The Mah-Jongg "Wars" of the 1920s

The purpose of this page is to discuss the exact details of the game of mah-jongg that varied so much. All those mah-jongg "wars" that raged in the 1920s were over minor details of the Chinese Classical game alone!

Milton C. Work, in his 1924 book, wrote a chapter entitled "The Moot Questions of Mah-Jongg." (Pages 77-109.) The entire chapter outlines the sort of fine points and details that provided the ammunition for the mah-jongg "wars."

For the time being, here is a [perhaps partial] list of them:


These are all minor details of the game. One table may take different sides regarding any or several of the above, and still be playing what we call "Chinese Classical" mah-jongg. None of the above says "drop the triplet-counting and just count the doubles." The authors in the 1920s who talked about different "kinds" of mah-jongg were still all talking about CC.

Unfortunately, I do not have the time at the moment to scan the entire chapter of Work's book, nor to describe each of the above controversies in detail sufficient to satisfy all readers. Perhaps in time.

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