I just learned to play mahjong and realized that other than gambling in sense, it is a game of mind. Mind because you need your brain to function in doing so. How? Not that you need to be a fortune teller but you should know how to read the characters. Each block is consists of four similar kinds in which you would need either create three to four of each or 3 consecutive numbers from each set of characters. The three main kinds are the sticks, balls and the Chinese characters. The rest is composing the flowers.
You can pick from any players anytime they throw a character matching two of yours or from the one on your left should it be something that would complete your series. Winning depends on how you arranged the blocks further. It could be thorough assembling seven pairs and one combination of three similar block or series of the same characters. It could also be on having five sets of the latter and one pair of similar character.
Apart from it being a game of mind it is also something that would test your patience; patience in waiting for the last block that will complete your set to win.