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Mahjong

Mahjong

帖子admin » 周日 7月 06, 2014 12:55 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahjong
图片
Mahjong, also spelled majiang, mah jongg, and numerous other variants, is a game that originated in China. It is commonly played by four players (with some three-player variations found in Korea and Japan). The game and its regional variants are widely played throughout Eastern and South Eastern Asia and have a small following in Western countries. Similar to the Western card game rummy, mahjong is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance.

The game is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving 13 tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player and thus melded, the use of simples (numbered tiles) and honours (winds and dragons), the kinds of melds, and the order of dealing and play. However there are many regional variations in the rules; in addition, the scoring system and the minimum hand necessary to win varies significantly based on the local rules being used.

Name[edit]
In Chinese, the game was originally called 麻雀 (pinyin: máquè)—meaning sparrow—which is still the name most commonly used in some southern Chinese languages such as Cantonese and Min Nan, as well as in Japanese. However, most Mandarin-speaking Chinese now call the game májiàng (麻將). In Northern Wu Chinese (Shanghainese and its relatives), it is pronounced as 麻將 [mu tsiaŋ], but in actuality, 麻將 is the diminutive form of 麻雀, written as 麻雀兒 [mu tsiaʔ ŋ], due to an erhua event. It is through the Wu Chinese pronunciation of 麻雀兒 that the diminutive form of 麻雀 in Northern Wu became known as 麻將 in both Mandarin and Wu.[citation needed]

History[edit]
China[edit]
File:Mahjong1.theora.ogv

Video of an uncharacteristic five player game
One of the myths of the origin of mahjong suggests that Confucius,[1] the Chinese philosopher, developed the game in about 500 BC. The three dragon (cardinal) tiles also agree with the three cardinal virtues bequeathed by Confucius. Hóng Zhōng (紅中 MJd1.png, red middle), Fā Cái (發財 MJd2.png, prosperity), and Bái Bǎn" (白板 MJd3.png, white board) represent benevolence, sincerity, and filial piety, respectively.

The myth also claims that Confucius was fond of birds, which would explain the name "mahjong" (maque 麻雀 = sparrow).

Many historians believe it was based on a Chinese card game called Mǎdiào (馬吊) (also known as Ma Tiae, hanging horse; or Yèzí [葉子], leaf) in the early Ming dynasty.[2] This game was played with 40 paper cards similar in appearance to the cards used in the game Ya Pei. These 40 cards are numbered 1 to 9 in four different suits, along with four extra flower cards. This is quite similar to the numbering of mahjong tiles today, although mahjong only has three suits and, in effect, uses four packs of Ya Pei cards.

During the early 19th century and perhaps as early as 18th century,there is a Chinese card game with principle of drawing and discarding with a view to melding and is in fact essence of mahjong.[3]

There is still some debate about who created the game. One theory is that Chinese army officers serving during the Taiping Rebellion created the game to pass the time. Another theory is that a nobleman living in the Shanghai area created the game between 1870 and 1875. Others believe that two brothers from Níngpō created mahjong around 1850, from the earlier game of Mǎdiào.

This game was banned by the government of People's Republic of China when it took power in 1949.[4] The new Communist government forbade any gambling activities, which were regarded as symbols of capitalist corruption. After the Cultural Revolution, the game was revived, without gambling elements, and the prohibition was revoked in 1985.[5] Today, it is a favorite pastime in China and other Chinese-speaking communities.

West[edit]


Students in the United States learning how to play mahjong
The game was mentioned in Portuguese Jesuit accounts from the beginning of the 17th century.[citation needed] In 1895, British Sinologist William Henry Wilkinson wrote a paper which mentioned a set of cards known in central China by the name of ma chioh, literally, sparrow, which he maintained was the origin of the term mahjong. He did not state the specific Chinese language or dialect of his informant.[6] By 1910, there were written accounts in many languages, including French and Japanese.[citation needed]

The game was imported to the United States in the 1920s.[7] The first mahjong sets sold in the U.S. were sold by Abercrombie & Fitch starting in 1920.[8] It became a success in Washington, D.C., and the co-owner of the company, Ezra Fitch, sent emissaries to Chinese villages to buy every mahjong set they could find. Abercrombie & Fitch sold a total of 12,000 mahjong sets.[9]

Also in 1920, Joseph Park Babcock published his book Rules of Mah-Jongg, also known as the "red book". This was the earliest version of mahjong known in America. Babcock had learned mahjong while living in China. His rules simplified the game to make it easier for Americans to take up, and his version was common through the mahjong fad of the 1920s. Later, when the 1920s fad died out, many of Babcock's simplifications were abandoned.

