Learn American Mah Jongg

Have you always wanted to learn American Mah Jongg but weren't quite sure how to get started? This page will provide you with all the resources you need!

Our recommended steps:

1 - Order the card (or use ours)

As American Mah Jongg involves matching tiles to a set of patterns represented on an official card, you'll need to order this first. Most American Mah Jongg games are played by the Rules of the National Mah Jongg League, so we recommend purchasing their card here.

Alternatively, you can use our free Mah Jongg card to get started immediately.

2 - Learn the basics

While you're waiting for your card to arrive, you can begin to get familiar with the game. Work your way through our free Beginner's Guide to American Mah Jongg. As a getting-started guide, this will cover everything you need to know including identifying tiles, rules of the game, how to read the card, etc. There's quite a bit to absorb, and you may not retain everything on your first read. Which brings us to step 3...

3 - Practice what you've learned

Once you have your card and understand the basics, you can start practicing. Sign up for the I Love Mahj online game. The 2-week free trial will give you loads of time to try out the game.

To start, we recommend that you play with our Level 1 bots (they're good partners and won't mind at all if you take as much time as you need). Choose the "Just-for-Fun" option and enable the "Practice Mode". This feature will offer suggestions on the best hands to play and help you track discarded tiles.
We suggest you print our Mah Jongg Cheat Sheet and keep it near you when you play.

4 - Mah Jongg Exercises

The key to success in American Mah Jongg is knowing the card well. There are exercises that will help you learn the card faster, such as making each hand with tiles, trying to identify hands based on a few tiles and figuring out hands based on exposures. You can do those exercises with a physical set but it's a lot easier to use an online tool like ilovemahj.com's Mah Jongg Exercise Room.

5 - Gain more confidence

It will take a little while to get to grips with the basics. Once you have a number of games under your belt and you're feeling more confident, move from playing "Just-for-Fun" games to "Official" ones on the I Love Mahj platform. You'll no longer rely on the "Practice Mode" and you'll start to build up stats on your game (more on this later).

6 - Improve your strategy

Once you're ready, you can start working your way through our free Complete Guide to American Mah Jongg Strategy. This is a very thorough tutorial, which will teach you strategies for all phases of the game. You'll now be able to take your game to the next level!

7 - Practice with bots and people

Continue your practice with bots. When you're ready, move to playing with our Level 2 bots - these are our intermediate bots and will be more challenging. Then start playing with people. You can play with friends on I Love Mahj, join one of our groups or be matched live with other players.

8 - Track you progress

I Love Mahj I Love Mahj provides a full page of statistics about your games: win/loss ratio, think times, rating, points, summary of hands you've completed. And if you play in-person, you can even enter the results of these games, so everything is tracked in one place!.