Skud Pai Sho Rules

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Click here for a printable version of the rules found on this page. – Play Pai Sho Online

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  • Easy to learn – There’s no pressure to know all the rules right away. It won’t let you make a move that is not allowed! Click on a tile to see where it can move or be placed on the board. Hover over any tile to learn more about it and how it works.
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Skud Pai Sho Rules

The standardized Pai Sho rules. For answers to “So how exactly does [any rule] work?” see the full comprehensive rules.


The objective of Pai Sho is to be the first player to create a Harmony Ring, a chain of Harmonies that goes around the center of the board.


A Harmony is created when two of a player’s harmonious Flower Tiles are on the same line with no other tiles or Gates between them, and both tiles are not on Gates.

Similarly, a Clash is when two clashing Flower Tiles belonging to either player would be lined up, but no tiles on the board are ever allowed to Clash. So, you cannot make a move if it would result in any tiles Clashing.


Pai Sho Board
  • Tiles are played on the intersections
  • Gates: There are 4 Gates. Flower Tiles are placed here when played onto the board. Tiles already on the board can never be moved onto a Gate.
  • Gardens: The different colored areas on the board affect where Basic Flower Tiles can be moved to (see Basic Flower Tiles).

Game Setup

Choosing Accent Tiles

Before the first move:

  • Players each choose 4 Accent Tiles to play with during the game
  • The Guest (first player) chooses a Basic Flower Tile. Each player starts with one of these tiles in opposite Gates.

Then, the Guest makes the first move of the game.

On, the Host plays with light colored tiles and the Guest plays with dark colored tiles.

Playing A Turn

During a turn, you either Arrange (move a Flower Tile on the board) or Plant (place a new Basic Flower Tile in an open Gate).

If you form a new Harmony between any of your tiles when you Arrange, you get a Harmony Bonus and may do one of the following:

  • Place an Accent Tile on the board
  • Plant a Special Flower Tile
  • If you have no Growing Flowers (Flower Tiles in Gates), Plant a Basic Flower Tile

Basic Flower Tiles

Players have 3 of each Basic Flower Tile. Basic Flower Tiles…

  • Move up to as many spaces as the number in their name
    • e.g. Rose (Red 3) can move up to 3 spaces
  • Form Harmony with adjacent tiles in the circle
    • e.g. Rose forms Harmony with White Jade and Chrysanthemum
  • Clash with opposite colored same-numbered tiles
    • You cannot make a move if it would result in any tiles clashing
  • Capture Clashing tiles by landing on them
    • e.g. If your Jasmine tile lands on your opponent’s Rose tile, the Rose tile is captured and removed from the game
  • Cannot end their turn completely inside an opposite-colored Garden (though tiles may travel through any area as they move)
    • e.g. Red Flower Tiles cannot move completely into the White Garden

Accent Tiles

Players have 2 of each Accent Tile (but discard 4 before the game – see Game Setup). Accent Tiles cannot be placed in a Gate or be played in a way that moves a Basic Flower Tile into an opposite-colored Garden or causes tiles to Clash.

gr Rock – Played on an open intersection. Cancels Harmonies on horizontal and vertical lines it lies on and cannot be moved by a Wheel.

gw Wheel – Played on an open intersection. Rotates all surrounding tiles one space clockwise (as long as it does not move tiles off the board or onto or off of a Gate).

gk Knotweed – Played on an open intersection. Cancels Harmonies formed by surrounding tiles.

gb Boat – Played on a Flower Tile or Accent Tile. Moves a Flower Tile to a surrounding space (the Boat takes the original place of the Flower Tile) or removes an Accent Tile from the board (remove the Accent and Boat tiles from the game).

Special Flowers

Players have 1 of each Special Flower Tile.

gl White Lotus

  • Moves up to 2 spaces
  • Forms Harmony with all Basic Flower Tiles of either player

go Orchid

  • Moves up to 6 spaces
  • Traps opponent’s surrounding Blooming Flower Tiles (meaning, they have moved out of their Gate) so they cannot be moved except by an Accent Tile
  • If you have a Blooming White Lotus, your Orchid…
    • Can be captured by any Flower Tile
    • Can capture any Flower Tile