The game of Mahjong is a multi-player game originating in China, but it is now played in other Asian countries as well, including Korea and Japan. The game is typically played with four players, although in some areas three players are allowed. Players score points by matching up tiles in different patterns. While the game has become increasingly popular in many countries, it was previously only played in a few cities in China. In just fifteen years, it became the nation’s most popular game.
While this game is played globally, many other regions have their own unique styles and rules. Wuhan Mahjong is a rapidly-growing variety in southern China. It features a tile that can be used for everything. The game is won by discarding the special two tiles. Another variant in southern China, Xiangyang Mahjong, emphasizes the five tile and is played by three people.
The game is played for free in some regions. Players commonly bet small amounts of money when playing the game. A typical game may have bets ranging from one cent to fifteen cents. However, in the Chinese city of Yushan, mahjong parlors were closed by the local police on 20 October for noise problems. The authorities claimed that the game purges social conduct.
During the Cultural Revolution, the game was banned. However, it was later brought back by Alan D. Millington and is one of the most popular pastimes in China and Japanese communities. It is also used in the hit film Arrival, in which the general Shang uses the game to interact with the aliens. Several governing bodies host exhibition games and competitions for the game.