University of Valencia logo Logo Confucius Institute Logo del portal

The history and rules of the main Chinese games are also taught in the Confucius Institute. The Majiang and theXiangQi



The Majiang or maque is the mandarin denomination for the popular Chinese game of the Mahjong (   ) It is a table game for four players that originated in China and was exported to the rest of the world, especially to Occident, from 1920. Majiajng calls for skills, intelligence, calculation and, similarly to other chance games, a little of luck.

The game is similar to the Rummy, since its main objective is to create groups with chips, such as either number straights of the same suit or either four same chips. Although the rules to play are always the same, there are different regional variations. The main difference among them consists in which move do they score and what is their value. The main objective of the game is accumulating a higher scoring than the other players.

Each player participates individually: there is any system that allows to establish teams. The game is developed in consecutive rounds, each one can only be won by one out of the four players when a round finishes the winner player gets points from the three losers. Finally, a totting of points is carried out, and the situation of each of the players is determined. Although this can be carried out by noting sown the points of each player on a paper sheet, the best is to use chips to symbolise points, as though they were coins.



In Cantonese (  ), the game’s name is màheung or màhjeuk.  The Chinese word   means literally “the hemp”. While the alternative Cantonese handwriting   means literally “sparrow.”  In Japanese,   means “hemp sparrow.”




The Chinese chess  or  elephant’s game is a strategy table game on a board, from the same family than the chess and  shōgi  (Japanese chess). It is believed that all of them come from a game called chaturanga, which was practised in  India  in the   6th Century.  The chips and the functioning is similar to the western chess. The round is finished when the players checkmate their opponents.


   Elephant (Tchong): moves two intersection diagonally, provided that the mid point is empty. It can’t cross the river.


   General or  King (Chong): moves an intersection diagonally or vertically, a movement similar to the King of the Western chess, but it can’t leave the squares marked as palace.


   Official or  Adviser (Soo): moves an intersection diagonally, similar to the King of Western chess, but it can’t leave the squares marked as palace.


   Horse (Mai): moves an intersection horizontally or vertically, followed by other one diagonally. The pivot point must be empty.


   War cart (Tche): moves as the  tower  of common chess.


   Cannon (Paov): moves as the cart, but it can only capture if it jumps on another piece that is in the attack line. The piece that interposes, known as cannon platform, can belong to any group. The cannon can jump if it does a capture and it can’t jump on two or more pieces.

   Soldier (Ping): moves an intersection forwards if it is in its own field; in the enemy’s field they can also move an intersection horizontally. It can’t move back and when it arrives at the last enemy line they can only move laterally. There’s no promotion.