Here at Starbie, we offer a large collection of free Mahjong games. All of these games can be played directly in the internet browser window, no downloads required. We’ve provided some more information about Mahjong games below, including the game rules and some top recommended games players.
What are Mahjong games
The Mahjong games offered on this site are mostly board games using the traditional tiles of the popular Chinese game Mahjong. These online Mahjong games are not the same as traditional Mahjong though. The games you find online are mostly a game variation called Mahjong Solitaire, which is designed for one player. That means that these games are not classic Mahjong, a Chinese game that was developed during the Qing dynasty and is usually played by four people. Mahjong Solitaire is played very differently.
How to play Mahjong
In these single-player Mahjong games, the player must find and collect the identical pairs of tiles. The game is usually played with a set of 144 tiles, which are laid out on the table in a certain formation. Some tiles are stacked on top of others, fully or partially covering the tiles below.
The player can select pairs to remove from the table. However, the player cannot just pick any tiles. The rectangular tiles can only be used to form a pair (which is called a meld) if they are free on at least one long side. In addition, the player cannot select any tiles that are covered – fully or partially – by any other tile. In some games, the playable tiles are highlighted, but in other games the player will have to scan the board for playable tiles without any help.
All 144 tiles are arranged in a certain pattern. The most common pattern is called the ‘turtle formation’, because it looks a bit like the shape of a turtle seen from above. In the centre of the formation, the part representing the turtle’s shield, the tiles are stacked up the highest.
The classic Mahjong tiles consist of three sets of numbered tiles: the dots, the bamboo, and the Chinese characters. Then there are special tiles representing the four winds and the three dragons. There are also two sets of bonus tiles. One set represents different flowers, and the other represents the seasons. The bonus sets are the only ones that often do not feature identical tiles. However, they can still be used to make pairs by combining them with a tile from the same series.
Goal of the game
The goal is to find all of the pairs. When the player makes a meld, the selected pair of tiles will vanish from the board. This will usually free up some new tiles. The aim is to keep going until the whole formation is cleared away.
Different Types of Mahjong games
Some games allow the player to shuffle the tiles when they run out of moves, but others do not. When the player cannot reshuffle the tiles, running out of moves means the player loses the game. The score is recorded and the player can then try again. Some games, such as Mahjongg Dimensions are 3D, where the player can spin the formation around to view it from different angles. Most games also offer a range of different tile formations the player can unlock as they progress through the game.
Popular game variations
The most popular variation on these Mahjong games is a game called Nikakudori or Mahjong Connect. In these games, players must also connect two identical lines. However, this time, the line that runs between the two selected tiles may only make two bends and cannot pass through any other tiles.
Top 5 Mahjong games
For anyone who’s not sure where to start, here is a list of the Top 5 Mahjong games our players have selected as their favourites: