Covid and the two-player game

Covid has had a huge effect on Mah-Jong, but there are still some ways to play. One way you might consider (if you are a couple in the same home) is the two-player game.

At first you might think that it then becomes too easy to collect a Mah-Jong hand – but there are some adjustments which compensate for this.

Here are the rules.

The game is played as normal except that:

  • The players choose to be East or West Wind
  • No chows are allowed (so there’s no doubling of the score for no chows)
  • No player can go Mah-Jong until his/her hand contains 4 doubles or reaches 500 points
  • East Wind doesn’t pay or receive double his Mah-Jong score, nor pay or receive double the difference in scores
  • If the player going Mah-Jong has a lower score than his/her opponent then, after receiving the value of his/her hand, he/she must pay the difference between the two scores

Calling Mah-Jong incorrectly

If a player calls Mah Jong, but doesn’t meet the conditions specified, then play should continue. The penalty for doing this is revealing his/her hand to the other player (who should sit tight until this happens).

Dealing to South and North Wind

Some versions of Mah-Jong deal tiles to South and North Wind in the two-player game. There are no players for these hands, so the tiles dealt are effectively being taken out the game. This adds uncertainty and makes forming a Mah-Jong hand more difficult.