Mah Jong

Ray Tollefsen

What is it?

Mah Jong, is a game that originated in China.  It is commonly played by four players, but can be played with three, or even two, players.  It is said to be similar to the Western card game rummy and is a game of skill, strategy and calculation, but with a degree of chance.

What’s involved?

The game is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols.  Organisation of a good Mah Jong hand requires judgement in selecting a game which will afford the best chance of success – and also requires sufficient versatility to be able to later swap to a different game if it becomes obvious the original choice is not coming together.

There are many regional variations in the rules; in addition, the scoring system and the eligible hands vary significantly based on the local rules being used.  The U3A Port Sorrell Mah Jong group uses The Mah Jong Player’s Companion by Australians Patricia Thompson and Betty Maloney for its games and scoring rules.

Where can you learn and play?

U3A, under the tutorship of Louisa Dawson, established a group which has been playing since the start of 2015. Louisa has now moved to warmer climes, but Mah Jong continues with Ray Tollefsen as the tutor.

Players often go to lunch afterwards to round off an enjoyable get together.

New members are always welcome, with instruction freely available.

Why not give it a go?

U3A was established so we can learn new skills to keep the grey matter ticking over, and to meet new people.  Mah Jong fits those aims perfectly.

Contact the U3A office for more information.

$2 charge per session to cover venue costs