Preparing a game of Mah Jong
One of each of the the four wind tiles are placed face-down, shuffled and each player takes one. The players seat themselves according to this draw in the clockwise order N - W - S - E. Notice that these are NOT the standard compass positions. East the prevailing wind and the key position since this player starts, scores double and pays double for the round. For the each subsequent round, the positions change in one of two ways:
If East wind went out in the previous round, then the positions stay the
same and the player who was East wind remains the same for another round
If one of the other winds went out in the previous round, the wind positions rotate in an anti-clockwise fashion so that the player who was South wind in the previous round becomes East wind.
In a complete session of Mah Jong, which might take a number of hours to complete, once each player has been East wind, South becomes the prevailing wind. Once South is finished, the prevailing wind becomes West and finally North. The session ends when each player has played as the prevailing North wind. Obviously, it isn't necessary to complete a session - playing a set number of rounds or to a target score is just as good.
Building the Wall
All the tiles are shuffled thoroughly face down by South and North in a ritual that is called "The twittering of the sparrows". Once done, each player takes 36 tiles and positions them in a wall, two tiles high and 18 tiles long. The tiles should have the long sides and be face down. Each wall should lie in front of each player running from left to right. The four walls are then pushed together to form a square symbolising the Great Wall of China. It is important to ensure that the walls have no gaps and that they touch at the corners so that any lurking dragons or evil spirits are prevented from entering.
Breaking the Wall
Next, East throws the dice to decide who breaks the wall. East counts the number thrown, starting with East and working anti-clockwise. The player who sits where the count ends, throws the dice again and adds the total of both throws and then uses this total to count along his wall from right to left. Where the count ends, is where the player breaks the wall, which is done by removing the pair of tiles at that point and placing the top tile on top of the previous tile and the lower tile in a position two positions further anti-clockwise. These two tiles are called "loose tiles".
So, by example, if East throws an 11, West will be the chosen player. If West throws the dice again and gets 9, the total thrown will be 20 in which case West will count along all 18 of the tile pairs in the West wall and then finish on the second pair of tiles in the South wall. West would then remove these two tiles and place the top one on the first (right-most) pair of tiles in the South wall. The lower tile would be placed on the 17th tile in West wall.
Starting after the break (i.e. continuing in a clockwise direction around the wall), four tiles are dealt to each player in turn starting with East and working anti-clockwise until each player has 12 tiles.
Next, and continuing in the same direction around the wall, the first and third tiles on the top row are dealt to East, the first on the bottom row to South, the next tile on the top row to West and the next lower tile to North. That completes the deal. East finishes with fourteen tiles while the other players have thirteen tiles each.
Casino of the Month
BONUS: 15% up to $300 free on this method