Mysterious "Full-Automatic Mahjong Table"

I admit it: I have no idea what this "Full-Automatic Mahjong Table" actually does, but the name is pretty evocative. I have a vision of a million tiny magnets on servos in the bowels of the table that auto-drag the tiles into place.

Automatic Mahjong table adopts the working principle of electricity, light and magnetism, and it is controlled by microcomputer programs. It can effectively achieve the automatic shuffling and dealing of Poker tiles, and automatic dice tossing in a quick and fair way, with stable performance, long period of non-malfunction, and adding entertainment interests. It used two diffentely colors Mahjong Tiles with magnetic.
Link (via Cribcandy)


  1. Sadly, it seems to work without magic sliding and stacking tiles. I located a few pics here []. There appear to be areas in the table that open or drop away to allow tiles to be dropped in, shuffled, then delivered back as a ready-made wall.

  2. Yeah, these things have been around for 10+ years.

    The function is neat and gives good demo, but why would you want to dispose of that part of mahjong which involves the ouija board like participation in the shuffling of the tiles, and then the race to see who can stack up their wall first?

  3. Whats cool is to see a bunch of these tables going, I helped out at a Majong parlor years ago in Torrance Ca.
    Another thing I remember seeing in Japan strip video Majong(btw only the character on screen striped thank goodness)

    To PresterJohn: I think the main buyers of these tables are Majong parlors and considering how hardcore some of the players can get ,having a machine that keeps play fast and fair would be most welcome. Especially when a bunch of strangers are playing together.

  4. I have to say that “twittering” (mahjong jargon for shuffling) the tiles and building the wall is quite a part of the game, but it can take almost as much time as the hand itself, so if you’re playing like a pro, I can see the appeal… We play pub mahjong on Friday nights. My mahjong group has also discovered that while alcohol does not impair one’s ability to “build the wall”, other intoxicants have a detrimental effect on building straight walls with the correct number of pieces, so once again… I can see the appeal, although it looks like it’s probably quite an investment.

  5. See these everywhere in China. I know of serious players who have spent up to $3,000 (US) on magnetic devices that can be secretly placed under the table as it shuffles to influence how the tiles are stacked… Hi-tech Mah jong cheating!

    In southern China – Mah Jong addiction is a fairly common cause of family break up, child-neglect, heavy indebtedness and suicide. i know a lot of people who will play this game around the clock and for days on end.

  6. One of my favorite more recent Japanese movies, “Josee, the Tiger and the Fish” (Joze to Tora to Sakanatachi) has some great scenes in a mahjong parlor with an automatic table in action.

  7. Hi; just saw this thing operating at Vivo City last Sunday here in Singapore; new and for sale in several styles at a department store for about 2K SGD (1600 USD). Very cool. The tile stacks actually rise up out of the table. I’m told that you can use any std sized tile set; no magnets.

  8. Finally, a personal mystery has been solved! A while back, while bored at work, a co-worker and I used googles to search for unsecured web cams. We came up with one fully controllable cam in China which displayed a bunch of Chinese men in a room, sitting cryptically around these strange tables. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, although we had many strange theories. Apparently, the tables were “fully automatic Mahjong tables”. Thanks boingboing.

  9. Played on a few of these when I lived in Japan – one of my friend’s families owned a janso – a mahjong parlor. Anyway, they can shuffle the tiles, but the Japanese game also uses these little stick things to keep score. The automatic tables also have little slide-out trays to keep the sticks in, and automatically tabulates scores and displays them on a LCD near each person.

  10. I like the ad for a “message chair” on that same page. I guess you sit in it and it tells you what you need to know.

  11. It is “auto-shuffle” table. You can see the demonstration in this video.

    I heard that it comes with 2 sets of tiles. While you’re playing one set, the other ones are being cleaned inside the machine.

    The flaw of the conventional game is that sometimes people will hold on to the tiles they want, pretending to shuffle while keeping them under their palm. (like poker) This device would reduce cheating. Losing the dices is very common problem, so it is enclosed in the middle in this modern table.

    Money, fake or real, is usually involved. Do they have digital money counter like the new Monopoly?

  12. Greatsage – Mah Jong addiction IS a serious problem, and proof that Microsoft is evil beyond anything previously imagined: Windows Vista comes with a great Mah Jong game. And I thought minesweeper was a time waster!

Comments are closed.