In Mahjong basic rule (this one for example), the board is setup in a spiral formation and the tiles are drawn in order from the 4 draw piles. With all the tiles facing down and shuffled, the probability of drawing a specific tile from any pile in any order is the same (unless I am missing something?). If this is correct, the game can technically be played with one draw pile and tiles can be drawn from anywhere in the pile?
There are also additional draw rules such as a “special deck” (near the end of this video), which is completely superficial?
I came up with this question when my date and I decided to play Mahjong in the park on a picnic blanket, setting up the game was rather difficult on this uneven surface.