The Filipino Mahjong Game.

The Filipino mahjong game is played with 144 tiles consisting of four types namely balls, chars, sticks and flowers. Each type has 4 sets of tiles numbered from 1 to 9.

When a game starts, the tiles are shuffled face down and the players arranged them in a stack. Then each player will get 16 tiles consisting of only balls, chars and sticks as the initial hand; the flowers are excluded from play and are set aside face up along with the hand. To prevent manipulation during the tile distribution of tiles, a pair of dice is thrown to determine the sequence of players drawing tiles from the stack. The initial 16 tiles of each player are drawn from the top of the stack, 8 at a time; then the flowers are replaced by drawing from the bottom of the stack. In the computer version of the game, the shuffling and the initial distribution of the tiles to players are done automatically based on the outcome of the simulated throwing of the dice.

When the actual play starts, the players take their turn counter-clockwise, in drawing a tile from the stack and throwing back a selected tile to the "discard" file, face up. Whenever a flower type of tile is picked from the stack, the tile is set aside and another tile is picked from the bottom end of the stack until a non-flower tile is drawn. The object of each player is to collect 5 sets of tiles and a pair. A set is either 3 identical tiles, 4 identical tiles or 3 consecutively numbered tiles of the same type. A pair is 2 identical tiles. Completion of these sets is termed "mahjong". Another way to win is to collect 7 pairs and a set of 3 tiles, which is more difficult to do and pays double the normal rate.

During the regular round of turns, a player may elect to pick the last tile thrown to the discard file instead of picking from the stack, granted that the tile being picked completes a set and must be shown face up; this is termed as a "chow" for a consecutive set and "pong" for a three-of-a-kind set. A player may also pick from the discard file anytime even when out of turn, as long as he or she has a pair of tiles identical to the last discarded tile. This is termed as pre-emptive "pong". This kind of pong play disrupts the regular round of turns and the player immediately to the right resumes play after.

The "kang" play is similar to "pong", except that kang is a completion of a 4-of-a-kind set of tiles. When the fourth tile is picked from the discard, it is called "kang" and must be shown face up. However, when the fourth tile is picked from the stack, the opposing players do not have to know this and the player declares "secret" and separates the 4 tiles face down. After a kang or secret declaration, the player has to pick another tile from the bottom end of the stack; otherwise he will be short 1 tile and cannot make mahjong. Another variation of kang is when a player draws a tile from the stack (i.e. bunot) and it is the fourth tile identical to tiles of a previously played pong; this is called "sagasa" and is played the same as a kang.

The FlipMahjong computer game.

Seven Pairs:

Joker Play:

PLAY FILIPINO MAHJONG