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Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:19 pm
by or2az
" a couple of quid ", is that about two and a half dollars, American?
I still find the 2 best books to be Scott Miller's, and the strategy section of the Whitney book.
The online book by Daina Chiba is also very good but my heart will always belong to Bart's guide.
Ha Ha!

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:17 pm
by Barticle
My biggest fan! :mrgreen:

Yes, it's about two fiddy (and shipping was free). I wouldn't have paid more as I could see the contents were unchanged.

I haven't got Scott's books (yet). Daina's free book is very good and hopefully 'Riichi Book II' will finally be out soon. (That will be newsworthy!)

I guess I've always had a soft spot for Millington which was actually the first mahjong book I read (originally from a local library). It's a 70s book covering the Chinese rules but it has good English and Chinese glossaries plus sections on history and symbolism.

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:44 am
by Shirluban
I wouldn't recommend Scott's "ultimate" book, as I don't find it really informative and has a lot of useless text.
I also have his "A to Zhu", but haven't took time to read it.

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:32 pm
by Barticle
Thought I'd share this old book I got off eBay recently (for a couple of quid again).

It's just a slim booklet really, only 40 pages including some blank tables at the back for scoring. It was published by a games company out of Montreal called International Games Limited. The copyright date is 1924 although this is the third edition so it's not clear when it was actually printed.

While the pages lack illustrations, there is at least a handy diagram on the cover. Also yet another variant spelling of mahjong!
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It covers flowers and seasons but prefers to call the seasons "trades" - the fisher(man), woodcutter, farmer and scholar.

Also collectively these eight tiles are referred to as "goofs". :)
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There are examples of trade tiles (the "four noble professions") here:

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:29 am
by Ozball
This is fascinating!

I wonder about the whole "blank tiles, which can be used to replace lost tiles" part. I'm guessing this is probably referring to a chinese set, so the White Dragons will have the blue square border on them? If so... how is it expected to replace a lost tile? You would essentially have to carve into the blank tile? I guess you could potentially just paint it, but I wonder if that would cause the tile to sit differently in the wall.

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:11 am
by Shirluban
Yes, you would have to crave a blank tile.
Paint or marker pen rubs off more or less quickly on a flat tile.
You can use a marker pen and "seal" it with tape.
It will sit slightly differently in the wall, but what will stand out more is the fresh back among the old scratched ones.

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:34 pm
by Barticle
It is interesting to read other perspectives, especially in historical sources.

Speaking of which, several older books make reference to sets including four blank tiles to use as spares. Most give zero guidance and Millington only says that a spare "may be marked with the appropriate design" (somehow). The more recent 'Teach Yourself: Mahjong' suggests using a felt pen (which yes, probably would rub off) but also notes that "In China, one could take the tile to the local mahjong dealer and have it engraved for a modest charge".

I guess, if you have a set with "framed" white dragons, when you introduce the first spare you just need to remember which tile that one blank represents - and hopefully you learn your lesson not to lose/break any more. :wink:

My own vintage Japanese set has twelve blank white tiles - no red fives and no goofs! It'd be a good idea to use all of these blanks (as the dragons) on rotation so that when a tile is eventually replaced, the spare has some wear at least.
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Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:30 pm
by Lxa_
Speaking of blank tiles - it is quite common to have any number up to 4 spare blank tiles being included with Chinese sets. They are not the same as Chinese style white dragons - the white dragons display a blue frame, and the spare blanks are, well, completely blank.

I have a common Chinese set, which I purchased in Chinatown a few years ago. It has 148 tiles - 136 suits and honours (including the white dragons, of course), 8 flowers and 4 spare blanks. I have actually used these blanks to make animal tiles for Singaporean Mahjong. It was fairly easy to do with Avery printable stickers. I had been afraid that the tiles with the stickers attached would be noticeable in the wall, but this did not seem to be the case. They were perfectly playable.

Re: another mahjong book

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:55 pm
by Barticle
With framed dragons, those blank spares have a bonus feature - the option to use all four as Japanese-style Haku instead. 8)

Stickers sound like a good solution for spares or funky extras. You can design or download images on computer, scale to fit and print them in colour. If they did start to peel, I guess you could remove them, clean the tiles and replace the labels with new ones.