Wednesday 08 July 2015

Playing Mahjong to Honor the Dead

Mourners play mahjong near a coffin during a funeral wake.MANILA Philippines 01 July 2015 - In the Philippines, gambling isn’t just a past time, but a way to honor the dead. Betting games, mah jong, and card tables are often set up at Filipino wakes, or paglalamay, where the tradition is to keep a 24-hour vigil over the deceased until the burial.

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In my opinion, playing with someone two hours doesn’t give you so much information about his/her game style. You never know what were the starting tiles, how he/she developed the hand, and so on, and you really see the entire hand only if he/she makes mahjong (and it could happen just a couple of times in two hours). The only way would be watching a player from behind, following his/her way to combine the tiles through the round. I think that much more information would be understandable just listening the comments and the tales between the rounds: by talking, and telling their hands (especially the ones they nearly finished, of course) players tell a lot on their way to play, what they think important and what not. But, I know, listening the others’ tales of game is really boring: nobody does it, everybody just talk...

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