Mahjong Glossary

Game Terms

In this section you can find some of the most common terms used in the game of Mahjong.

  • Knitted Tiles – oldest type of Mahjong; introduced to America in the 1920’s.
  • Kong – Set of four identical tiles.
  • Major Tiles – Honours and terminals.
  • Matchin Chows – Two matching chows in different suits.
  • Meld – A set.
  • Nine Gates – A single suit hand in which any tile of the same suit completes the hand.
  • Progressive Chows – Chows stepped up one or two digits.
  • Progressive Pungs – Pungs stepped up one digit.
  • Pung – Set of three identical tiles.
  • Reversible Tiles – Tiles that have the same appearance when inverted.
  • Self-drawn – A tile drawn from the wall.
  • Sequence – Set of suit tiles in numerical order.
  • Set – Chow, pung or kong.
  • Simples – Suit tiles other than terminals.
  • Stepped – Chows separated by one or two numbers.
  • Terminals – Tiles one and nine of the three suits.
  • Thirteen Orphans – A hand composed of one each of every major tile, one tile paired.
  • Twin Chows – Two identical chows in the same suit.
  • Void Suit– A hand lacking tiles of one suit.
  • Wall – Tiles assembled face down at the start of the game.
  • Wind, Own – Wind corresponding to the player’s seat.
  • Wind, Prevailing – The wind of the round.
  • Wind, Seat – Wind corresponding to the player’s seat.