The story of Mahjong began in the mid-1800s China. Its worldwide popularity started in America, in the 1920s. Today, online games are an easily accessible way of enjoying a variation of this game. Mahjong, that is usually played by four players, in its online version is called Mahjong Solitaire.Mahjong Solitaire is a single-player game where the goal is to remove all the tiles from the board by matching pairs of identical tiles. There are multiple websites where you can play Mahjong Solitaire and enjoy this engaging and fun game in your free time, or you can take part in Mahjong Solitaire tournaments.
The basic game of Mahjong is played by four players. The dealer is determined and the players are given 13 tiles each. The goal of the game is to get a mahjong, meaning getting the 14 tiles into 4 sets and one pair. Pair means pairing together two identical tiles, and set can be a 'pung' (three identical tiles) or a 'chow' (three consecutive tiles in the same suit). The game is played for 16 rounds, or to a number of points that the contestants agreed on beforehand. Basic scoring is giving one point to a player who wins the mahjong, but the scoring arrangements may vary.
Mahjong Solitaire is a version of Mahjong popular in online gaming. The goal of the Mahjong Solitaire is to pair identical tiles until you clear the board. However, you can only match the so-called 'free' tiles. 'Free' tiles are the ones that are not blocked by other tiles on their top or sides. Basically, a tile needs to be able to slide out of the board without other tiles blocking it. Once you start removing 'free' tiles, other tiles will become available giving you a chance to make new pairs. The game is considered won when you clear the board, and if you don't manage to pair all the tiles, the game is over.
A full mahjong set contains 144 tiles and three suits. The dealer is determined by giving out tiles with a wind, and the east wind starts the game. Players have 13 tiles each and take counter-clockwise turns in picking a tile from the wall in front of them and discarding one of their tiles. The player that is first to pick up a tile that gives a valid Mahjong hand- 14 tiles divided into one pair and three sets, wins. There are many versions of mahjong that developed over the years, and each version can have its own variation of the rules, especially when it comes to scoring.
In Mahjong Solitaire, there are also 144 tiles. They are arranged on the board in a four-layer pattern. The player must make pairs of identical tiles until the board is clear. The main rule is that only the tiles that are able to slide off of the board without disturbing other tiles are allowed to be moved. These are called 'free' tiles and this means that they are not blocked from the sides by other tiles on the board. If a player fails to pair all the tiles, the game is considered lost. Some versions and programmes of online Mahjong Solitaire allow undoing the moves and shuffling the board.
Some people consider Mahjong the game of luck, but the reality is that there are players with carefully developed strategies, and those are the players that most often win. As soon as you get your tiles, check them and try to calculate how many you need for the shortest path to win. Also, learn the value of the tiles and figure out the order in which you should discard your tiles. Try and deceive your opponents by (not) separating your tiles. Last, but not least, focus mostly on the 'free' tiles that you are able to take from the board, but don't ignore the blocked tiles- plan ahead!
When playing a Mahjong Solitaire game, the most important thing is to have a strategy that will not leave you with tiles on the board and no available matches left. The trick to that is to always try and play the matches that will open up the most tiles. If there is a pair that won't free any other tiles, leave it for now. Try to remove the tiles from horizontal lines, since those are usually harder to remove. If you still get stuck, you can reshuffle the board and get new possibilities, or you can undo your moves back to where it got complicated and try to find other solutions.
Playing games can indeed be thrilling and addictive, but it's important to know that you don't have to play for money in order to have fun and enjoy the game. Whether you prefer the Solitaire version of Mahjong or the classical version, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it without betting your own money.
After all, the thrill of the game comes from spending time and conversing with people or enjoying it yourself, relaxing, working your brain cells and developing strategies. For Solitaire lovers, there are many free online websites that let you play hours and hours of the various combinations of Mahjong without losing a dime.
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This thrilling and engaging tile game originated from China, but the exact time and circumstances of its origin are still a mystery. Some theories say that it was the game of Chinese royalty, while others say that it was invented by a general to keep his soldiers occupied.
The most recent and popular theories say that it is actually only around 150 years old and it was a variation of a popular card game. In the western world, it was popularized in the early 20th century and today counts millions of players all around the world and a diversity of versions.
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