Mah Jong or Mah Jongg is the traditional Chinese tile game now played the world over. Similar to rummy, the game of mah jong is easier to play than at first appears and is highly aesthetic to boot. You'll soon be addicted.
All our Mah Jong sets are high quality and our excellent range ensures there is a set to suit every player. All these sets would serve as a fantastic present to any Mah Jong enthusiast.
Quality Mah Jong racks. Sets of 4 wooden stands for Mah Jongg and other tiles games from leading games manufacturers.
Mah Jong set - acrylic tiles in leatherette case
A good value Mah Jong set including acrylic tiles presented in a strong attache case covered in leatherette material with stitching at the edges.
Tiles are 28mm x 15mm x 14mm, with etched on English indexes to assist with identification. This set also...
Philos Mah Jong in wooden box
A lovely Mah Jong set in an elegant presentation box with clip fastening. Cream and light green sandwich tiles with indices, 3 dice, 1 wind dice and four spare blank tiles.
Does not include counting sticks but does come with flower and season tiles. Ti...
Mah Jong set in walnut presentation case
An exceptionally fine Mah Jong set presented in a beautiful veneered walnut case. Supplied with walnut racks for the tiles and counting sticks, this is truly an outstanding Mah Jong set.
The acrylic tiles feature very clear, colourful printing and hav...
Philos Mah Jong in fabric case with bamboo tiles
A lovely Mah Jong set presented in a beautiful traditional fabric case. The aesthetic pattern adds to the authenticity of the set and makes this a piece to treasure.
Included are a beautiful full set of 144 bamboo tiles, 4 counting sticks, 4 wind tiles...
Philos Wooden Mah Jong set with wooden tiles
This is a really nice wooden Mah Jong set presented in a nice, simple Samena wood box with a removable lid.
A full set of wooden tiles are included with nicely printed symbols. These tiles do not feature western indexes.
This is a unique Mah Jong se...
Mah jong set with bone and bamboo tiles
A lovely Mah Jong set featuring a set of 152 bamboo and bone tiles. Presented in a nicely finished solid timber oak case, the set also includes counting sticks, dice and a set of rules.
The bamboo and bone tiles are hand painted and brightly coloured a...
Mah Jong Set In Decorated Box
A lovely Mah Jong set in a beautifully decorated case.
The set is a good size for travelling and includes all the necessary components.
The case is wooden and durable and features a soft padded lid, beautifully decorated with Chinese artwork giving ...
Mah Jong set with Chinese characters in Oak case
A nice Mah Jong set presented in a solid oak case featuring acrylic tiles with brightly etched oriental symbols.
The case features separate compartments for the pieces and includes counting sticks, dice and a set of rules.
A good basic set of tiles ...
Mah Jong in fabric case with bamboo and bone tiles
A lovely Mah Jong set presented in a traditional Chinese decorative silk case. The aesthetic pattern adds to the authenticity of the set and makes this a piece to treasure.
Bamboo and Bone are considered to be the best and most authentic tiles for Mah ...
Mah Jong Beginnings
Both the Chinese, and later, the rest of the world decided to embellish the truth about the history of Mah Jong and the result has been a number of spurious assertions for the game's history. As usual with Chinese games, one theory has it that Confucious invented it and mystical histories of hundreds and even thousands of years have been claimed often by western tradesmen keen to impress their potential customers. All this is very unlikely because the truth is that no evidence of the game exists before around 1880.
There is good evidence from Chinese researchers that Mah Jong originated in the provinces of Kiangsu, Anhwei and Chekiang near Shanghai because no records of Mah Jong are found in any other part of China before 1900.
In 1905, Mah Jong was not really known outside its original area but over the next 15 years mahjong spread incredibly quickly across most of China and in doing so supplanted Chess as the most popular Chinese game. The Chinese gradually removed the inelegant elements of game play and incorporated a bevy of rituals surrounding the method of play.
Often aficionados of the game regard the variety of Mah Jong of 1920 as the "perfect" Mah Jong and look upon all future modifications and evolutions with great disdain.
Post 1920 Mah Jong History
When the West "discovered" the game around 1920 the Mah Jong craze enlarged by another factor again to encompass much of the world. Many regions in the Far East play a game akin to the classical Chinese form but in particular, the British, the Americans and the Japanese all grabbed Mah Jong and ran with it in their own direction.
Mah Jong first hit Japan in 1907 and, like North America and the British Empire, became a fad in the 1920s. A similar but less dramatic experience to that of America occurred in that the initial game was simplified and then complicated again with new rules. However, the Japanese managed to do this without completely altering the underlying nature of the game and thus the game has remained steadily popular. Japanese Mah Jong rules take two general forms - those adopted officially by the Japanese Mah Jong Association and "riichi", all the unofficial but sometimes more popular versions played by casual players. Unlike other variants, each Japanese round is an all-out race to be the first to go Mah Jong.
Mah Jong was taken to America by Joseph P. Babcock who simplified the rules, much of the interesting intricacies of play being removed. Americans were not satisfied for long with this version and began to embellish it, by the addition of an array of weird and wonderful "special hands" that allowed one to go Mah Jong and other new rules supposed to increase the enjoyment. The result was confusion and after a short time, people lost interest in these games and consequently, the Mah Jong bubble burst. In 1935, the game began to gain again in popularity in America based on newly published rules from the The National Mah Jong League Inc. who still claim to produce the "official" American rules. Unfortunately, rather than go back to the essence of the original form, the same error was repeated and an effort to simply fix the flawed existing American games was made. This complicated and pushed American Mah Jong even further from the original form.
In Britain, an explosion of interest occurred about the same time as in America and this was mirrored in many other parts of the British Empire, especially in India. Both the American and the Chinese forms were played but it was understood that the Chinese version was the "real" game. The most popular variations were based on semi-official rules in circulation - The Queens Club Rules and the rules laid down in a booklet by C.M.W Higginson. Both of these were based on Chinese variants which probably accounts for the fact that the game remained popular in Britain well into the 1930s. Nowadays, although the usual proliferation of rules exists, the British Mah Jong Federation publish a set of rules that closer to the Chinese game than the Japanese or American varieties.