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Mahjong – What is It and How to Play

The Mahjong game comes in two varieties: the original Asian version, which is a four-player game, and Mahjong Solitaire, which is always played by one person and is most popular in the West.

Basics

When you first start the game, you will see a board with 144 tiles piled on top of one another in the shape of a pyramid. The tiles each have a unique set of characters and images on them. If you look closely, you’ll see that some of them are identical.

This is because each image occurs four times throughout the game. The purpose of Mahjong is to match the images on the tiles. In other words, in each series, you’re looking for two pairings.

Tips and Methods for Mahjong

It is commonly considered that success at Mahjong is entirely dependent on players’ odds. However, if you use the appropriate tactics, you will notice that you can solve the puzzle more frequently and rapidly. Every Mahjong puzzle can be solved since the game always has at least one solution.

Look ahead. Before making your first move, evaluate the entire board and try to locate as many matching pairs as possible. Next, plan your actions as far ahead as possible and determine which open pairings should be eliminated to make room for new pairs.

First, choose the couples that are blocking the most other tiles. For example, at the start of the game, the top tile on the pyramid is obstructing four other tiles at the same time, therefore it’s best to remove this one first.

You can also use the Undo button to plan ahead: remove open pairs to examine what’s behind these tiles. If the tiles underneath them are useless, reverse the move and seek a better alternative.

Triples: If you come across three similar free tiles, carefully analyze the board for the best option. There are three free tiles with a green bird in the example above. Now, see what combination you can use to release the most other tiles. C is not obstructing any other tiles, as the one next to it is already free on the right-hand side. As a result, combining A and B to create two new tiles is the best alternative.