Mahjong: The Perfect Blend Of Luck, Skill, and Strategy

Mahjong is a game of great fun that requires more than just skill. Players will draw tiles to try to complete matching sets, drawing and discarding them at will until they have a perfect mahjong. While Mahjong is similar to the card game Rummy, its use of traditional Chinese characters,  symbols, and its focus on the directions of the wind elevate it beyond just your average game.

Mahjong goes all the way back to the Qing dynasty in China, but it’s since spread throughout the world. For every country in the world that Mahjong is played in, there is a unique regional variant. But while the rules and scoring methods may differ slightly, Mahjong always relies on the same blend of luck, skill, and strategy to win.

Simples, Honors, and Bonus Tiles

The goal of each round of Mahjong is to get what is called a mahjong, which is when you get four sets of three tiles and one pair of matching tiles. A set of three is called either a “pung,” which is three of the same tile, or a “chow,” which is three consecutive numbers within the same suit. The pair, however, must always be two identical tiles. Because you start the game with a hand of 13 tiles, you must achieve your mahjong by drawing the 14th tile you need to complete your set.

Although different regional versions of the game may vary, Mahjong is normally played with a standard set of 144 tiles or cards. The tiles are split into three separate categories: simples, honors, and bonus tiles. Within the category, there are three different suits that are each numbered from 1 to 9. The simples suits are dots, bamboo, and characters.

The honors tiles have two different suits: winds and dragons. Winds are separated into the four compass directions, while there are three different colors of dragons. Lastly, there are two suits of bonus tiles: flowers and seasons. These have four of each. The bonus tiles are special in that, any time you draw a bonus tile, you don’t add it to your hand, but set it aside to be used to boost your score in the event that you win a hand.

Hands, Rounds, and Matches

The game of Mahjong begins with all the tiles getting placed face down on the table and shuffled. Players will then stack a row of 18 tiles with two tiles in each stack in front of them. They then push the rows together to form a square wall, after which they cut the deck based on the role of a die and each takes their hand of 13 tiles. Players then go around the circle drawing tiles from the wall and discarding their own tiles into the center of the table for other players to draw.

The way that this tile or card game is played is through a number of hands, rounds, and matches. There are at least four hands within each round and four rounds within a match. During each hand, one of the four players gets to take the position of dealer. If the dealer wins their hand, then they get to go again as dealer for an additional hand. Once all four players have taken their turn as dealer, then the round ends.

Explore the Beauty of Mahjong

Mahjong is playable by 3-4 players depending on which rules you’re playing with. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, so it’s an excellent tile or card game to use to teach younger players about strategy. Mahjong has a playing time of around 2 hours, so it’s definitely a special event any time you sit down to play a match with friends.

Because Mahjong requires you to have a bit of luck, many players think that where they sit, how they hold the pieces, and even what they wear can influence the outcome and help them win the game. Whether you’re an experienced Mahjong player or you’re learning it for the first time, you’ll be sure to appreciate the rich and beautiful history of this game. Buy Mahjong today and may the winds blow in your favor!

Monikers: Half Trivia, Half Charades, All Fun

One of the best parts of playing a guessing game is when you’re paired with someone you just vibe with. When you’re on the same wavelength, sometimes all you need is one word to get the other person to know exactly what you’re talking about. With the card game Monikers, you can put your friendships to the test in a guessing game that will spice up any party.

Who’s that Celebrity?

Monikers is essentially a curated card game version of the classic game Celebrities. Players will split into two teams, with each team taking a stack of cards. These cards are comprised of a range of different things from celebrities, pop culture characters, historical figures, and even internet memes. If you’re the clue-giver that round, it’s up to you to get your fellow teammates to guess what’s on the card.

How good you are at giving clues in this card game does depend on how well you know the person or phrase on the card. However, if you’re scratching your head wondering who the heck Louis IV was, then you’re in luck. You’re allowed to skip a card that’s too difficult or that you don’t know and put it at the bottom of the deck to be drawn later.

Round One: Taboo

The first round of Monikers is similar to the game Taboo in that you are allowed to use any words, sounds, or gestures you like in order to get your teammates to guess the clue. The one thing you can’t say, though, is the name of the card. This is the easiest round for both the clue-givers and the guessers, as you have pretty much free rein in your description. This is great for using clues that are specific to your friends or family, such as “the one guy that Aunt Helen is obsessed with from the show Dynasty!”

Round Two: Code Names

After both teams have both taken their turns with the first round, the game gets a little harder. The second round of Monikers is similar to the card game Code Names in that you may only give one word as a clue. Again, this word can’t be one of the words in the card, but other than that you can use anything you like to get people to guess.

