Play Mahjong Online

Enjoy a variaty of Mahjong games and learn a few gaming strategies

How to Play Mahjong

Mahjong is the ultimate game of strategy and has frustrated and delighted players in equal measure ever since it first appeared on computer screens back in 1981. The original Mahjong game that originated in China doesn’t hold many similarities with the computer version of the game apart from the tiles, which are the same both in style and in number. The reason for the difference is that the computer version of the game is catered to the one-player user, something which is not possible with the traditional four-player table game. Mahjong Solitaire has been made available on just about every console that has ever existed from the Macintosh (the first home of the legendary Shanghai game) to the SEGA Megadrive. Despite being deemed a game of concentration and strategy, Mahjong found a place on games consoles that were more akin to high adrenalin, fast-paced games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong. Such was Mahjong’s popularity that numerous versions of the solitaire based games have sold tens of millions of copies worldwide.

The aim of the game

There are numerous different versions of Mahjong online and hundreds of different layouts, that can make the game easier of harder, the one thing that each version has in common are the rules and the objective. The aim of the game is to remove every tile from the selected layout, resulting in an empty board. This must be achieved by removing tiles in pairs – a task that is easier said than done.

The tiles

The tiles are an important part of the game. Each layout will consist of 144 tiles, laid-out in various different patterns (turtle, dragon and crab are popular). There are three sets of basic tiles, numbered one to none and containing 36 tiles in each set. These sets are named bamboo, character and ball (also called dot). There are also 16 wind tiles in four styles, 12 dragon tiles in three styles and four tiles each in flower and season styles.

Removing a tile

Tiles must be removed from the layout in pairs, for the majority of tiles this means selecting two tiles that are matching exactly, however there are a exceptions with the flower and seasons tiles which can be matched with any another tile from their particular suit. For instance, autumn can be paired with winter and an orchard with a plum. Removing the tiles is not simply a case of located a pair and selecting them, each tile selected must be “free”; this means that it should not be restricted in any way. A restricted tile will be one that is covered on either side (left or right) and covered by a tile on top, even partially covered tiles are classed as restricted.

Point scoring

Scoring points adds an extra dimension to the game. Points are scored by removing pairs from the layout and bonus points are awarded for removing pairs that are the same pattern and number and doing so in a row. Games can also be played against the clock, giving friends and family the chance to beat your time.