Singapore Mahjong Rules

Tiles Bonus Tiles Setting Up Game Play 
Winning Hands Special Hands Mahjong Terms


After determining the positions, each players will set up their walls. The banker and the player directly opposite the banker (at West position) will set up walls of 19 sections (each section contains 2 tiles, total tiles = 38). The other 2 players will set up walls of 18 sections (total tiles=36).

After setting up the walls, the banker will throw the dice, and the game kicks off. 

Each player will have 13 tiles except the banker who has 14 tiles. The banker will discard a tile onto the common area (within the 4 walls) to kick off the game. Subsequently, each player will draw a tile from the wall and discard one from his hand upon his turn. The game is played in the counter-clockwise direction.

Player's Options during a Game

Eat (or Chow, Chi, Jiak) - to make a suit of running numbers, eg if the player has 2 and 3 wan, he can eat 1 wan or 4 wan, but only from the player before him (player on his left).

He can also eat 2 wan if he has 1 and 3 wan, or 3 wan if he has 1 and 2 wan; this is termed a "kar long" and if he needs that eat to win, he will have to draw the winning card himself. 


Pong (or Peng) - to make a suit of 3 identical cards, eg if the player has 2 Nan (South) Wind, he can call for a pong if any of the remaining 3 players throw a Nan Wind.

If the Game Wind is the same as what the player has pong, it adds one more tai to his hand. It also applies to the Player Wind, which means if the Player Wind is the same as the Game Wind, the player will have 2 tai if he manages to pong that Wind.

It also adds one tai to pong any of the 3 dragons.

Gong (or Gang) - to collect a suit of all 4 identical cards.

There are 2 types of Gong; one is the hidden gong, which means the player has to draw the 4 identical cards by himself; the other is the declared gong, which means the player already has pong 3 identical cards before drawing the fourth one on his own or the player has the 3 identical cards hidden in his hand and the fourth card is being thrown by any of the remaining 3 players.

Declared Gong can be "snatched" by any players waiting for that particular card.

Hidden Gong can only be "snatched" by the Unique Thirtheen

In Singapore mahjong, any players who gong can collect bonus money from the remaining 3 players. The Bonus money is doubled for hidden gong. The rate of the bonus money is usually equal to the rate of 2.5 tai.

Game (or Hu, Gao) - declaration of a completed hand. The player who discards the decisive tile to the winner shall pay him double, whereas the remaining two players will pay the normal rate. All players will pay double if the winner draws the decisive card himself, which is called Zi Mo (Self Drawn).

Completing each game

There are 3 scenarios in each game:

1. A player other than the banker wins. The banker status will be passed to the next player.
2. The banker wins, so he retains his right of being the banker.
3. The game ends in a Draw. If there is no gongs in that particular game, the banker retains his banker status. He will have to pass the banker status to the next player if there is at least a gong in that game.

Draw - In Singapore mahjong, the remaining 15 tiles are unavailable except for the replacement of tiles during flowers or gong. Once the last 16th tile is drawn and there is no winner, the game is considered a draw. No payment will be made.

After all 4 players have consumed the role as the banker, a Wind is completed. The Wind is changed to the next one. When all 4 Winds are completed, it is considered one full round. The players can request to reshuffle their positions again.