Mahjong is a popular hobby among many Singaporeans including me, probably especially so during Chinese New Year.
While we can’t win every game of mahjong, it’s definitely possible to leave every game richer than we were before.
1: Richer In Wealth
Obviously, you can get financially richer if you have a net win at the end of a mahjong session.
Mahjong is most often played with some money at stake, so a net win translates into monetary winnings depending on the denominations.
2: Richer In Experience
Next, as you play more games of mahjong, you’ll gain both experience and experiences.
The former refers to a better understanding of the game.
This means knowing the various combinations of tiles you can use to win, learning how to infer which tiles are “safe” or “not safe” to feed your opponents, etc.
The more experience you have, the more likely you are to be able to win in future games of mahjong.
Meanwhile, the latter refers more to stroke-of-the-luck experiences that don’t happen often, but are bound to occur if you play enough games of mahjong.
I’m talking about movie-worthy scenarios where people get extremely lucky and pull off wins like 大四喜, 大三元, 十三幺, etc.
Whether you’re the one who pulled of such a win or simply a witness to someone else pulling it off, I think it’s safe to say that it would make for a memorable experience of playing mahjong.
In my 10+ years of playing mahjong so far, I’ve only won with 十三幺 twice and witnessed 大三元 once – I’ve still yet to see a 大四喜 win!
3: Richer In Relationships
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of mahjong, it can help to foster relationships with others.
For one, it’s a game that transcends generations.
I’ve played games of mahjong with people from 3 different generations at the same time, which is something that not many other games can achieve.
Also, since each session of mahjong can take 2 – 4 hours to finish, that’s time that you’ll spend interacting with whoever it is you’re playing with, and serves as a good opportunity to catch up with them.
Finally, mahjong is a game that appeals to people from many different walks of life.
People who otherwise have nothing or few things in common could be sitting at a table and interacting with each other for a few hours over a game of mahjong.
Personally, the time I interact the most with my grandma is when we play mahjong because she loves playing, so I’m glad that we have this avenue to spend time together.
In a similar fashion, my mom also enjoys playing mahjong, and I think my relationship with her has grown stronger since she picked up the game and we started playing together.
However, I’ll admit that it’s also possible for relationships to get strained as a result of mahjong.
When people run into a string of bad luck and/or perhaps end up losing more money than they were prepared to, things can turn ugly depending on how they take it.
So before jumping into a game of mahjong, it’s best to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the stakes and denominations.