How To Play
Playing Mahjong is easy – the basic rules are simple.
Remove pairs of matching tiles until there are none left.
You can only remove tiles that have at least one ‘side’ open so that you can pick it up from there.
Some tiles are in a group and you can remove any two from that group as part of the pair.
Sometimes you may run out of possible tile matches. You can ‘shuffle’ to continue playing, or give up and start a new layout.
To play Mahjong solitaire the 144 tiles can be laid out in a multitude of different layouts. The first layout, created by Brodie Lockard in 1986 was called ‘The Turtle’. The aim of the game is to remove matching pairs of tiles from the layout until all of the tiles have been removed from the table.
Some layouts make use of smaller numbers of tiles, and these are simpler for beginners.
Astraware Mahjong includes 3 difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, and Hard, plus a Random difficulty setting. In the harder levels players may find themselves without any matching pairs left. Players can then opt to “shuffle” the remaining tiles to rearrange them and offer more matches. Purists may opt to end the game there, or restart the puzzle to try alternative moves.
Everyone has their favourite tactic of how to play.
In more difficult puzzles, here are some ideas that may help you to complete the puzzles without shuffling!
- Backtrack (undo) when you need to
- Try to keep at least one of each pair visible
- Try to identify locks – that is pieces that are locking down a larger fraction of the remaining tiles. When you have the chance, removing locks in preference will help you to make more progress.
- Watch out for troublesome areas – like stacks where you may have matching tiles overlapping each other, or rows with pairs trapped inside.
- If you have all four of a tile group available, remove them all!