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The Best Mahjong Sets

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🕚 Updated August 2022

Mahjong (or mah-jongg) is a traditional Chinese four-player game where the object is to collect winning sets of tiles. You'll need strategy and some luck. Here are some mahjong sets that can help you fall in love with the game.

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  Top Choice Best Value Best Traditional Set Best Premium Set Best Variety
 
  Metro
Mahjong American Set
CHH
American Mahjong Soft Bag Case
Yellow Mountain Imports
Chinese Mahjong Set
Yellow Mountain Imports
American Mahjong Set
Spin Master Games
Legacy Deluxe Mahjong Set
 
Our SummaryThis lovely tote and set of tiles add some style to the game.A colorful, all-inclusive set with a soft carrying case.This traditional set features original Chinese characters and iconography to give you the most authentic gameplay.A stunning wood-crafted case with vintage tiles and illustrated primer.This quality mahjong set and wooden case offers fun for the whole family.
ProsWater-repellent cotton canvas tote, white melamine and hand-painted tiles, plastic pushers and tile racks.Family-friendly, American mahjong, transparent colored racks with attached pushers, soft bag carrying case. Chinese mahjong game, green and white tiles, traditional Chinese characters and iconography, compact, red vinyl case with compartments for organization. Wooden-crafted case, metal handle and clasps, four wooden racks, vintage ivory tiles, Chinese characters, Roman letters, and Arabic numerals.Professional-looking wooden case, green and white tiles, Chinese characters and Roman numerals, nice weight and smooth surface, detailed instructions.
ConsThe plastic pushers and tile racks may seem flimsy.The dice are smaller than most, making it difficult to decipher the dots. Chinese numbered tiles may disappoint players who don't know how to read them.The metal hardware may be fragile.Doesn’t come with tile racks, tiles are smaller than standard mahjong tiles.
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The Best Mahjong Sets

The view from above of four people's hands shuffling green tiles on a mahjong table.
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Buying Guide for the Best Mahjong Sets

A set of mahjong tiles in a black wooden box.
DRG Photography/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a mahjong set?

Let’s say you’re a regular player, maybe with a couple of groups. You always go over to the host’s house because they have this magnificent set. Maybe you want to take a turn and host the game. That’s sufficient reason to buy a set for yourself. Some mahjong gatherings have several games going simultaneously. If you have a set, you can bring yours in case someone forgot theirs. Also, there’s something mystical about having your own mahjong set, like when a football team plays on their turf. Who knows, maybe it will enhance your luck?

What should you look for in a mahjong set?

  • Version: To purchase the right mahjong set for you, you should find out which version of mahjong you are accustomed to—traditional Chinese mahjong or American mahjong. Each set typically adheres to either Chinese or American mahjong rules and gameplay, not both, so you should know what version you play before buying a set.
  • Presentation: Mahjong sets come in canvas carrying totes, briefcase-like totes, wooden cases, and more. The tiles and accessories are enormously important to many enthusiasts. It will help you do some research to figure out which version you and your potential competitors want to play. Size, material, weight, characters, numbers—all of these characters make a big difference to some players and less to others. Check out which accessories you’ll need, like dice, racks, and money chips.
  • Quality: What quality means in a mahjong set varies according to the individual. If you want a game to play with your family, you may want a decent but inexpensive set. The same may be true for beginners as well. Why invest money in a mahjong set if you don’t know that you’ll enjoy playing the game? Maybe you grew up playing mahjong and remain active, joining friends once or twice weekly. If so, you may want to purchase a high-quality and attractive mahjong set that will last for years. Look for tiles made of premium materials like bamboo and bone with hand-painted characters.

How much should you expect to spend on a mahjong set?

It depends on the level of quality you’re looking for in the tiles, accessories, and carrying case. We found a set with a fascinating tiered wooden construction called a folding flannel mahjong table. All of the pieces and the table are made of sandalwood. The price is over $1,000. Of course, you don’t need to spend that much to get a high-quality set. For around $300, you can buy a hardwood case with pullout drawers and tiles made of cattle bone and delicate bamboo slabs. Still, there are still quality sets for less. The most expensive set we review here runs $160, and the least expensive is $70.

Our Picks for the Best Mahjong Sets

Top Choice

Metro Mahjong American Set

This lovely tote and set of tiles add some style to the game.

