When you think of mahjong, you probably think of a game with a lot of strategy and luck. And you’re right! But there’s more to this age-old game than meets the eye. There are so many variations and rules that it can be confusing for anyone who is new to the game. So what are pung, kong and chow in mahjong? Let’s take a look!
A purse is the “wild card” of the game. It can replace any tile in the game, so long as it doesn’t create a pung. For example, a 6 can only go beside another 6, or a 9 beside a 9, and so on. When you draw a purse, you can use it to replace any tile in your hand that you want. So if you have a tile you don’t want (say a 2 or a 7), or tiles that don’t create a pung, you can replace them with a purse.
The highest scoring tile in mahjong is the “king” because it can form a pung of four tiles with any other tile in the game. When you are forming a pung, your first tile must be a king. You can then add three other tiles to make a pung. You can have multiple pungs in your hand, and you can even combine them to form a larger pung.
Chow is when you are combining tiles in your hand to make a pung with another player’t hand. This is usually done when you have a tile that is close to another tile in an opponent’s hand. When you are chowing, you are forming a pung with another player’s hand. For example, if you see that an opponent has a 4 in their hand and you have a 4, you can combine your 4 with their 4 to form a pung. If another player’s tile is close to one of your tiles, it might be worth chowing to form a pung with it.
Mahjong is a game that takes skill, strategy and luck to win. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a really fun game! Each variation of mahjong has its own unique rules, but they all share similar traits. When you are playing mahjong, it’s important to keep in mind what tiles you have in your hand, what tiles you need to win, and what tiles your opponents have in their hands. You never know when you might get lucky and create a pung, kong and chow that puts you one tile away from winning the game!