When you first look at a game of mahjong, you will notice the tiles are all different and bear strange symbols. You might even think that the symbols are part of some secret code! Fear not, for we shall explain to you what these symbols mean on mahjong tiles: Here is an example of a basic mahjong set with all its components. These are your standard tiles – discard pile, wall, and exposure pile:
The Discard Pile
The discard pile is where you will place tiles that you cannot use in your hand. Tiles that are in the discard pile are kept face down, so only you will know what tiles are in there. This is where your tile combinations will go. If you have a pong, for example, that is the signal that a tile combination has been completed. You will be able to identify what the tile combination is because the pong will be visible on the discard pile.
The Wall Tiles
The wall tiles are placed vertically in front of the players. The tiles are placed with the symbols facing upwards so that everyone can see them. The wall tiles are an important part of the game as they are used to keep track of the score during the game. Most of the symbols you find on the wall tiles represent points. The number of flowers, the number of Chinese coins, and the number of dots are all used to keep track of how many points you have. The wind tiles, the dragons, the dragons that are facing the other way, and the seasons are used to indicate what round the game is at.
The Exposure Pile
The exposure pile is a small pile of tiles placed face-up next to the discard pile. The tiles are put here so that everyone can see what tiles are available. Tiles in this pile are available to every player. If you cannot use a tile in your hand because it cannot be used with your other tiles, you can exchange it with a tile from the exposure pile. The player who takes the tile from the exposure pile must use it in his or her hand.
Tiles in mahjong are more than just pieces that you use to play the game. The tiles also indicate points and indicate what round the game is at. The symbols on the tiles are important as they indicate what has happened during the game. If you understand the meaning of the symbols on mahjong tiles, the game will be much easier for you. You will be able to keep track of your points and know what happened during the game much better!