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Strategies and Tips on how to play free Mahjong

The game called Mahjong (or Mahjongg) was originated in Asia, more specifically in China, about 2000 years ago and it was created to entertain the royalty. After the 1920’s, of the last century, Mahjong was popularised all around the world, acquiring even many online versions.

The classic Mahjong game, the traditional one played in China, is played by four people and it is, in many times, very similar to a card game, although it is played with tiles, instead of cards. Another more recent version of Mahjong is the called Mahjong Solitaire, which is basically a mix of these two games, putting together the peculiarities of the traditional Chinese game and of the traditional Solitaire Card game.

If you prefer to play the four players version or the one player version in your computer, we will bring you some strategies and tips bellow to help you improve your game even more!

Classic Mahjong

Ancient China

Ancient China

On the classic, or original, version of Mahjong you are competing against three opponents to form the best meld (sequence) at the end of that hand. The best strategy is to try to figure out the hand of your opponents while you avoid them to figure yours. Generally, it is the instinct of a beginner to form the maximum number of melds that she can, meaning that you make triplets (3 tiles of the same type), quadruples (4 of the same type) or a group of tiles of the same suit in sequence. However, when you make those sequences before the end of the round, you end up ‘showing’ your hand to your opponents, which will give them a notion of how you are building your hand. So, be very careful and think before you go around making melds (sequences).

Likewise, you can use the tiles in the discard pile to build melds (sequences) for your hand. However, by grabbing one of them you will be exposing some information about your sequence for the other players. So, be very careful when you choose to take one tile from the discard pile as well, only use those tiles to complete your sequences when it’s necessary.

When you discard a tile from your hand, try to discard tiles that have also being discarded by the other players. By doing that, you will be making sure that the tiles you are discarding are of no value to your opponents, so you won’t be giving them tiles that could be useful to defeat you in the game by completing your opponents melds.

Mahjong Solitaire

Mahjong Solitaire is a version of Mahjong that was initially developed to be played in computers, where the 144 tiles of the traditional Mahjong are piled up (in many variable forms) on a board.

The goal of this version is to remove pairs of identical tiles, until all the tiles of the game have being eliminated from the board (in some version this has to be done in a determinate time, before the clock runs out of time, or you make more points if you finish the game in less time).

The goal may seem simple at times, but it is, in reality, very difficult. What makes the game hard is that you are only allowed to match and eliminate the tiles that are “free” (the ones that do not have any other tiles to its right or to its left, at least one of the sides must be free, and also do not have any other tiles on top of them). If you can match and eliminate all of the tiles following this one rule, then you win the game!

Although the rules of the game are very simple, you may find yourself “stuck” many times, with no free tiles left to you to match, which leads to the end of the game. This is why we are bringing you some strategies and tips to help you win even more rounds of Mahjong Solitaire or Mahjong Titans.

Traditional Mahjong Tiles

Traditional Mahjong Tiles

One mistake most beginners will make is go around matching and eliminating any pair of free tiles they find as fast as they can. This may even work, but it’s not the best strategy you can use to win this game. Instead of just matching and eliminating pairs of tiles haphazardly, you should try to match and eliminate the ones that by being eliminated will reveal other tiles that could be useful in future matches and subsequently, eliminations. For example, it is better to eliminate a pair of tiles that include a tile from the top of a pile, or on top of another tile, than to eliminate a pair of tiles from the borders (the edge) of the board, as that won’t reveal any other tiles for you right now.

Another strategy that could help you win more at Mahjong is to try to eliminate two pairs of identical tiles (four identical tiles) at the same time. Always that you see the opportunity to match and eliminate two pairs of identical tiles, do it! This is very good for you game, because later you won’t find yourself with a single tile with no pair to be matched with (when the pair of this particular tile is still hidden underneath other tiles), which would lead you to being “stuck”, with no possible moves left in the game.

It is also worth mentioning that Mahjong only has 4 Seasons tiles and 4 Flowers tiles and that all of them are unique tiles that can be matched with any other one of the tiles of the same category, meaning that all the Seasons tiles can be matched with all the Season tiles and all the Flowers tiles can be matched with all the Flowers tiles.

These tips and strategies can help you a lot, especially if you are just starting to play Mahjong, because they reduce your chances of being stuck in the game with no moves left. However, to know all this tips and strategies will have no value if you don’t put them into practice. As the old saying goes: Practice makes perfect. So, feel free to practice in our website! And may all of you have a nice game!
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