Mahjong tournaments create a different game atmosphere than casual play or even rank grinding. Casual settings allow players to play the game at their leisure. Tournament play function on set schedules and limited numbers of games played. If casual settings may be compared to a classroom setting, then tournaments are the exam sessions.
Mahjong tournaments are events, where people gather in the name competition. Tournament fields are preferred at 16 player minimum. Normally, the events are held single day or multi-day. During the course of the event, the player field play a specific number of games to determine a winner. If allotted, some events may use a cutoff mark, in order to use an elimination style format to determine the overall winner. Otherwise, the player with the highest cumulative score of the event is declared the winner.