9 Best Traditional Chinese Board Games (2024 Review)

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Have you ever wondered what people did before the advent of video games and smartphones?

They played board games!

In this article, we take a close look at the nine best traditional Chinese board games.

Traditional Chinese board games are not just relics from the past—they are timeless classics that combine strategy, skill, and a touch of luck. They also offer a unique window into Chinese culture and history.

From honing your strategic thinking to providing hours of entertainment, these games have something for everyone.

Grab a cup of your favorite Chinese tea and let's explore these ancient treasures together!

1. Tsuro: The Game of the Path

Calliope Tsuro - The Game of The Path
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Tsuro: The Game of Path is an award-winning game that's easy to pick up. With its Chinese-themed design, it is as pleasing to look at as it is to play. It is a game for 2-8 players, ideal for various settings.

In this game, you create a path along the board. The maze changes with each turn, making every game unique. The game takes 15 to 20 minutes to play, so it's perfect for a quick gaming session.

Tsuro is a great choice for those looking for a fast yet strategic game. Its ever-changing maze will keep you engaged, making it a good choice for families on game night.


  • Easy to learn and quick to play.
  • Visually stunning, with its Chinese-themed design.
  • Highly replayable, due to its ever-changing board.


  • May be too simple for hardcore strategy gamers.
  • Provides limited play interaction.
  • Not as engaging when there are fewer players.

2. Chinese Checkers

Brybelly Chinese Checkers Game Set with 11.5 in Natural Wood Checkers Board
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Chinese Checkers is a classic game, and this version from Brybelly makes the experience even more special with the high-quality wood. The board fits most tables, and the set includes 60 wooden marbles in six bright colors. Designed for 2-6 players, the game is versatile and fits various group sizes.

The game is straightforward, but still engaging. Players move their marbles across the board, jumping over other players' pieces to reach the opposite side. No batteries are needed—just good old-fashioned, unplugged fun.

If you're in search of a classic, easy-to-learn game that's also tactile and beautiful, look no further. This is a perfect game for both kids and adults, and it doesn't require any tech-savvy skills—just strategic thinking.


  • Family-friendly; has easy-to-understand instructions.
  • Made out of high-quality wooden and marble materials.
  • Can support up to six players for lively group entertainment.


  • Offers limited strategic depth.
  • Does not have a single-player mode.
  • Marbles can get lost easily if not monitored.

3. Wei Qi (Go)

Brybelly Go Set All Natural Bamboo Wood Go Board
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Originating over 4,000 years ago, Go is a complex and profoundly engaging game. This edition from Brybelly offers a traditional feel with its board made of natural bamboo wood. The set includes a 47 x 44 cm board, two bamboo bowls, and 361 bakelite stones.

The board is also reversible, featuring a standard 19- x 19-inch expert’s playing field on one side and a 13- x 13-inch beginner's board on the other. The aim is to capture territory on the board by surrounding empty points and the opponent's stones.

Wei Qi or Go is a must-try if you want to dive into the world's oldest and most strategic games. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, it offers long-lasting gameplay and hours of strategic fun and thinking.


  • Offers players a wide and strategic gameplay.
  • This version is made of high-quality bamboo board.
  • The reversible feature accommodates both experts and beginners.


  • May be too complicated and intimidating for new players.
  • Requires a dedicated space due to the board size.
  • Games can be longer than expected; not ideal for quick play.

4. Mahjong

Yellow Mountain Imports Professional Chinese Mahjong Game Set
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This Mahjong set from the Yellow Mountain Imports Store is designed for traditional Chinese gameplay. It contains 146 scratch-resistant yellow tiles that are engraved with Chinese characters.

The game comes with a standard-size set, excluding joker tiles or Arabic numerals, and weighs just over nine pounds, making it portable.

In this game, draw and discard tiles to create sequences, triplets, and quadruplets. The set comes with three dice and a wind indicator, but does not include racks or pushers. The tiles are beautifully designed, featuring a yellow bamboo grain stripe on the back.

If you're a fan of traditional Mahjong and are looking for a high-quality set, this one is worth considering. The compact red vinyl case means you can easily take your game anywhere.

Whether you're a beginner learning the ropes or a seasoned player, this set offers an authentic Mahjong experience.


  • The game itself is rich in strategy and social interaction.
  • Each tile is beautifully designed and made out of quality materials.
  • The compact case makes the game portable.


  • Only for those who want traditional Chinese gameplay.
  • Instructions are not that easy to understand for beginners.

5. Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)

Yellow Mountain Imports Chinese Chess (Xiangqi)
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Here's another game from the Yellow Mountain Imports Store. Xiangqi is perfect for on-the-go gaming.

The board features a magnetic design and includes 32 jade-colored playing pieces, all marked with red and white Chinese characters. The set is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry.

This game involves using the pieces to strategically outmaneuver and checkmate your opponent's general. The magnetic board ensures you can play without worrying about the pieces shifting, and the game pieces can be stored inside the board after play.