The game has taken on a number of trademarked names, such as "Pung Chow" and the "Game of Thousand Intelligences". Mahjong nights in America often involved dressing and decorating rooms in Chinese style.[10] Several hit songs were recorded during the mahjong fad, most notably "Since Ma Is Playing Mah Jong" by Eddie Cantor.[11]

Many variants of mahjong developed during this period. By the 1930s, many revisions of the rules developed that were substantially different from Babcock's classical version (including some that were considered fundamentals in other variants, such as the notion of a standard hand). The most common form, which eventually became "American mahjong", was most popular among Jewish women.[11] Standardization came with the formation of the National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) in 1937, along with the first American mahjong rulebook, Maajh: The American Version of the Ancient Chinese Game.

Many consider the modern American version a remake of a Jewish game,[11] as many American mahjong players are of Jewish descent. The NMJL was founded by Jewish players and is considered a Jewish organization. In 1986, the National Mah Jongg League conducted their first Mah Jongg Cruise Tournament, in conjunction with Mah Jongg Madness. In 2010, this large scale seagoing event hosted its 25th Silver Anniversary Cruise, with players from all over the States and Canada participating.

In recent years, a second organization has formed, the American Mah Jongg Association. The AMJA currently hosts tournaments all across North America, with their signature event being at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

British author Alan D. Millington revived the Chinese classical game of the 1920s with his book The Complete Book of Mah-jongg (1977). This handbook includes a formal rules set for the game.

A playing card form was published by an official of Britain's Consular Service named William Henry Wilkinson, author of Chinese origin of playing cards, under the name Khanhoo.

Games scholar David Parlett has written that the Western card games Conquian and Rummy were derived from Mahjong.[12] All these games involve players drawing and discarding tiles or cards to make melds.

Current development[edit]
There are many governing bodies which often host exhibition games and tournaments for modern and traditional mahjong gaming.

Mahjong, as of 2010, is the most popular table game in Japan.[13] As of 2008, there were approximately 7.6 million Mahjong players in Japan and an estimated 8,900 Mahjong parlors did ¥300 billion in sales.[14] Many devotees there believe the game is losing popularity and have taken efforts to revive it.[citation needed] There are several manga and anime (e.g. Saki and Akagi) devoted to dramatic and comic situations involving mahjong.[15] Since the 1980s, hundreds of different mahjong arcade machines in Japanese video arcades have been created, including strip versions. Newer units can connect with other arcade machines across the Internet.

Mahjong culture is still deeply ingrained in the Chinese community. Sam Hui wrote Cantopop songs using mahjong as their themes, and Hong Kong movies have often included scenes of mahjong games. Many gambling movies have been filmed in Hong Kong, and a recent sub-genre is the mahjong movie.

Prolonged playing of mahjong may trigger epileptic seizures according to a 2007 study.[16][17] To date there are 23 reported cases of mahjong-induced seizures in the English medical literature.

Studies by doctors have also shown in Hong Kong that the game is beneficial for individuals suffering from dementia or cognitive memory difficulties, leading to the development of mahjong therapy.[18]

Type of game[edit]
Because of the solid form of the tiles, mahjong is sometimes classified as a domino game but plays similar to card games such as rummy.

Variations[edit]
Variations may have far more complicated scoring systems, add or remove tiles, and include far more scoring elements and limit hands.

In many places, players often observe one version and are either unaware of other variations or claim that different versions are incorrect. Many variations today differ only by scoring:

