Mahjong Set Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Mahjong Set

Mahjong is a game that is popular throughout the world. It originated in China and can be played in multiple variations. The game includes 144 tiles, all with various Chinese characters and symbols printed or etched onto them. Determining how to buy a mahjong set involves considering the various features and levels of quality available, as well as your current level or expertise and interest.

>> Consider your level of expertise and interest

First, consider your level of expertise regarding the game of mahjong. Have you played it previously? Do you understand the rules of the game? Do you know how to set it up? These are questions to ask yourself prior to purchasing a new mahjong set. If you're a beginner or you've never played before, there are more in-depth mahjong sets you can purchase. These can walk you through game play and provide you with details. If you're more advanced at playing different types of mahjong, there are sets that focus less on the details of the game. Additionally, do you have a strong interest in the game, or are you only mildly curious about it? If you want to know how to buy a mahjong set to indulge your interest in the game, consider a designer mahjong set. Considering the interest level and expertise of the other players is also important when learning how to buy a mahjong set.

>> Consider the features

Furthermore, when deciding how to buy a mahjong set, considering the various features of each type can aid you in deciding which set to purchase. The mahjong style that you choose should reflect your own preferences.

Type Features Styles Extras Western Comes with the American set of rules for the game • Comes in a deluxe version

• Thickly plated hardware
• Leatherette attache case

Classic Comes with standard, easy-to-follow rules for game play • Comes in a deluxe version
• Comes in a travel version

• Comes in a tin
• Quick, durable carrying case (travel versions)
• Leatherette bound and locked case (deluxe versions)

Oriental Comes with instructions for the traditional Chinese game play • Comes in an antique-style carrying case for an oriental look and feel

• Etched Chinese symbols on the inside of the case
• Phoenix and dragon prints on the outside
• Etched symbols on the tiles

American Comes with American or Western instructions for game play • Executive-style appearance with black case and white stitching
• Convenient and portable carrying case with handle

• Leatherette layered case

>> Consider the quality

Quality is another important aspect to consider. When it comes to learning how to buy a mahjong set, you need to consider the various materials that are used in the production of the set. This affects durability for long-lasting game play. Depending on the type of mahjong set that you purchase, you may find different types of materials used. Many board games are made with a mix of materials, and the same goes for the type of mahjong set that you choose. Wooden games are not all made of wood but rather incorporate poly-resins and plastics, as well.
The tiles are made from a poly-resin material that will not chip or fade when used. This material is durable, sleek and lightweight. Designer mahjong sets tend to use a higher-quality etched resin.

The racks are typically made from a strong wood material. Not only does this provide durability but it also lends an attractive look to this tile game. They are easy to use and will securely hold your tiles during each turn. Plastic racks are also included in some types of mahjong sets.

The chips for the game are made with a lightweight plastic. They come in different colors that will not fade or chip. The numbers on the chips will not wash out or fade since they are baked on.

Mahjong cases come in a variety of styles and materials. A designer mahjong set is usually made with a thick velvet interior and a durable hard-shell case to protect the outside. They also tend to have Chinese characters and pictures of dragons on the outside. Other variations of mahjong carrying cases include tins, leatherette attache cases and leather cases.
>> Consider a deluxe version Another consideration when determining how to buy a mahjong set is if you would prefer the deluxe version or the standard version of the game. The deluxe mahjong style includes a solid case with two keys so that it can be locked when not in use. The instruction booklet is in-depth and provides the information needed for new players to quickly learn the game. Some of the classic games provide instructions, but they may only provide a quick overview of the basics of the game. The deluxe game also comes with National Mah Jongg League (NMJL) tiles that can be included and matched in game play. In standard versions of mahjong, the tiles are random Chinese characters. The deluxe set is more of a designer mahjong set than a quick game set. It can be a nice addition to your game collection.

>> Consider a travel set

Travel mahjong sets can be great for when you're on the go. These provide everything needed to play the game on a smaller scale, and it is all packed neatly in an easy-to-carry travel case. These are the best mahjong sets for when riding in the car, camping or staying in a hotel room. They're also convenient for taking along to a friend's house and are a recommended addition to your collection of travel games.

Although designed on a smaller scale, this mahjong design contains all 166 tiles, four racks, a carrying case, three dice, one bettor, playing chips and instructions. It is suitable for up to four players at a time. Gaming on the go is easier with a mahjong travel set.

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