American traveler Joseph Park Babcock brought the game to the United States from China in the 1920s, claiming it was 4,000 years old. In truth, mahjong did not emerge until after 1850, as evidenced by written records and preserved board games. From then on it spread rapidly in China and Japan and, thanks to Babcock, worldwide in the 20th century. There are different variants of the board game, of which the 'Hua Bao Rules' in the four-player version are the most common in Europe. Similar to a card game, the aim of this type of game is to have the most valuable combination possible in hand by skillfully pulling and discarding stones.
Mahjong as a computer game
The board game has long since disappeared from the mainstream outside of Asia and is only played by a small fan base in the rest of the world. As a computer game in the single player version as Mahjong Solitaire, also known as Patience Mahjong or Shanghai, it enjoys unbroken popularity. Our free mahjong variant is also a puzzle game for one person: At the beginning, the stones are laid out in different shapes on the playing field and can overlap each other. Now all stones have to be dismantled in pairs to successfully complete the level. Our free mahjong is also optimized for mobile devices, so you can play it at home on your PC or on the go on your mobile phone and tablet. 55 varied stone formations are just waiting to be dismantled by your gray matter. Play fast and skillfully, collect bonus points and fight your way to the top of the highscore list!
Click or tap on two identical pieces and remove them. Combine more pairs of stones until the field is cleared.
You can only mine stones that are exposed on the left or right and are not covered by other stones.
Break up several pairs of stones in quick succession to get bonus points.
There are additional bonus points for dismantling pairs of glowing stones and for quickly completing the level.
Press the lightbulb for a hint. It can be used every few seconds.
Use the arrow button to reshuffle the pieces on the playing field when there are no more pairs to be found. But beware! You can only do this once per game.
Unlock new levels and show what you can do!
Tips & Tricks
Tip # 1: get an overview
At the beginning of a level, take your time to look at the entire field of play before taking any action. Then remove those pairs of stones first whose motifs catch your eye the most.
Tip # 2: top stones first
Often stones are covered by others, then you should first look for the counterpart to the stones on top in order to reduce the stack and expose the stones below.
Tip # 3: Half-hidden game pieces
Even if a stone is only half hidden by another, you cannot use it and must first dismantle the blocking stones a row higher up.
Tip # 4: pay attention to the neighbors
A token can only be used if it is exposed on the left or right side. First dismantle a neighboring stone in order to be able to use the desired stone.
Tip # 5: helper functions
Should you ever get stuck, the help button will show you a possible pair. If a combination is no longer possible, you can use the arrow button to shuffle the stones again.
The aim of the game in Mahjong is to remove all the pieces on the field. To dissolve a pair of stones you have to select two stones with the same symbol one after the other. Each symbol is available for multiple pairs on the playing field. So think about a strategy to get to all the stones. Because you can only select stones that are not covered by another stone and are exposed either on the right or left. So find the right partner for all stones with the same symbol and clear the playing field.
Pieces stacked on top of one another can be completely or partially covered. In order to dismantle this pile, you first have to find the matching counterpart for the stones above. If you should not see any possible pairs, then use the button with the light bulb to display a pair that can be combined. If you cannot mine any more pieces because all pairs are blocked by other pieces, you can use the shuffle button to randomly rearrange the symbols on the remaining pieces.
Dismantle several pairs of stones in a row in a short time and without mistakes, then you will receive a lot of bonus points. You can get additional points if a token is colored pink. Then you just have to quickly find another tile with the same design and select both tiles to combine them. Solve a level as fast as possible to get more bonus points. Replay completed levels to improve your high score and move up in the ranking.
FAQ for Mahjong
Mahjong is based on dominoes and card games that were popular in 18th and 19th century China. The transition from cards to game pieces probably took place in the middle of the 19th century. The oldest surviving stone sets date from around 1870 and were discovered in Shanghai, Fuzhou and Ningbo. Today, mahjong is still a popular leisure activity in China and other Chinese-speaking communities.
With our free online game you can start immediately in a browser of your choice - without any registration or download.
In the single player variant, also known as Shanghai, Patience Mahjong or Mahjong Solitaire, the goal is to completely dissolve the stone formations on the playing field. To do this, the stones must always be dismantled in pairs. It should be noted that game pieces can only be selected if they are exposed on the left or right and are not covered by other pieces. Therefore, it makes sense to first look for the counterparts to the stones above and work your way down from there.
There are many different ways to play mahjong as a board game. The best known in Europe are the “Hua Bao Rules” for four players. As in a card game, pieces are drawn and discarded until a player has the most valuable hand at the end. A certain game image, which is different depending on the variant, is rated with the maximum number of points. Well-known variants include the three great scholars, the heavenly twins, the nine-lantern game, the writhing snake or the four friends.
The word mahjong comes from China and means something like "passerine birds" or "sparrow game". Because supposedly the clacking of the mahjong stones when mixing resembles the sounds of sparrows.
First dismantle the tiles on top so that the tiles below can be used. Stones can only be selected if they are exposed on one side and are not covered by other stones. With our Mahjong you will automatically be shown a usable piece every few seconds and you then only have to look for the matching counterpart. You can also use the lightbulb button, then a pair of stones that can be used will be highlighted in color. If you have maneuvered yourself into a dead end and no more pairs of stones can be combined, then you can press the arrow button once per level to shuffle the stones again.