This round keeps you on your toes by forcing you to get inside the heads of your teammates. What’s the one word that they’ll associate with David Bowie?  You’ll burst out laughing at watching the wacky associations your friends try to make in order to guess correctly.

Round Three: Charades

The third round of Monikers gets rid of words entirely. This round is similar to Charades in that you have to act out what the word or phrase is without using any words. This round can bring out some of the more humorous parts of the game as you may find yourself acting out something completely embarrassing! Still, if you’re desperate to earn points, you’ll do what it takes for the good of the team.

Monikers Expansions

Monikers has many expansions that can either be used to add to the main set or as standalone versions of the game. Monikers: Classics combines several small box standalone expansions including Monikers: Shmonikers, Monikers: Something Something, and Monikers: The Shut Up & Sit Down Nonsense Box.

Monikers: More Monikers includes a whopping 440 new cards, which is equal to the size of the original game and about four times the size of most Monikers expansions. Whichever expansion you choose, you’ll be sure to keep the fun going for countless rounds as you explore new ways to get your friends and family to guess the wildest clues.

Monikers: Let the Fun Begin!

Monikers is playable by anywhere from 4-16 players, making it the perfect party game for any sized party. It’s suitable for ages 17 and up, mostly due to the adult humor of some of the cards. However, you can easily take out offensive cards to make it more kid-friendly. Playing time lasts about 30-60 minutes, although you can keep the fun going however long you want with the hundreds of cards in the deck. Put your pop culture knowledge to the test and buy Monikers today!

 

Kill The Unicorns: A Fantasy Card Game With A Twist

Unicorns are the mythical creatures we all wish really existed. Beautiful, elegant beasts with horns of ivory and rainbow manes, unicorns are a staple in many fantastical games. But in Kill the Unicorns, these silly creatures are public enemy number one!

Kill the Unicorns is a fast-paced and witty card game that forces you to capture these rapidly-producing magical creatures and kill them before they run out of control. A delightful mix of strategy, fantasy, and downright silliness, Kill the Unicorns is the card game that fantasy lovers will find themselves playing time and time again.

On the Hunt

The game is set up in four rounds, with each player taking a turn drawing and playing their cards to try and trap the unicorns on the table. There are 4 Unicorn Cards on the table each round, and the goal of the game is to win the most points by catching the most unicorns. However, you want to make sure you avoid the pesky Pigicorns or smelly Unicorns, as these can set you back!

The first thing you do on your turn is to draw two cards from the deck. It’s up to you to decide which one to use and which one to discard. Each unicorn has its own number of points, which you’ll want to collect in order to win the game. To win unicorns and earn points, you’ll bet Hunting Cards on the unicorns you want to catch.

Catching the Unicorns

From your hand of 8 cards, you can lay down 1-3 cards per unicorn during each round. Later players will have to match your same number of cards if they want to compete against you in hunting the unicorn. You can also use Trap cards to slip up the other players, forcing whoever catches that unicorn to deal with whatever misfortune you’ve created for them.

Once all of the unicorns have been bid on, the Hunting Cards are revealed. Whichever player has managed to compile the highest point value gets to catch the unicorn. However, they’ll also have to take any of the trap cards that go along with it, which can interfere with your strategy. Some traps can even flip the narrative and make it so that the lowest point value catches the unicorn, so there’s no telling what can happen in the world of Kill the Unicorns.

Going to the Market

One of the most intriguing parts of Kill the Unicorns is the market, where you can purchase accessories for your unicorns with leftover cards at the end of each round. These accessories can be things like wigs, which change the color of your unicorn and allow you to make a collection to earn extra points. You can also use your special Character Power to help you catch the unicorns, but you can only use it once per round, so choose wisely.

Bluff Your Way to the Top with Kill the Unicorns

Kill the Unicorns requires quite a bit of bluffing in order to fool the other players and capture those unicorns. When you lay your cards down on the unicorns, the other players don’t know whether you’re trying to make the most of your bid or whether there’s a deadly trap card hiding underneath. You’ll also have to keep an eye on the other hunters’ unicorns to make sure they don’t make a full set and earn bonus points.

Kill the Unicorns is playable by 3-6 players, so it’s definitely a group effort rather than a game for couples or for playing alone. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, which makes it a fun adventure for adults and kids to play together. It has a playing time of around 30-45 minutes, so you should be able to get a decent amount of fun in before the game comes to a close.

Kill the Unicorns is notable for being silly and irreverent while still enjoying all of the trappings of your typical fantasy game. By taking everyone’s favorite majestic creatures and turning them into prey for the taking, this card game is a delightful twist on classic fantasy. Buy this card game today and enjoy happy hunting!

 

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