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Hong Kong Mahjong is the most popular mahjong variation that uses the same basic rules as most of other mahjong versions. Hong Kong mahjong has no exotic or complex rules and has a relatively small set of scoring sets (12) to be memorized. Despite its simplicity, Hong Kong mahjong offers a wealth of opportunities in combination with a relatively simple scoring system.

Simple Scoring
Pung/Kong of Dragons 1
Pung/Kong of Seat/Prevailing Wind 1
Seat Flower/Season 1
All Flowers/Seasons 2
No Flowers/Seasons 1
All Chow Hand 1
All Pung Hand 3
One Suit + Honours 3
One Suit 6
Win on Self-Draw 1
Out on Last Tile of Wall 1
Out on Last Discard 1
Out by Robbing a Kong 1
Out on Supplement Tile 1
7 Pairs 4

Hands with Maximum Points
Hidden Treasure
Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Character #1 Mahjong Character #1 Mahjong Character #1 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Bamboo #9 Mahjong Bamboo #9
3 Great Scholars
Mahjong Green Dragon Mahjong Green Dragon Mahjong Green Dragon Mahjong Red Dragon Mahjong Red Dragon Mahjong Red Dragon Mahjong Blank Dragon Mahjong Blank Dragon Mahjong Blank Dragon Mahjong Circle #4 Mahjong Circle #4 Mahjong Circle #7 Mahjong Circle #7 Mahjong Circle #7
Little 4 Winds
Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Character #1 Mahjong Character #1 Mahjong Character #1
Big 4 Winds
Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Characters#6 Mahjong Characters#6 Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Winds North
All Honours
Mahjong Dragon Blank Mahjong Dragon Blank Mahjong Dragon Blank Mahjong Dragon Red Mahjong Dragon Red Mahjong Dragon Red Mahjong Dragon Green Mahjong Dragon Green Mahjong Dragon Green Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Winds North
All Terminals
Mahjong Characters #9 Mahjong Characters #9 Mahjong Characters #9 Mahjong Characters #1 Mahjong Characters #1 Mahjong Characters #1 Mahjong Bamboo #1 Mahjong Bamboo #1 Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Bamboo #9 Mahjong Bamboo #9 Mahjong Bamboo #9
9 Gates
Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Cicrle #1 Mahjong Cicrle #2 Mahjong Cicrle #3 Mahjong Cicrle #4 Mahjong Cicrle #5 Mahjong Cicrle #6 Mahjong Cicrle #7 Mahjong Cicrle #8 Mahjong Cicrle #9 Mahjong Cicrle #9 Mahjong Cicrle #9 Mahjong Closed Tile
13 Orphans
Mahjong Red Dragon Mahjong Blank Dragon Mahjong Green Dragon Mahjong Characters #1 Mahjong Characters #9 Mahjong Bamboo #1 Mahjong Bamboo #9 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Circle #9 Mahjong Winds East Mahjong Winds South Mahjong Winds West Mahjong Winds North Mahjong Closed Tile
All Kongs
Mahjong Characters #3 Mahjong Characters #3 Mahjong Characters #3 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Circle #1 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Bamboo #7 Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #3 Mahjong Bamboo #9 Mahjong Bamboo #9
Heaven's Blessing East declares "Out" with the hand dealt - after supplemental tiles, if any
Earth's Blessing Non-dealer goes out on dealer's first discard - supplemental tiles are allowed

Payout and Penalties
  • Only the winner is paid
  • Self-Draw: Everyone pays double
  • Win on Discard: Discarder pays double, other two pay value of hand.
  • False Declaration of Mah Jong: Declarer pays everyone minimum value (includes going out with less than minimum points)

    Hong Kong Mahjong and Minimums
    Hong Kong mahjong (HKOS) was the style of Mah Jong that is most widely used in China.
    Hong Kong style is a great mahjong style for competing for $Prizes as there are greater gains and losses to be made. When played with stringent minimums, penalties and maximums, Hong Kong mahjong can become a tense game for a few wrong reasons.

    With minimums and penalties, mahjong may become more prone to chance when players who worked on building strong hands suddenly have a single player go out on a "chicken-hand" - a player who fulfills the requirements of Mah Jong but not much else.
    Many play HKOS style with a 3 point minimum or a 3+2 point minimum. This, however, could make mahjong game more of a chore than something to be enjoyed.

    Mahjong is sometimes criticized as being a simple game, that is made complex with "artificial, convoluted scoring mechanisms and in-game rituals". Some of the rituals could, indeed, be off-putting for potential new players. For seasoned mahjong players, however, it is the rituals that make mahong worth playing. Mah Jong is bigger than a game - it is largely an experience.

    Comparing Hong Kong Mahjong (HKOS) with Chinese Classical Mahjong (MCO)
    In most Chinatowns of big cities, you can buy mahjong sets that come with little booklets of Chinese Classical mahjong scoring rules translated into very poetic English.

    It can become a daunting task, however, for a mahjong novice not quite familiar with terminology to learn scoring rules from these little booklets. With the Chinese Classical scoring, there are many situations that will keep doubling the hand value to up to 8-times its scoring value.
    With doubling, your hand value may grow to 1000 points or more (most hands have maximumums of 120, 250, 500, etc.) Compared to Chinese Classical scoring, Hong Kong system is easier because the points start with small numbers and go up to their maximum values.

    Comparing Hong Kong (HKOS) scoring with Zung Jung scoring
    The Zung Jung scoring system increases the available number of hand patterns from 12 to 44. So with Zung Jung system, there are more patterns to remember. Some players argue, however, that Zung Jung system offers more opportunities compared with the Hong Kong system.
    In Zung Jung mahjong, there is no emphasis on self-draw hands and there is a strong discouragement for going out with the "chicken hands". As there are a greater number of patterns to match against (especially in the "Terminal", "Identical" and "Similar" categories), with only a minimal increase in effort spent building the hand, there are more chances to score a hand higher than a "chicken-hand".
    The HKOS scoring system, however, is an easier system to learn compared to Chinese Classical mahjong or Zung Jung mahjong. Mah Jong is primarily a game of patterns and all these special hands are only extra patterns to learn. In HKOS system there are only 12 main patterns that need to be memorized. Knowledge of the special hands' patterns make mahjong a more strategic game.
    Despite a smaller number of special hands' patterns, Hong Kong scoring system offers a wealth of opportunities in combination with a relatively simple scoring system. In addition, any penalties, minimums, maximums can be optional.