Ch. 1: The Goods
(originally published Sunday, 31 December 2006)
Everything you need to get started is right here! Need to purchase some goods still before you start your game? No problem! Check out the ReachMahjong.com Shop for all your ‘jong needs!
In Reach Mahjong, there are 34 types of tiles and 4 of each type. That makes for 136 tiles. The tiles consist of 4 suits: Bamboo (Bams, Souzi), 10-Grands (Cracks or Characters, Wanzi, Manzi), Dots (Pinzi) and Honor tiles. The Bamboo, Grands and Dots each contain the numbers 1-9. The Honor tiles consist of the Winds and the Dragons. The Winds are East, South, West and North. The Dragons have 3 colors: white, red and green. There are also flowers used in some rules. It’s good to have them, but in Reach Mahjong they are not necessary
Dice are used to decide Dealers, decide the place for the first draw and help decide seating. In Reach Mahjong you only need 2 dice.
Table or Mat:
You can actually play mahjong on almost any kind of table. But, we recommend you be nice to your tiles. It is best to have a mat made especially for mahjong, or to have some paper stacked up to soften the surface of a normal table. The advantage to a mat is the edge that it makes for easy tile-straightening and saves your table surface and/or tiles. Also, some of them have a handy place to keep your point sticks. If you already have straightening sticks and a holder for your tiles for hands in play, it is not necessary to get a mat.
Of course the best thing is to have a mahjong table. Even better is an AUTOMATIC mahjong table. But then, we all have dreams… (That IS in fact one of Jenn’s dreams, and she is accepting monetary or material donations from anyone that would like to be part of that dream)
In Reach Mahjong, points are kept by using sticks (bones). There are generally 5 different designs for the sticks, each denoting the value for the bones. An ideal set should consist of 4 10,000pt sticks, 8-12 5000pt sticks, 16-36 1000pt sticks, 0-4 500pt sticks and 20-40 100pt sticks. No matter what the combination, the total number of points should be 120,000 points.
Now that you know what you need, go out and get it! Then go to Chapter 2: The Set-Up to put it all together. Also, be sure to check Gemma’s Journal regularly for tips and shared frustrations for beginners!! Once you get the basics down, check In Garthe’s Hands for explanations of hands and strategies.