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Online Mahjong Solitaire Game


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Mahjong solitaire is unique among games, being a thrilling and exciting challenge yet somehow very relaxing at the same time. 

Mahjong Solitaire Rules

Many of the best games have rules that are surprisingly easy to learn, and Mahjong solitaire is one of these.  The aim is to remove all of the tiles from the board (or as many as possible) by selecting matching pairs. The tricky thing is that only visible tiles who can be moved to the left or to the right can be removed.  In other words, tiles whose left or right edge is not blocked by another tile can be removed, but if a tile is trapped in between other tiles on both its left hand side and right hand side, then it cannot be removed.

To lay out your board, and start the clock ticking, click the New Game Button.  To select your first tile, simply click on it with your mouse and, as long as it's an untrapped, tile you'll see its color change slightly to indicate the selection.  Now, click to select a matching untrapped tile and you'll remove your chosen the pair from the board.

With all these tiles scattered everywhere, sometimes it will be difficult to know for sure whether there are any untrapped matches available.  To overcome the fear that you're searching in vain, you can always view how many untrapped pairs exist on your current board by checking the number of "pairs remaining" near the top right of the game.      

In our aim to have the best gaming experience for our faithful visitors, Springfrog's online Mahjong Solitaire can be played using a number of different preferences to ensure you can enjoy this great game again and again.  Clicking on the options button will allow you to choose from different "maps", in other words different layouts of Mahjong tiles at the start of the game.  If you're in the mood to demolish one of those classic alien interlopers you can choose a space invader pattern of tiles to begin with.  If you really love Mahjong, maybe you could choose a Heart shape, or if you're an animal lover you could try the Turtle pattern. Fans of Egyptian culture are catered for too with our challenging Pyramid design.  

In addition to the different layouts, you can also choose between three differently designed tile sets by using the Style drop-down box under the Options menu button.  The default tiles have various different everyday symbols that you can enjoy matching.  If you want a more natural look you can select the wood style, where you need to match pairs of numbers and letters which have been carved out on a wooden set of tiles. Alternatively, for probably the most beautiful looking game, you can choose some delightful flowers to fill up your Mahjong board. 

If you get to a point where there are no more matching pairs of untrapped tiles remaining on the board you'll get a Game Over message.  However, if you wish you can still choose to shuffle and try to carry on and finish clearing the board, although shuffling will add a minute to your game time. 

Mahjong Solitaire Strategy

Finding a matching untrapped pair is only half of the story...or less!  The trick to getting the best out of the game is to use some crafty mahjong solitaire strategy!  When chosing tiles to remove, try to select those whose removal will untrap tiles that would have otherwise been trapped between the tile you are removing and another.  Try to plan ahead with this type of removal, although beware spending too much time planning as the clock will be ticking away! Because of the need to plan ahead a little, it's always useful to see as many of the tiles as possible, so removing a tile which is stacked on top of another tile can be a worthwhile part of your Mahjong solitaire strategy.  Long lines are dangerous to keep, so try to whittle these down if you can. One particular situation to beware of is getting to a point where finding a matching pair is impossible even after shuffling.  For example if you get down to a point where the last two tiles on the board are stacked on top of each other  no amount of reshuffling can get you to a point where you can remove the tiles.  The only option in this type of situation is to go back in time a bit by using the Undo button to re-place tiles on the board to escape the stalemate. 

The undo button itself can be used any number of times, which can be useful if you've found yourself in a real mess.  Sometimes you may need to beware of succumbing to the temptation of going back a large number of moves with the undo button however, as the clock is ticking away and the more you go back the longer it will take to remove the tiles again in a different way than you had previously done.  Careful use of the shuffle button in combination with the undo button can be a good tactic but remember that each time you shuffle a minute will be added to your time.

History of Mahjong

The single player game of Mahjong solitaire is based on the 4 player game known simply as Mahjong which has Chinese origins.  Mahjong feels like an ancient game.  There's something about it that just makes you picture people in China throughout the ages of time sitting around a board and strategizing their moves.  Indeed there is even a story that the Ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, invented Mah Jong, which would date the game back to his lifetime of 551 to 479 BC. Another tale dating back to around the same time tells of how a beautiful princess or high ranking lady was kept in seclusion in the court of the King of Wu. To save herself from boredom she invented the game and carved tiles from ivory and bamboo.  Three of her maids would join with her to play the game and help her to enjoy her days. 

The stories continue to tell of how the playing of Mahjongg was limited strictly to noblepersons throughout hundreds of years. Any commoner playing the game was beheaded!  This edict continued to be in place until around 500BC when the rule was lifted, thus allowing members of the public to also participate in the game.

Although these stories are interesting and romantic, unfortunately there seems to be no evidence to support them.  No ancient mahjong tiles have ever been found dating back to any time before the 19th century.  Personally, in my own brief investigations I've been unable to discover any mention of Mahjong in any old literature in the English language earlier than a 1927 copy of Life Magazine where it is featured in a short humorous story of two gentlemen planning their holiday activities.  This appears to support the widespread theory that the name Mah Jongg was first coined in the early 1920s for a game invented in the latter half of the 19th century. The identities of the inventors are still unclear however. Some stories say that Chinese Army officers during the Chinese civil war known as the Taiping Rebellion between 1850 and 1864 devised the game.  Other theories regarding the game's origin include its invention in Ningpo, a town famous for its ivory carvings.  Here, it is said  that an earlier card game called Ma-Tiao was converted and adapted using ivory tiles.

After its introduction to the USA in 1920, the popularity of Mahjong initially exploded before dieing off before the end of the decade, only to rise in popularity once again during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Since then, Mah Jong Leagues, associations and contests have developed. It has become Japan's most-played table game, and has even been scientifically proven to have lasting beneficial effects on cognitive performance, resulting in the emergence of Mahjong Therapy.

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