SIAMESE MAH JONGG® . . . . . . . . . . . . . .TO PRINT, HOLD “CTRL P”
1.TWO PLAYERS / TWO RACKS EACH (or 2 PLAYERS using 1 Double Siamese Rack each)
Two players face each other; and place 2 racks in front of each player.
(FOR INFORMATION ON THE 3 or 4-HANDED VERSION OF ROYALE SIAMESE MAH JONGG®….PLEASE SEE BELOW)
Build two (2) full walls of tiles, 19 stacks long, parallel to each other. When playing with 2 separate regular racks, then stack one wall of tiles against each wall. When the tiles from the outside rack have been used, just move that rack behind the other rack.) When playing with 2 Double Siamese racks, then stack 2 walls against the back edge of the double rack, with the pusher between the walls.
3. WALLS: **AN EASY OPTION for social play: Don’t build any walls. Merely leave the shuffled unpicked tiles on one side of the table, and discard on the other side of the table.** (ED’s NOTE: We don’t necessarily support playing without building walls. Walls help to prevent a player “accidently remembering” just where there might be some Jokers located). (Revised 2/1/2024)
(WALLS ARE REQUIRED FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY.)
4. OPTIONAL: EAST THROWS THE DICE TO BREAK THE WALL.
East throws one (1) die to break the first wall arbitrarily, and retains the amount of tiles corresponding to the dice throw (as with the standard 4-handed version of MJ). In Siamese, as in American-Style Mah Jongg, the wall is broken from the right side of the wall. Move the dice-designated stacks of tiles from the right side of the first wall, to the LEFT side of the first wall. It is an OPTION to use the dice to arbitrarily break the wall (EXCEPT in SIAMESE TOURNAMENTS). Dealing/picking will commence from East’s walls.
5. 27 TILES FOR EAST, 27 TILES FOR THE OPPOSITE PLAYER (Revised 12/31/2023)
Each player deals themselves four (4) tiles from one of the two (2) walls in front of East, and succeeding player(s) until players have receive 27 tiles each. (Ed’s NOTE: Statistics have shown that East, given an additional tile during the deal…has a distinct statistical advantage over their opponent(s) to build or change their hands).
6. ARRANGING THE TILES
Players may arrange their tiles in both their racks…as many as desired; and may exchange tiles back and forth between their own racks. It does not matter how many tiles are on each rack at any one time.
There is NO Charleston
(NOTE: You have plenty of tiles and a multitude of tile combinations over which you have control.)
8. THE GAME BEGINS (Revised 12/31/2021) Please see Rule 5 Above.
East picks and then discards a 28th tile to begin the game; then the opposite player picks their first tile from the wall; then discards a tile; and so on. Picking and discarding proceeds.
You may exchange your own Jokers from your own exposures, or from your opponent’s exposures; but you can NOT exchange a Joker from any existing EXPOSED Mah Jongg hand. Jokers may be exchanged from exposures in a “dead” hand, IF that exposure did not cause the hand to be declared “dead.”
(PLEASE NOTE: SEE 3 & 4 HANDED Royale Siamese Rule below for Quint Hand with NO Jokers)
10. MAH JONGG
Once a Mah Jongg is declared and exposed with the required 14 tiles by a player, and that player has discarded a tile to complete their turn, player may continue to keep their remaining tiles on one or both of the slanted portion(s) of their rack(s).
A. STRATEGY NOTE: The disadvantage of not exposing your own MJ is that the game might finish before you have declared your own Mah Jongg; and you must have a Mah Jongg exposed in order to be paid. You won’t be paid for a MJ that is still IN your rack, not ON your rack.
B. The longer you delay declaring a Mah Jongg and exposing those tiles, the longer you are able to use your own Jokers interchangeably.
C. Remember, once the Mah Jongg hand has been declared and exposed, the Jokers in the MJ exposures can NOT be exchanged.
D. A DISCARDED TILE IS CLAIMED FOR MAH JONGG BY 2 PLAYERS: the discarded tile may be claimed by the player CLOSEST in succession to the discarder….regardless if it is for a 1st or 2nd Mah Jongg. (A 2nd Mah Jongg does NOT take precedence in this case.)
E. MAH JONGG IN ERROR. If a player claims two (2) Mah Jongg’s at the same time, but literally has only one (1) actual Mah Jongg, then that one (1) Mah Jongg will be honored; and the other hand will be considered “dead.”
11. YOU ARE PLAYING BOTH RACKS INTERCHANGEABLY
Even though the TILES ARE INTERCHANGEABLE between the racks, players must be cautious to NOT combine their exposures on the WRONG Rack. A player’s hand should be declared “dead” if the combined exposures do not match a hand on the NMJL or Siamese cards. Remember, the tiles are interchangeable IN the racks, not ON the racks. However, the player may continue playing to try to build a 2nd Mah Jongg on their 2nd rack.
12. IF A PLAYER IS DECLARED “DEAD” FOR 2 HANDS, THE GAME CEASES,
and “dead” player pays opponent 4 times the value of opponent’s existing Mah Jongg, or 4 times the lowest value on the card – whichever is relevant.
13. A PLAYER HAS 1 MAH JONGG AND 1 DEAD HAND,
the game continuesby the opponent only – until opponent makes a second Mah Jongg, or all the tiles have been picked.
(NOTE: In a regular 4-handed NMJL version, the “dead” player has to cease playing, while everyone else continues. But, think of the other player’s 2 racks in the 2-handed version as 2 individual remaining players. If one hand is “dead,” there are still players alive.)
14. GAME CEASES when 1 player has declared 2 MAH JONGGS, -or-
when the tiles from the walls have been used, and the last discard has been made.
