Zung Jung Mahjong Scoring System (v3.3)

e³pk (v3.3)

(English version)

Alan Kwan


"Zung Jung" means "the Middle Way" as in Confucian doctrine. "Zung Jung" ("Zung1 Jung4") is (Cantonese) "Jyut Ping"; the "j" has a "y" sound.

Zung Jung is designed to be a pattern-based mahjong scoring system. As the name suggests, the system tries to include enough patterns for interesting, strategic play, while maintaining its simplicity and ease of learning.

Basic Rules

  1. Only the winning hand is scored. The winning player collects points corresponding to the value of his hand, from the other three players according to the "payoff scheme".
  2. The 44 "patterns" in Zung Jung are listed in the "List of Patterns" document. Each pattern specifies a certain condition; for fulfilling the specified condition, the winning hand scores the specified point value. There are no "basic points" in Zung Jung; a hand scores only for the patterns it contains.
  3. The patterns are organized into categories and series. In the numbering, the first number indicates the category, and the second number indicates the series (within that category). For example, "3.3" indicates the "Honor Tiles" category and the "Winds" series.
  4. Additive Rule: When the winning hand fulfills the conditions for multiple patterns, the value of the hand is generally the sum of the values of the relevant patterns. (The multiplicative "Faan" system is not used.) You can count all patterns contained in the hand (even if one of them "implies" another), provided that they belong to different series. You cannot count multiple patterns from the same series, nor can you count the same pattern more than once. ("3.1 Value Honor" is an exception: you can add 10 points for each set of value honors in your hand.) As an example, a hand with "Four Concealed Triplets" is always also a "Concealed Hand" and an "All Triplets" hand, so such hand always scores at least 125+5+30=160 points.
  5. Minimum Requirement: In standard Zung Jung, there is no minimum point requirement for winning; any hand which qualifies as a "winning hand" (a "regular hand", or one of the "irregular hands" listed in category 10) may win. A hand which does not contain any patterns (called a "chicken hand") scores a token 1 point. There is an official variant in which there is a 5-point minimum requirement for winning; a chicken hand may not win, and will be considered a "false win". (This variant may possibly be adopted by the World Series of Mahjong event; please refer to the official website of WSoM for details.)
  6. Maximum Limit: There is a "limit" of 320 points. If the hand contains multiple patterns of which values add up to 320 or more, the hand scores 320 points (called a "Compound Limit Hand"). But if the hand contains a pattern which has a listed value of 320 or more (called a "Listed Limit Hand"), it scores the single highest-valued pattern in the hand. (It scores for one single pattern only.)

Payoff Scheme

  1. Fixed Payoff Principle: The total income of the winning player is determined solely by the total value of the patterns in his hand. It will not fluctuate just because the player luckily self-draws. The payoff scheme here specifies how this payment should be split among the three other players.
  2. The Zung Jung Formal Competition Scheme is adopted. The winning player's total income is always 3 times the pattern value of his hand.
  3. Everybody pays for self-draw: When the winner self-draws, no one is "responsible". When no one is responsible, the payment is split equally among the three other players: each player pays the winner 1 time the total pattern value of his hand.
  4. Discarder pays for big hands: When the winner wins on discard, in general the discarder is "responsible" (exception explained below). 25 points is taken to be the standard score value; for small hands of 25 points or less, the three players split the payment equally (regardless of who is responsible), and each player pays the winner 1 time the total hand value. For a big hand of over 25 points, each player first pays the winner 25 points, and then the responsible player pays the rest of the balance (so that the winner receives in total 3 times his hand value). For example, if the winning hand is 70 points, the two non-responsible players each pay 25 points, and the responsible player pays the remaining 160 points. The winner gets in total 210 points, which is exactly 3 times 70 points.
  5. Rule of Same-Round Immunity: When the winner wins on discard, if in the same round (starting from and including the winner's previous discarded tile, until before the win) another player has just discarded the same tile as the winning tile, then the discarder will not be "responsible" for having followed with the same discard. If it is the winner who has just discarded the winning tile, then no one will be considered responsible (the three players split the payment equally). Otherwise, the player who first discarded the winning tile in the same round (after the winner's previous discard) will be considered responsible.

move on to the List of Patterns

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Creative Commons License
Zung Jung Mahjong Scoring System (v3.3) by Alan Kwan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Hong Kong License.

© 1997, 2011 Alan KWAN Shiu Ho