If you frequented the internet in the early 2000s and regularly played games, you are probably familiar with the classic online game "Mahjong Titans." In fact, this was the first Mahjong Solitaire game playable in a browser without having to download any software.
We like to think there’s something magical about going back to the classics, when times were simpler, perhaps? At MahjongOnline.com, you can relive those gaming glory days. Not only have we recreated this classic game, but we’ve kept it as close to the original as possible—and the best part? The game is completely free, full screen, and can be played instantly online right on your browser. In keeping true to the original version, Mahjong Online features no hints or no shuffle options, so you’ll have to solve the puzzles with only the power of your own mind. Trust us, the game offers real brain teasers, challenging you to ponder different possibilities for solving the puzzle. Mahjong Online keeps you focused and relaxed at the same time.
If that sounds enticing, we know you will love playing Mahjong with us—but if you are new to this game and want to learn how to play, we can help! Below, you will find a brief explanation to get you started in the right direction. The game is quite easy to learn, with only a few rules—and the best part? It's fun to play for young and old alike.
At the start of each game, you will see a board full of stacked tiles—144 of them to be exact. Looking closely, you can see that some tiles appear multiple times. This is important, as the aim of the game is to find pairs and remove them from the board. The game is won when all pairs have been discovered and removed and the playing field is empty. Some simple rules apply to gameplay, but to understand them properly, we first need to know which tiles can be found in the game:
The 144 Mahjong tiles fit into three distinct categories, which are:
Suits and Honors each appear 4 times in a set and Bonus Items only appear once. Below you will find a visual overview of the categories and corresponding tile sets:
In order to match tiles, they must be identical. As indicated above, tiles from Suits and Honors occur 4 times each. Identical tiles from these sets can, therefore, be matched to play away pairs as follows:
However, there is an exception. As you can see in Figure 1, the Bonus Items occur only once each time, so it is impossible to make pairs using them. Therefore, you can match Bonus Items, but only within the category they fall under. For example, Flowers may be matched with each other and the same goes for Seasons. However, it is not possible to match Seasons with Flowers:
Keep in mind, you can only play the tiles away if at least one long side is free. They may not be between two other tiles:
You cannot match tiles where another tile is fully or partially on top:
Although the game itself is relatively simple and relaxing, it involves quite a bit of strategy and planning, especially if you want to finish the game completely. The following strategies will solve almost any mahjong game and avoid situations where you get stuck.
1. Always Think a Few Steps Ahead
Mahjong is a true strategy game. Making just one move without thinking it through can effectively lock up the entire puzzle and make it impossible to finish. Be aware that several different matches are always possible during the game, particularly in the early stages. You should never go blindly forward, selecting random pairs! Instead, find all possible pairs first--then make a judgment call about which match is best. The best move will always be the one that unlocks the largest number of new tiles, reducing your chances of getting stuck since each new open tile can lead to a new match. If you have found a pair that does not unlock other tiles, leave it until you need it. Matching the wrong pair can—and will—lead you to unsolvable situations.
2. Upper Tiles
Be sure to always play away the top tiles first. The rules of Mahjong Online do not allow you to play away tiles with others on top, and if you are left with a few high stacks at the end of the game, it becomes difficult to solve—especially if there are pairs in those remaining stacks.
3. Avoid Horizontal Rows
Working with long horizontal rows can be frustrating because all of the tiles are visible—but not accessible. Therefore, it is often in your best interest to make all of the long rows shorter first, while keeping to the strategy referenced in the first point, “Always think a few steps ahead!”
With these strategies in mind, you’ll be playing, and winning, at Mahjong before you know it!