Hi, my name is Windy, and this is an introduction
to the game of Mah Jongg. Mah Jongg means the sparrows, in Chinese. It’s a tile game.
There are different sets that you can buy. Traditional ones that are made out of bone
or ivory, and wood, bamboo traditionally, and other sets that are made out of high quality
palm or plastic, which is a replica of ivory, since ivory is no longer allowed. Your set
will come with tiles, that have different shapes on them. They’re divided amongst bamboo,
circles, characters, numbers, the four directions, north, south, east, and west, and three dragons.
Players play on a square table. There are four players. You can play it three, but it
is better to play it with four people. When you start the game, you take turns, taking
one of the four directions, which represents the four directions that the winds blow across
China, and you sit in the direction, that is indicated by your chip on the board, north,
south, east, and west. League play involves a booklet, which tells you specific special
rules for how the winds are behaving, and they change every year. You have to buy a
new one of these books, little booklets, every year, according to the mystical change of
the winds in China, which is actually set by a certain formula. Prices are ranging from
thirty to hundreds of dollars, for a nice wooden and bamboo sets. It’s not the same
as the game that you play on the internet, which is a simple tile matching game, sort
of like what you would play with dominoes. Instead, it is a betting game. These sticks
with dots here, are bets for partners. They tell you how much money you have to put into
the pool, and it’s played somewhat like a tile version of bridge, and that’s my introduction
to Mah Jongg.