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The Suite Blog >> A Closer Look at Mahjong and Communism

 

 

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February 21, 2009 - Okay, so I want to talk a little bit about the game of Mahjong. Heard of it? There's probably a good chance you have. But, if you're like most people, you've probably never played it - and for that matter - haven't really sought to play it. Let's face it - Mahjong can be a really intimidating game. In the same way that casino craps can muster up an appreciation without inspiring any takers, Mahjong is something of an enigma to the outsider.

Let's set the record straight - When I say "outsider", I am referring to us English speaking cave people. Mahjong is of Chinese descent, and in fact, is the National game over there. It is also at the core root of Communism. Just kidding (had you there for a sec didn't I?). Although a standardize American Mahjong has been around since 1937 (thanks to the National Mahjongg League of New York), it's popularity hadn't really started taking off until recent times.

Largely thanks to online activities, mahjong has become somewhat of a "Gin Rummy" of sorts. By no means has it reached the popularity of online poker (although it's that popular in Asia), but the fact remains that Mahjong has developed a dedicated following. Take, for instance, the Yacht Club of Hilton Head, South Carolina, where forty women recently gathered to participate in the third annual Mah-Jongg Madness tournament (a spin on the NCAA March Madness tournament).

Representing four different plantation groups and the yacht club itself, tournament participants here often play mahjong throughout the week. As one player put it, "it's a grand way to make friends". Some players, like local resident Anne Landis, who picked up the game while living in Saudi Arabia, have been playing for over twenty years. Landis even has here very own bone and bamboo mahjong set, as well as the mahjong bible itself - J.P. Babcock's "Rules of Mah Jongg", which I must say will make for a good addition on the gambling books page here at Online Casino Suite.

Online, things are no different. Dedicated internet mahjong rooms are now available - many of which host real money tournaments rivaling some of the best slots and Gin Rummy tournaments out there today. And speaking of Gin Rummy, if you know how to play this card game, you won't have a hard time learning mahjong. They are very similar - the main difference that mahjong is played with a set of tiles instead of cards.

So, if you're looking for a new game to learn that is both intellectually challenging and social, try giving mahjong a chance. Get started now, so when it starts to be offered by online casinos (which is inevitable, if you ask me), you'll be ready to crash the bank.

Originally published: February, 2009  Categories: Casino Games

 

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