Burger #75 – Mahjong Tiles
July 30, 2010 1 Comment
Play a little game with “burgers”?
Here is a burger designed out of tiles from the Chinese game Mahjong. What’s Mahjong you ask?
“Mahjong (Chinese: 麻將; pinyin: má jiàng) is a game for four players that originated in China. Variations for three players are found in Korea, Japan and Malaysia. It is known as three player mahjong. By far, the most common form is the four-sided mahjong.
Mahjong involves skill, strategy, and calculation, as well as a certain degree of luck (depending on the variation played, luck can be anything from a minor to a dominant factor in winning). In Asia, mahjong is also popularly played as a gambling game (though may just as easily be played for fun). The stakes can be low, to keep the game interesting and competitive, or can be very high. High stakes may result in aggressive gambling and social behavior just as poker can be a friendly game or high stakes competition. Addictive playing is also linked to health problems. However, played with the right attitude, again just like poker, it is a very enjoyable and social game. The basic mechanics are easier than it may seem at first. Learning the subtleties of the game and mastering the many variable and highly different variations can take time. It is played with a set of 152 or so tiles of attractive characters and symbols and unlike modern playing cards, varies greatly from set to set. The aesthetics of the game is one of the attractive features of playing mahjong, as the forming of the tiles displays contrasting colours and patterns and appealing symmetry.
The basic concept in most variations is relatively simple, each player receives thirteen tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the fourteenth drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player (melded), the use of dragons and winds, the kinds of melds and order of dealing and play. However there is still lots of room for variations and all of the latter can change a little, while in contrast the point system, the minimum hand necessary to win and the tiles used vary greatly.”