The Game Begins (Article ID 135)
Abstract: The game of mah jongg officially begins when East discards their fourteenth tile.
Question from a player: What signifies the start of a game?
Answer from the NMJL: “The game begins with East discarding an unwanted tile after the Charleston.”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 page 14, para 1 (The Play) www.nationalmahjonggleague.org