Pros: This American mahjong set is all about canvas, a rugged and soft material that is excellent for longevity. The tote has a 100% cotton exterior and water-repellent polyester interior, so your set will remain untouched as you travel to your mahjong friends’ houses. Also made of soft, quilted cotton are the two quilted wrappers for the all-in-one tile and rack combos. And now for the most important feature: the 166 white melamine tiles. Each tile is engraved and hand-painted, giving your players a pleasurable tactile and visual experience. Also included are three large dice, 100 money chips, a bettor, and a mahjong primer.

Cons: The plastic, all-in-one pusher tile racks and trays may seem flimsy.

Bottom Line: Mahjong is an old game from the 19th century. This stylish American set by Metro offers a perfect revival. Bring it to a mahjong party, and soon your friends will want one too.

 

Best Value

CHH American Mahjong Soft Bag Case

A colorful, all-inclusive set with a soft carrying case.

Pros: Looking for a new addition to your board game collection? This American mahjong set is great fun for the entire family! The set comes with everything needed to master the game of mahjong: 166 cream white tiles that are engraved and then painted, four transparent colored racks with attached matching pushers, and a soft carrying case for transporting the set to wherever works best for you. This mahjong set can make regular appearances at your weekly game nights.

Cons: Several users report that the dice are smaller than most, making it difficult to decipher the dots.

Bottom Line: This set is worth considering if you’re new to the game or want to avoid the high costs of premium sets. If you fall in love with mahjong or drop it after a couple of games, this set is unlikely to disappoint.

 

Best Traditional Set

Yellow Mountain Imports Chinese Mahjong Set

This traditional mahjong set features original Chinese characters and iconography to give you the most authentic gameplay.

Pros: Are you a mahjong enthusiast looking to invest in a traditional game set? This Chinese mahjong set plays entirely by Chinese gameplay. You’ll find no Joker tiles or Arabic numerals as you would in an American mahjong set. Instead, you will find green and white tiles featuring the original characters and iconography used in traditional Chinese mahjong tile art. It has 146 scratch-resistant tiles, three dice, and a wind indicator. The set comes in a compact, red vinyl case, making it easy to take the game with you wherever you go. The case features different compartments to keep your mahjong accessories organized. This set is the perfect way to learn more about traditional Chinese mahjong.

Cons: There are often two perspectives a person can take. Some users are displeased that this Chinese mahjong set has Chinese numbered tiles only. Others say the set challenges you to learn them.

Bottom Line: You’re unlikely to be disappointed with this mahjong set if you’re looking for a Chinese version! Hop on to the following review or take a chance and learn a few Chinese numbers.

 

Best Premium Set

Yellow Mountain Imports American Mahjong Set

A stunning wood-crafted case with vintage tiles and illustrated primer.

Pros: The Cadillac of American mahjong sets showcases a wooden-crafted case with a metal handle and clasps four wooden racks. A rosewood veneer highlights the woodgrain. If you’ve played long enough, you’ll remember the popular bakelite ivory tiles from the 1930s. These 166 melamine tiles have a convincingly vintage look. Remarkably, each tile is engraved with Chinese characters, Roman letters, and Arabic numerals, making this set playable by most. The case includes scoring coins, dice, a wind indicator, and an illustrated primer.

Cons: You may find the hardware less sturdy than preferred.

Bottom Line: This wooden American mahjong set will surely impress your friends. Of course, you may be more interested in the quality of the collection, the tiles, and other accessories. It scores well on all levels and makes a great beginner or intermediate game set.

 

Best Variety

Spin Master Games Legacy Deluxe Mahjong Set

This quality mahjong set and wooden case offers fun for the whole family.

Pros: Inside this professional-looking lined and hinged wooden case, you’ll find a colorful game ready for family game night. The green and white 0.9 x 1 x 0.5-inch tiles feature Chinese characters and Roman numerals. Players new to the game will notice the pleasant feel of the balanced weight and smooth surface of the tiles in their hands. Also included are three dice, 80 scoring chips, and one wind indicator. Detailed instructions and a Quick Play Guide are helpful resources for even seasoned players. It never hurts to brush up on the rules and tactics.

Cons: This set doesn’t come with tile racks. Also, the tiles are smaller than standard mahjong tiles, a deviation that some users find frustrating.

Bottom Line: With its sturdy wooden case and quality-made pieces, this mahjong set will last for years for family or competitive playing. Spin Master Games also makes games like Mancala, Chess, Checkers, and Dominoes.

Final Thoughts

One thing you can count on is that as you play mahjong, you’ll improve your strategic thinking and social skills. Mahjong is good for the brain and the soul. Enjoy!

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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