Mahjong society is a game of skill and luck

Alisha Drumm/Sun Star Reporter
October 16, 2012

UAF’s Leadership, Involvement  Volunteer, Experience Office hosted a student organization fair last week where clubs on campus had the opportunity to spread the word about who they are and what they do. Forty-three different student organizations were a part of the LIVE Student Organization Fair, one of which was the Mahjong Society.

Mahjong club members contemplate the next move in their game. The club meets twice a week and as of Thursday, October 11 has six members. Carolyn Deskins/Sun Star

The Mahjong society is a new student organization that focuses on the fairly underground game of Mahjong. Mahjong is a four player game where the objective is to make hands and to win points from a variety of tiles with different face values. The game of Mahjong was originally developed in China around 500 B.C, but it is played all around the world, in many different versions today. The game is a combination of skill, strategy, calculation and luck, and is similar to Gin Rummy.

Mahjong is played with 144 tiles that are either suits, honors or flowers. The main goal is to be the first person to get a complete hand: four sets of three and a pair.

Mahjong is a complex game that takes time and practice to master, but once you know the ins and outs of the game it is hard to put down, according to the members of the Mahjong Society.

Players first begin the game of Mahjong by sitting in a circle and forming a hand with their tiles. The players look  at their hands and at the tiles the other members have laid down and decide what is the most tactical move.

“My favorite part of this organization is being able to see a lot of different people come in and start playing Mahjong who have never heard of the game or you think would never have an interest in the game and then end up loving Mahjong,” said Andrew Ivey, a member of the Mahjong Society.

Linnea Doumas, a member of the Mahjong Society has only known about  Mahjong for about a month. “I heard about the game in my Japanese class, and decided to come to a meeting and see what it was like. I really enjoy it now,” Doumas said.

The Mahjong Society has only been around for about three weeks. The club meets on Mondays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in Greuning 306.

“Eventually we plan on having a tournament in the ballroom where we will offer prizes to those who rank high. Anyone is welcome to come out and be apart of the tournament,” Ivey said.

The ancient game of Mahjong, a game of skill, calculation and tactic is celebrated through the Mahjong Society. The Mahjong Society welcomes anyone who wants to exercise their strategy skills and test their luck by joining them at the Mahjong Society in Greuning 306 on Mondays and Thursdays, where they keep the ancient game of Mahjong alive.

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2 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Alisha, the earliest known mahjong set dates to about 1870, and the earliest record of how the game plays dates to about 1890, so the game is about the same age as rummy. The legends of it being an ancient game are fabrications of the game publishers in the 1920s.

  2. Alisha Drumm says:

    Really? Well, thank you for your input! I apologize for not having valid information in this article. Mahhjong is definitely something I did not know about until last week, very interesting!

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