Mahjong - Back to Homepage
Mahjong Home Search Contact Us 

Describes the pieces of equipment required to play Mahjong


Mahjong can be played either with a set of Mahjong tiles, or a set of Mahjong playing cards (sometimes spelled ‘kards’ to distinguish them from the list of standard hands used in American mahjong). Playing cards are often used when travelling as it reduces space and is lighter than their tile counterparts.

Many Mahjong sets will also include a set of chips or bone tiles for scoring, as well as indicators denoting the dealer and the prevailing wind of the round.

Mahjong Game Pieces

Some sets may also include racks to hold tiles or chips (although in many sets the tiles are generally sufficiently thick so that they can stand on their own). One of the racks will be different from the rest, to denote the dealer’s rack.

The set of Mahjong tiles used differs from place to place. There are usually at least 136 tiles, most commonly 144. Sets originating from America or Japan have more. Within the set there are a number of different types of tiles.

Types of Mahjong Tiles

  • Circle suit: named as each tile consists of a number of circles. Each circle is said to represent copper (tong) coins with a square hole in the middle.
  • Bamboo suit: named as each tile (except the 1 Bamboo) consists of a number of bamboo sticks. Each stick is said to represent a string (suo) that holds a hundred coins.
  • Character suit: named as each tile represents ten thousand (wan) coins, or one hundred strings of one hundred coins.
  • Wind tiles: East, South, West, and North.
  • Dragon tiles: red, green, and white. The term dragon tile is a western convention introduced by Joseph Park Babcock in his 1920 book introducing Mahjong to America. Originally, these tiles are said to have something to do with the Chinese Imperial Examination. The red tile means you pass the examination and thus will be appointed a government official. The green tile means, consequently you will become financially well off. The white tile (a clean board) means since you are now doing well you should act like a good, incorrupt official.
  • Flower tiles: typically optional components to a set of mahjong tiles, often contain artwork on their tiles. 


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Mahjong".
[tags] mahjong, mahjongg, mah jong, mah jongg, mahjong tiles, mahjong tile sets, mahjong board, mahjong rack [/tags]

If you found this page useful, consider linking to it.
Simply copy and paste the code below into your web site (Ctrl+C to copy)
It will look like this: Mahjong Game Equipment

Top Mahjong Picks for Monday, October 14, 2019


Comments & Feedback on "Mahjong Game Equipment"

This post currently has No Comments

You are welcome to add new comments. .

Subscribe to the RSS 2.0 feed for comments on this post.

Comment submission 18+ only
View Our Privacy Policy

18+ The information on this site is not intended for those under 18 years of age.

Sitemap|Contact Us|Privacy Policy|Disclaimer|Advertising|Webmasters

Featured Links...


Gamcare Gamblers Anonymous

18+ only
The Mahjong