Chinese classical mahjong is the oldest variety of mahjong and was the version introduced to America in the 1920s under various names. It has a small, loyal following in the West, although few play it in Asia.
Hong Kong mahjong or Cantonese mahjong is possibly the most common form of mahjong, differing in minor scoring details from the Chinese Classical variety. It does not allow multiple players to win from a single discard.
Sichuan mahjong is a growing variety, particularly in southern China, disallowing chi melds, and using only the suited tiles. It can be played very quickly.
Tianjin mahjong using normally 7 jokers, with special scoring such as joker-free, joker-waiting-pair, catch-5, dragon, joker-suited-dragon.
Shenyang mahjong using 13 hands in a game, and Shenyang mahjong has a really fast speed on playing, which is matching the personality of North-east people in China. Also in Shenyang mahjong, the player must to have Bamboos, Characters, Circles and number one or nine in his hand. In addition, the players have to Pong before they Chow, so there is no chance to win even if some players win at the first time they have their hands in hand.
Taiwanese mahjong is the variety prevalent in Taiwan and involves hands of 16 tiles (as opposed to the 13-tile hands in other versions), features bonuses for dealers and recurring dealerships, and allows multiple players to win from a single discard.
Fujian mahjong, with a Dàidì joker 帶弟百搭.
Shanxi mahjong, or Lisi (Raise Four; zh:太原立四麻将), the players must win with the first four blocks drawn which are placed separately in front of other. These four blocks cannot be touched until the player has a ready hand.
Guobiao Majiang a rule of Mahjong founded by All-China Sports Federation in July 1998.
Japanese mahjong is a standardized form of mahjong in Japan and is also found prevalently in video games. In addition to scoring changes, the rules of rīchi (ready hand) and dora (bonus tiles) are unique highlights of this variant. In addition, tile discards are specifically arranged in front of each player by discard order, to take discarded tiles into account during play. Some rules replace some of number 5 tiles with red tiles so that they can eventually get more value.
Western classical mahjong is a descendant of the version of mahjong introduced by Babcock to America in the 1920s. Today, this term largely refers to the "Wright-Patterson" rules, used in the U.S. military, and other similar American-made variants that are closer to the Babcock rules.
American mahjong is a form of mahjong standardized by the National Mah Jongg League[20] and the American Mah-Jongg Association.[21] It uses joker tiles, the Charleston, plus melds of five or more tiles, and eschews the Chow and the notion of a standard hand. Purists claim that this makes American mahjong a separate game. In addition, the NMJL and AMJA variations, which differ by minor scoring differences, are commonly referred to as mahjongg or mah-jongg (with two Gs, often hyphenated).
Singaporean/Malaysian mahjong is a variant similar to the Cantonese mahjong played in Malaysia. Unique elements of Singaporean/Malaysian mahjong are the four animal tiles (cat, mouse, cockerel, and centipede) as well as certain alternatives in the scoring rules, which allow payouts midway through the game if certain conditions (such as a kang) are met.
South African mahjong is a variant of Cantonese mahjong. It is very similar in terms of game play and follows most of the rules and regulations of Cantonese mahjong. However, there are some minor differences in scoring, e.g. the limit on the maximum points a hand can be rewarded is 3 or 4 fan depending on the house rules. A chicken hand (gai wu) is normally considered a value hand. Depending on the house rules flowers may also be used to boost scoring.
Vietnamese mạt chược, with 16 different kinds of jokers for a total of 160 tiles. Modern variant include more jokers for a total of 176 tiles.
Thai mahjong, includes the older Vietnamese tiles with another eight for a total of 168 tiles.
Filipino mahjong, with the Window Joker.
Korean mahjong is unique in many ways and is an excellent version for three players. One suit is omitted completely (usually the Bamboo set or 2-8 of bamboo) as well as the seasons. The scoring is simpler and the play is faster. No melded chows are allowed and concealed hands are common. Riichi (much like its Japanese cousin) is an integral part of the game as well.Korean Rules
Pussers bones is a fast-moving variant developed by sailors in the Royal Australian Navy. It uses an alternative vocabulary, such as Eddie, Sammy, Wally, and Normie, instead of East, South, West, and North respectively.
Three player mahjong (or three-ka) is a simplified three-person mahjong that involves hands of 13 tiles (with a total of 84 tiles on the table) and may use jokers depending on the variation. Any rule set can be adapted for three players; however, this is far more common and accepted in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. It usually eliminates one suit entirely, or tiles 2-8 in one suit leaving only the terminals. It needs fewer people to start a game and the turnaround time of a game is short—hence, it is considered a fast game. In some versions there is a jackpot for winning in which whoever accumulates a point of 10 is considered to hit the jackpot or whoever scores three hidden hands first. The Malaysian and Korean versions drop one wind and may include a seat dragon. Korean Japanese three player variant.
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