with fake examples and a fake card that can be used to practice.

Mah Jongg Fake Card

News from Mah Jongg Groups:

Anita Mullen organized a very successful tournament in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, January 9. Twenty-six women met and competed. A group from Niagara-on-the-Lake attended, as well as a one player from Buffalo, NY. Everyone had a great time playing 5 rounds, stopping for a delicious lunch, and enjoying the fun of meeting friendly people who love the game!

Winners were:

1st Place — Margaret O. — Ancaster
2nd Place — Carol C. — Ancaster
3rd Place — Brenda C. — Niagara-on-the-Lake
4th Place — Marlene W. — Niagara-on-the-Lake
5th Place — Tied — Cathy S. & Dawn P.

Santa Maria, California: Donna Eschen runs a very popular Mah Jongg group at the Elwin Mussel Senior Center which held a tournament raising over $4,000 for the Special Olympics. Click here to read an article about their group and click here to see pictures from their fundraiser.

If other MJ groups have pictures or articles they would like to share on this website, contact me at