On July 15th, Miracle Mandarin organized a successful Mahjong activity, participated by our students and their friends. Before playing, our teacher Darlene Wang, gave us an instruction on Mahjong history, different tiles and game tips.
First, suits. There are three different suits: bamboo tiles, “suǒ zi” (索子), character tiles, “wàn zi” (万子) and circles tiles, “tǒng zi” (筒子). Each suit has nine tiles that are numbered 1 through 9. That’s all the suit types, but each one of the suit types has four identical copies, so there are 108 suit tiles (3X9X4) altogether.
Second, honor. There are two categories of honor tiles: the winds, “fēng pái” (风牌) and the dragons, “jiàn pái” (箭牌). The winds are named after the cardinal directions: North, South, East, West. The dragons are red, green and white. None of these tiles are numbered, but there are four identical tiles of each. So, for example, there are four red dragon tiles and four east wind tiles.
Third, flowers. There flower tiles also have two categories. The flower blossom tiles: plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum. The four seasons tiles: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each flower tile is unique; these do not have four copies.
Last one, game phrases. First, pong. “pèng” (碰). We use it to announce that we have two of the same tiles that match the tile the other player just played. Second, kong, “káng” (扛). We use it to announce that we have three of the same tiles that match the tile the other player just played. Third, Chow/Chi, “chī” (吃). We use it when we have two tiles that can form exactly three continuous tile, no more and no less, and when it’s the same suit type the other player just played. Forth, hu, “hú” (和). We use it to announce that we won the game. It’s similar to ‘checkmate.’
After Wang Laoshi’s instruction, real games started. “Peng” “Chi” “Hu”…… All these sounds filled the room. Competitions were really hot and everybody wanted to be the winner!
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