15. IF A PLAYER HAS 1 “DEAD” HAND EXPOSED that player may continue to exchange the remaining tiles between the two racks, but may NOT USE any of the tiles from the exposures that MADE the EXPOSED HAND “dead” – in order to build another hand. Jokers may be exchanged from exposures in the “dead” hand, only if that exposure containing the Joker did not cause the hand to be declared “dead.”
16. See NATIONAL MAH JONGG TOURNAMENT RULES and MAH JONGG MASTER POINTS RULES for additional information.
17. SCORING AND PAYOUTS: Payment is made at the END of the game(s), and is strictly paid based on the number of MJ’s you and your opponent have.
For easy payouts, KEEP SCORE. At the end of the game(s), the player with the lesser score will pay the winner the difference between the two (2) scores:
A. The 1st Mah Jongg by a player receives the value on the NMJL card, regardless if it is
self-picked, but if it is JOKERLESS, the value is doubled (excluding singles and pairs).
Reminder: The Payer is not penalized for throwing a tile that is claimed for Mah Jongg.
B. If a player declares and wins the game with their 2nd Mah Jongg, the payout for the 2nd Mah Jongg is doubled, regardless if it is self-picked.
Payout is doubled again if the 2nd Mah Jongg is JOKERLESS (excluding singles and pairs).
C. A player who declares, exposes, and wins with two (2) Mah Jonggs AT THE SAME TIME receives double the score for both hands. It does not matter if that player had previous exposures.
D. The player who discards a tile that is claimed for their opponent’s 2nd Mah Jongg is penalized minus Twenty Points (-20); whether or not there is a first Mah Jongg already exposed on their opponent’s rack.
(Also see Rule 17. E. below)
E. The player who discards a tile that is claimed by their opponent who puts up two (2) Mah Jongg’s during the same turn…but the claimed tile is used in the 1st Mah Jongg exposed…. the discarder is still penalized minus Twenty Points (-20).
F. WALL GAME each player receives Plus Ten Points (+10).
18. TOO MANY OR TOO FEW TILES ON PLAYER’S RACK
A. If a player has 1 legitimate Mah Jongg exposed on one rack, but too many or too few remaining tiles in their 2nd rack, they should be declared “dead.” Too many tiles gives the player an unfair advantage to achieving a 2nd Mah Jongg to win the game; but receives points for the one legitimate Mah Jongg. Opponent continues to pick tiles from the wall.
B. If immediately after the deal it is discovered a player has too many tiles on their racks (more than 28 if they are East, or more than 27 if the are not East)….it is a mis-deal. Just re-deal the tiles
C. If it is discovered during play that a player has too many tiles (29 tiles after picking to begin a player’s turn, or 28 tiles not during a player’s turn), that player should be declared “dead.”
Please also see RULE 12. This Rule also applies to too few tiles.
D. Having one legitimate Mah Jongg exposed will usually guaranty that player receives points for a good MJ. However, if it is discovered that the player has too many or too few tiles combined on their racks, within one or more full-turns around the table…..BOTH OF THAT PLAYER’S HANDS ARE DEAD. (Revised 12/31/2024)
19. MIS-NAMED DISCARDED TILE
A. If the mis-named discarded tile is claimed for an EXPOSURE, and the discarder has the correct tile in their hand, then the correct tile MUST be discarded in place of the incorrect tile.
B. the discarder does not have the correct tile in their hand, the game proceeds, following the correct naming of the tile. No penalty to the discarder.
C. The MIS-NAMED discarded tile may be claimed for MAH JONGG. The discarder is penalized the appropriate amount of points. PENALTY: Minus -25
D. If the mis-named tile is claimed for a 2nd Mah Jongg, then the discarder is also penalized the extra -20 points.
20. PICKING FROM THE WRONG WALL
If a player picks and racks a tile from the wrong wall, then that player will have one (1) hand declared dead. If there is already a MJ hand exposed by that player….then the player’s 2nd hand is dead. She stops playing. Other player continues.
If the erring player has one hand with exposures, then that hand is dead.
If the player has 2 hands with exposures, then the hand on the rack closest to that erring player is dead
3 – HANDED & 4 – HANDED ROYALE SIAMESE MAH JONGG® **
PLEASE NOTE: Some Rules for ROYALE WITH 3-4 PLAYERS….
MAY be DIFFERENT
than for only 2 players
NOTE ABOUT THE “ATOMIC CAT” HAND
You MUST start with 13 tiles (just like you would in a standard NMJL games)….and wait to pick or claim your 14th tile.
“Atomic” is an official hand on the Siamese Card…so you don’t have to worry about various house rules gumming up the works.
You must declare “Atomic” immediately after the deal. It will be on your first rack, closest to the center of the table.
You can only use Jokers and Flowers for the 2nd hand. And you CAN’T move tiles back and forth between racks…..unless you go OFF atomic.
We don’t want to make it tooooo easy when you have 14 tiles for Atomic, do we….?
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT “NO JOKERS IN ROYALE SIAMESE” (*)
When you play ROYALE SIAMESE with 2 FULL SETS, you are also playing with 4 MORE of EACH suited tile.
We are inviting you to “UP” your gaming skills, by using those additional suited tiles (NOT the JOKERS) to create a more challenging game for yourselves
…..PLUS, earn another +25 Bonus Points.
Believe it or not…. now comes 2 players with 4 RACKS each and 2 SETS; and 3 & 4 players with 4 RACKS EACH playing with 3 or more sets(!!). The rules are the same as above in SIAMESE and ROYALE SIAMESE.
SIAMESE is growing exponentially in popularity, number of players, and even in number of Countries where it is played. Kids love it, high school and college kids are playing it. Some regular Mah Jongg players are splitting their days, playing regular MJ in the morning, and Siamese in the afternoon.