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The Red Dragon & The West Wind: The Winning Guide to Official Chinese & American Mah-Jongg Paperback – June 12, 2007


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The Red Dragon & The West Wind: The Winning Guide to Official Chinese & American Mah-Jongg + Beginner's Guide to American Mah Jongg: How to Play the Game & Win + Winning American Mah Jongg Strategies: A Guide for the Novice Player
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; First Edition edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061233943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061233944
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Game designer and producer Tom Sloper has lectured at the Smithsonian and written extensively on the traditional game of mah-jongg. The author of the mahjong newsgroup Frequently Asked Questions, he lives in Los Angeles.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Purviance on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after purchasing a Mah Jongg set with a very slim rule manual. Mah Jongg is a very complex game, but after thoroughly reading through Tom Sloper's book I feel ready and excited to begin playing. This book is well laid out, with in-depth instructions as well as a section with brief descriptions to be used to quickly look up a rule while playing. It's obvious that he is an expert in Mah Jongg, fortunately for us novices he also possesses the rare talent to be able to break instructions down in a way that a novice can understand and retain.
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful By K. Helms on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, while claiming to be written for beginners, is inundated with what comes across as the authors arrogance and preference for advanced players as well as the importance of strictly adhered to rules over the relationships of friends seated at the table. While this may be appropriate for a Mah-Jongg player who wishes to increase his/her skill and advance into tournament play, it is not written for family and friends who play on the weekends as a social event. The writing is technical and dry and filled with an abundance of nit-picky information best left to someone who already has a basic understanding of the game. For example I can't imagine inviting family or friends over to my house to play only to force them to follow these stipulations:

"Declaring a pung more than 3 seconds after a tile was discarded is penalized first by a warning; a second occurrence penalized by loss of 5 points." p.143

"If you find yourself struggling with a jumble of disassociated tiles...others will start to cough, Roll their eyes, and drum their fingernails impatiently. If this happens pass any three tiles. Just try not to let any more fingernails drum, eyes roll, any more throats to tighten into subtle coughs...The beginner who tries to win may win a few times, but they won't be invited back to play again" p.110.

"Do not carry on a conversation while playing. Don't fidget. Don't be the slowest playing at the table. Pay attention and act when you are supposed to act" p.202

I give this book two stars because it is appropriate as a rule book in the event that a question arises during play, but that is all. Learning to play with this book would only lead the beginner to feel frustrated and ultimately unwelcome at the table of those who already know how to play.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Linda H. LaCroix on December 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains good information. It is not an easy read and think it could be hard for someone new to Mah Jongg to follow. I recently read "The Beginners Guide to American Maj Jongg" and found it much easier to follow. The illustrations in the guide were easier to follow and I liked the author's suggestions for review of each chapter with questions and suggested practice much more useful. I would have liked both books to spend a little more time on strategies for winning. I think both books provide essentially the same information on American Maj Jongg, but if I were to just buy one I would buy "The Beginners Guide to American Maj Jongg". You can see my review under the other book, too. To be fair I was not interested in the Chinese version of Maj Jong and did not read that portion of "Red Dragon", which might be a reason someone else would prefer it.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By B. Cox on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Sloper is my inspiration for learning Mahjong. Three retired friends and I attempted to learn the game on our own. Without Tom's online assistance and encouragement, we would have tossed aside a great source of entertainment and mental stimulation. I recommend "The Red Dragon & The West Wind" to anyone with an interest in Mahjong and strongly recommend it to anyone just learning. Tom is able to introduce the game and explain the intricacies of both the American and Chinese Official versions in a manner understandable to both beginners and advanced users. Not yet sold? You'll miss out on Tom's delicious sense of humor. Buy this one!!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joni Levene on June 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Tom Sloper, who has long been regarded as THE expert on Mah Jongg, has really outdone himself on this excellent and incredibly complete book. He covers not only the Chinese versions but the NMJL version which has long been ignored by most Mah Jongg books. I especially loved the wealth of knowledge that Tom shares in the History & Appendix sections and the excellent strategy tips. Treat yourself and visit his top notch Mahj web site too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mahjongguy on July 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Until now there has never been a book in any language that provided such a thoughtful and accurate description of how to play and how to win these two popular and important variations of mahjong.

Tom Sloper is the undeniable world authority on all things mahjong. He plays in championship tournaments all over the globe, was producer of a computer mahjong game, moderates a mahjong newsgroup, and maintains the Internet's most authoritative mahjong website.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C Christensen on January 23, 2010
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Tom Sloper is one of only two American Mah Jongg writers I've found that give a really thorough background in the game. Elaine Sandberg's Beginner's Guide gives a wonderful introduction with exercises and quizzes to help you learn. Sloper gives a thorough background in the history of the game, a thorough (and very readable) list of rules, and a beginning on strategic play. I also enjoy his online Mah Jongg column. I hope, given the recent revival of widespread interest in this game, that he will decide to write a book on American Mah Jongg strategy for more experienced players.
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