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Where to play mahjong around Portland

The popular parlor game is sweeping the country — get the 411 on local clubs, classes, and events.


Mahjong is named after a dialect term for “sparrow,” which references the bird-like sound the tiles make clacking against each other.

Photo by Jimmy Chan

Poker, Yahtzee, dominoes — these are fun games to play with friends and family around a table, but how about something new? We have the scoop on a trendy game that’s actually hundreds of years old: mahjong.

What’s mahjong?

The four-player game originated in Southern China and gained popularity in the US in the 1920s, resulting in an American version of the game. The National Mah Jongg League formed in 1937 and issues the Official Standard Hands and Rule Cards annually.

Having some similarities with rummy, the goal of the game is to create a hand using a specialized set of tiles with designated suits and symbols.

Learn to play

Ready to get started? The Portland Mah Jong Meetup group gathers every week at The Encorepreneur Café in the Axcess 15 Apartments complex on Northeast 15th Avenue. All are welcome to join and learn how to play or practice their skills.

Play with friends

Already a pro? While many local games are word of mouth, Lan Su Chinese Garden offers a chance for visitors to play or watch in a serene setting.

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