Scoring in Mahjong

Points are acquired when a winning hand matches with a winning circumstance with a particular group of criteria, with various criteria accumulating different amounts. Some of these criteria may be an element of another, in such cases, only the criterion with the stricter requirements is accumulated. The accumulated points may be converted into points for individual players using some function. When playing mahjong, these scores are immediately converted into sums of money. Some criteria are likewise convertible to both points and score.

The terms of point varies from one variation to another. Because points and score refers to two individual concepts, the term unit will be used to identify the point in the score of a player. At the onset of every game, individual players are assigned a set score, commonly in the manner of scoring chips. In most cases, only the winner gets a score, with the winner getting paid by the three losers. In most cases, the following payment scheme exists:

In the case of a win by discard (that is when an opponent is picked off by a player), the discarding player pays off double.

In a situation when victory is through a draw (that is a player wins via self-pick), each player that loses gives double payment.

In a high risk scenario, the discarding player pays in the two losing players behalf (aside from the regular double payment).

In general, there is no telling what will happen when a player is left without any score unit. In some games, the game is quickly canceled, with the leading scorer being declared as the winner, while in some, a player with no remaining scoring chips keeps on playing avoiding dangers of losing some more.

A gambling setting is sometimes used in playing mahjong. Chips are only used for score keeping. Because of the nature of Mahjong as a zero-sum game, if a player runs out of chips, his chips are disseminated between the other winners. Money is paid by the loser in order to regain his chips from the other winners and the game resumes.

Prior to the start of the game, a consensus must be reached by all the players upon the cost of one set of chips. Some gamblers eliminate the chips and resort to cash payment at the end of every round which depends on local laws concerning legitimacy of gambling.

As mentioned, the criteria will vary depending on the type of variation being played.

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