How to Set Up a Mahjong Game

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Beginning to Build a Mahjong Tile Wall

Mahjong: Start the Wall Building
Players begin to build walls of tiles by placing six tiles in a row. Lauren Mack / About.com

To begin, you will need a mahjong set containing 136 or 144 tiles. Learn the basic rules of play and what the mahjong sets mean before starting a game. 

Before playing a mahjong game, the game must be set up by building walls with the mahjong tiles. All tiles should remain face down. First, each player lines up six tiles vertically side by side.

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Step 2 for Building a Mahjong Tile Wall

Mahjong: Wall Building Step 2
Six more tiles are placed on top of the first six tiles to create a bi-level tile wall. Lauren Mack / About.com

Next, make a second level for the wall by placing six tiles on top of the six tiles. The wall should now have six tiles on the bottom and six tiles on top.

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Step 3 for Building a Mahjong Tile Wall

Mahjong: Wall Building Step 3
The third step of wall building includes adding three tiles to each side of the wall. Lauren Mack / About.com

Next, three tiles are placed to the right and left the base level tiles.Now, there should be 12 tiles on the bottom row and six on top.

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Step 4 for Building a Mahjong Tile Wall

Mahjong: Wall Building Step 4
The fourth step of building the wall is adding a second layer of tiles. Lauren Mack / About.com

Make the second level even with the first level by placing three tiles on both the right and left sides. Now, there should be 12 tiles on the bottom and 12 tiles on the top.

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Final Step for Building a Mahjong Tile Wall

Mahjong: Wall Building Step 5
The last step of wall building includes adding the remaining five tiles on the first and second levels of the tile wall. A total of four walls are built before game play starts. Lauren Mack / About.com

To finish the wall, place three tiles on the right side of the wall and two tiles on the left. Then, complete the second level by adding three tiles on the right and two on the left. Now there should be 17 tiles on the top and 17 tiles on the bottom with all the tiles in one row. Since there are four players in mahjong, each player should simultaneously build his own wall. There should be a total of four walls. If the mahjong game set includes tile racks, these can be used to straighten the walls.