Solitaire Mahjong is a solitaire game that uses mahjong chips. This game is also known as Solitaire Mahjong, Shanghai or only as Mahjongg or Mahjong. The chips are derived from the Chinese Mahjong game for four players. Traditional tokens are based on Chinese symbols and characters, but modern Mahjong Solitaire games can have all kinds of different images on the tokens.
In The Lonely Mahjong, the tokens are organized into different designs and shapes with their faces up. The goal is to combine two identical tiles and remove them from the board. Only free chips can be connected. A chip is considered open if it can be moved to the left or the right without bothering other chips. In some games, you can combine a tab with flowers with any additional flower tab, and the same applies to tiles with seasons of the year.
All Mahjong variants have different regulations and scores, plus changes in the number of chips and eventually more limited hands and more complex scores. These are the current regulations for each variant:
- Mahjong or RCM competition rules (also called, official Chinese International Rules): these are the rules used in most of the official tournaments. They are rules with a lot of plays, which makes the game more complicated but at the same time, that is the real beauty of the game.
- American Modern rules: American modern rules are the most widespread and played rules in the USA. They use Jokers and also Charleston (chips are exchanged at the beginning before each game starts).
- European Classic rules: these are old but golf rules that are still proposed as standard rules mostly in Spanish-made Mahjong games.
- Japanese rules: The Japanese Rules are one of the most spread rules that have ever been found in various video games. In addition to changing Faan’s score to Yaku and pointy sticks, there is the Riichi method (立直) to declare a ready hand and the Dora (ドラ) to increase the count of those sticks. Also, there are the rules of sacred discards, where players cannot win by discarding in this situation. They are used in many tournaments in Japan and Europe.
- Thai rules: rules in which specific jokers, animals, and fresh flowers are added, with a total of 168 tiles.
- Taiwanese rules: rules in which the hands are 16 chips.
- Three player rules: rules in which sets use fewer chips than the original because only three players participate — a variant of Japanese, Korean, Philippine and Malaysian laws. Flowers or wildcards are used, a complete set is omitted, or only the terminals of that set are used, Chow is not supported, and is considered a quick game.
The Chinese game of mahjong chips can be played either as a group or on your own. If you choose to play it on your own, it’s known as lonely mahjong. It might look complicated on the surface, but it’s a fun and pretty simple puzzle game after you catch the trick. The rules are usually the same regardless of whether you choose to play it online or using real chips, although, because there are so many variations available to play, you should try different versions and sets of rules if you are experienced.