Making a Chinese Domino Set

Article by Ken Tidwell.

The Chinese refer to dominoes as kwat p'ai or bone tablets. You can recreate the tile mix in a Chinese set using two European sets. You will probably want to use cheap wooden sets since the tiles must stack (the small metal stud used to prevent scratching on premium sets will be a problem here) and you will need to fill in some of the pips with a red marker.

Remove all tiles containing a blank from a standard European tile set. Then add the following bones from another European set: double 6, 6-5, 6-4, 6-1, double 5, 5-1, double 4, double 3, 3-1, double 2, double 1. The eleven paired duplicate tiles form the Civil Tiles and the tiles without duplicates are the Military Tiles. All of the pips on 1 and 4 faces are painted red. Also, half of the pips on either side of the double sixes are painted red.

Normally, the duplicates in the civil tiles match to form a pair when scoring. The 2-4 and 1-2 tiles also match to form the supreme pair which ranks the highest among the military series. Individually, the 2-4 and 1-2 tiles rank the lowest of all tiles in the military series.

Chinese dominoes are often stacked several tiles deep and then these stacks are lined up to form what is known as a wood pile.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell