Skud Pai Sho

About Skud Pai Sho

Comments about Skud Pai Sho:

“I have played at least one game of Skud Pai Sho every single day for the past 3 or 4 months… this isn’t just a good game, it’s a masterpiece.”

“We will sit down almost every night. Make a pot of tea and play multiple games for hours.”

Skud Pai Sho is a game of placement and movement, where players arrange flowers into position while changing the landscape of the board to prevent their opponent from doing the same. Read more about the story behind Skud Pai Sho and The Garden Gate.

Skud Pai Sho Rules PDF Downloads

Translations of the rules from English have been provided by members of The Garden Gate community. Thank you for your contribution!

Skud Pai Sho Rules

For answers to ‘So how exactly does [any rule] work?’ see the full comprehensive rules


The objective of Skud Pai Sho is to be the first player to create a Harmony Ring, a chain of Harmonies that surrounds the center point of the board without touching it.


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.


  • Skud Pai Sho BoardTiles 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).
  • Blooming and Growing Flower Tiles: Basic Flower Tiles and Special Flower Tiles are called Growing when they are in a Gate and Blooming when they are elsewhere on the board.

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 Flower Tiles, Plant a Basic Flower Tile

Basic Flower Tiles

Basic Flower Tiles Circle

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 empty space 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.

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

Wheel Tile 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).

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

Boat Tile Boat – Played on a Blooming Flower Tile or Accent Tile. Moves a Flower Tile to an empty 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.

White Lotus Tile White Lotus

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

Orchid Tile Orchid

  • Moves up to 6 spaces
  • Traps opponent’s surrounding Blooming Flower Tiles 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

End of Game

The game ends when a player forms a Harmony Ring and wins.

The game also will end when a player plays his or her last Basic Flower Tile. When this happens, then the player with the most midline-crossing Harmonies on the board when the game ends wins (the tiles in midline-crossing Harmonies are in adjacent quadrants of the board and not on either midline).

Skud Pai Sho Expansions

Ancient Oasis Expansion

The Ancient Oasis Expansion introduces three new Accent Tiles to choose to use during play. See the Ancient Oasis Expansion page for the rules.

Original Benders Expansion

The Original Benders Expansion introduces four new and powerful Original Benders tiles that players choose one of to play with during the game. See the Original Benders Expansion page for the rules.