If you're looking to delve into a game that's both fun and intellectually stimulating, this Xiangqi set is an excellent choice. It is portable, so you can take it anywhere, from parks to coffee shops. Challenge your strategic thinking with this alternative chess game.


  • Features a compact and portable magnetic design.
  • Engaging enough for experts in strategic gaming.
  • Game pieces can be easily stored inside the board.


  • Limited to only two players.
  • May be challenging for beginners.

6. Pai Gow (Chinese Dominoes)

Pai Gow Tiles Game Set
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Pai Gow is your ticket to hours of classic fun. This particular set comes with 32 tiles that are perfect for two to four players.

The tiles are engraved with traditional numbering from 1 to 6, and some are even left blank, staying true to the game's roots. Not only do they look great, but they're also made of eco-friendly melamine.

In the game of Pai Gow, players pair up tiles in a bid to get as close to nine as possible. What we love about this set is its attention to detail. The tiles are engraved deeply, so they won't wear out. Plus, they just feel good to hold.

Why not bring a bit of old-school fun to your next game night? The set even comes with a sturdy case and a drawstring bag, making it portable. Whether it's a family get-together or a chill night with friends, this Pai Gow set is a hit waiting to happen.


  • Easy to learn and great for social settings.
  • Features eco-friendly melamine tiles.
  • Comes with a durable case for portability.


  • Has limited strategic depth compared to other games.
  • Best with multiple players; less fun with fewer.
  • Some may find the tiles too small for handling.

7. Sanguosha (War of the Three Kingdoms)

Sanguosha, also known as War of the Three Kingdoms, is a game that takes you back in time.

With space for 2-10 players and a 20-40 minute playtime, you're in for an adventure that blends role-playing, battle, and strategy. Plus, it's all in English, so there is no language barrier!

The gameplay is pretty epic. You step into the shoes of legendary warlords from the Three Kingdoms era. With 156 cards in the set, including General Cards and Identity Cards, every game is a new experience.

It's all about outsmarting your opponents and leading your team to victory.

If you are looking for a game that's got a little bit of everything, Sanguosha delivers. It's perfect for anyone who loves history, strategy, and a good old-fashioned battle of wits.


  • Blends role-playing, battles, and strategic thinking.
  • Can accommodate a large number of players.
  • Quick playtime makes it suitable for short game sessions.


  • May require time to understand the rules.
  • Complexity can be overwhelming for kids.
  • Needs a minimum of two players; not for solo play.

8. Chinese Characters Flash Cards

Chinese Characters Flash Cards from the Leleyu Store is a game-changer for learning Chinese. It isn't just about memorization—it's also about engaging kids in a fun way.

By using puzzles and spelling modes, these cards help kids get a better grasp on Chinese characters.

The gameplay is simple but effective. Players match up the cards, and as they do, they deepen their memory and understanding of Chinese characters.

The set even comes with different game rules to keep the learning fresh and engaging. It's all about playing, learning, and practicing at the same time.

If you're looking to make learning Chinese characters a blast for your kids, this is the way to do it. It's fun, educational, and perfect for boosting both memory and reaction skills.


  • Makes learning Chinese characters fun.
  • Features engaging puzzle and spelling modes.
  • Suitable for children and beginners.


  • Limited to learning Chinese characters only.
  • May be too basic for advanced learners.

9. 7-in-1 Combo Games

7-in-1 Combo Game For 4 Players with Chess, Ludo, Chinese Checkers & More
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The 7-in-1 Combo Game is like a Swiss Army knife of board games. It packs seven different games into one convenient package, including some of the most notable traditional Chinese board games, like chess and Chinese checkers.

Made from wood and plastic, it is designed to be self-contained, so you won't lose pieces easily.

Just pick a game, set up the board, and get started. With dimensions of 11.5 x 12 x 3 inches, it's compact enough to take with you wherever you go. Whether you're in the mood for Ludo, Backgammon, or Dominoes, this set has you covered.

If you can't decide on just one game to bring to your next gathering, why not bring seven? This 7-in-1 Combo Game is perfect for anyone who loves variety.


  • Offers seven games in one set, including notable Chinese games.
  • Features a self-contained design for easy storage.
  • Made of durable wood and plastic materials.


  • Some games may be less engaging than others.
  • The size may be too small for some players.
  • Lacks specialized features for each game.

Final Thoughts on Chinese Board Games

Today we’ve discussed nine games that meld skill, strategy, and sometimes a sprinkle of luck. From the depths of history to your modern game table, these Chinese board games offer a myriad of experiences.

We're thrilled you decided to explore this rich tapestry of traditional Chinese board games with us. Hopefully you found one that not only engages your mind, but also provides you with a rich cultural experience!

And if you're looking for more fun board games, be sure to check out these blog posts:

chinese board games | traditional chinese board games | chinese board game go
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