- This article is about the board game mentioned in the series. For the Nick.com video game reinterpretation of the game, see Pai Sho (video game).
|"I always tried to tell you that Pai Sho is more than just a game."|
|— Iroh to Zuko.|
Pai Sho ( is a two-player game that is popular throughout the World of Avatar, appealing to people of all ages. Dating back to the era of Raava, legend has that it was invented by the spirits, and the game has remained popular among people all over the world since that time. It is a game of both strategy and chance, with each culture having developed its own rules and variations of the game. Prior to the group's existence being publicly revealed at the end of the Hundred Year War, the Order of the White Lotus used Pai Sho to identify its members by forming a lotus flower with the tiles.)
Pai Sho is played on a large, circular board split with twelve sections and divided into an 18x18 grid of colored squares. Round tiles are used as pieces, with each tile having a different image. Players receive a certain number of tiles which are placed and moved around the board.
Over the years, the rules of the game varied from culture to culture; for instance, some consider to game to be a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat game of chance, whereas others see it as a slow, methodical game of strategy.
White lotus tile
The white lotus tile, like all Pai Sho tiles, is a round, black, circular piece about one-and-a-half inches in diameter. It is identified by the image of a large white flower that takes up most of the tile. According to Iroh, many underestimate its importance. Iroh once took time away from Zuko's search for the Avatar to pick up a new tile at the seedy merchants pier. The tile was also utilized in Aang's Pai Sho game with Monk Gyatso, during which that latter attempted to inconspicuously switch the lotus tile with the piece that the Avatar had formerly placed. Additionally, a white lotus tile was given to Sokka from Master Piandao after the former was successfully trained in swordplay; the emblem on the gate to his estate also resembled the tile.
Order of the White Lotus
In a bar at the Misty Palms Oasis, Iroh played a game with another White Lotus member, Fung, as a way of identifying himself as part of the society. The key to recognition between members includes scripted dialogue revolving around the opening move of placing a certain tile, the white lotus, in the center of the board, followed by the rapid placement of pieces in an exact pattern that mirrors the central piece.
- Pai Sho bears a resemblance to the board games Go, Chinese checkers, straight checkers, and Xiangqi.
- According to Zuko, Pai Sho can be used for gambling.
- The name of the game mimics that of the Chinese tile game Pai gow, through which gambling can also be performed.
- A large Pai Sho table can be found at the Western Air Temple.
- The rock tile's symbol is the same as the Earth Kingdom's emblem.
- Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko made up Pai Sho without thinking out all of the rules. The actual rules were thought out by the people of Nickelodeon when they designed an online game of Pai Sho for fans to play.