The Rules of Mahjong

Mahjong is a simple and popular game, keeping your attention with the aim to find matching pairs and clear the entire game field.

Why play Mahjong?

The online Mahjong game is a web version of the ancient Chinese game Mahjong and is an ideal choice for entertainment. It offers the player a game with themselves, as both the playtime and the journey to the goal depend on the player. The game strengthens memory, demands observation and planning, and also allows in an entertaining way to try again and again until eventually finding the right path to the goal.

In addition to amusement, the Mahjong game also provides the player the opportunity to practice their own cognitive skills in real life. As you know, cognitive abilities are actually the capacities to use our brains for easier problem solving, whether it's the ability to gather and process information, and to use decision-making process. And as the elders among us can tell, the game is an ideal choice for development and learning.

The time you dedicate to playing is actually the time you devote to yourself. And this time is priceless. Therefore, mahjong games on the Play123 website are free and accessible to everyone, 24 hours a day (24/7).

How to play Mahjong


Game tiles and dice are basic tools for the board game. [source]

The rules of Mahjong game are very simple. In this game, you will see tiles with different motifs on the game board that need to be connected and removed. Again and again, you will be challenged by different formations in various Mahjong games.

Your goal is to clear the game board by connecting matching pairs. Since every motif is usually present multiple times on the game board, it is wise to plan your moves in such a way that you reach all motifs during the game.

You can only choose those motifs that are free, i.e., not covered by other motifs. So, you reach a successfully connected pair of motifs by looking for a free and matching motif for each tile and connecting them with a click. In practice: if a tile with a motif is in the middle between two other tiles, you cannot click and connect it with a matching motif.

Mahjong for beginners

We have prepared a tutorial game for you that illustrates the essence of Mahjong game. It is a demonstration of the basic function that leads you to the goal in the game. All those who already know the Mahjong game, you are invited to choose a Mahjong game that will match your knowledge, perhaps the one with a limited playing time, or more difficult versions, which have a more branching game board on several levels.

Remove all pairs of matching tiles:

  • find tiles that have exactly the same appearance
  • double click on each of the tiles (a single click on the selected tile will cancel the selection)
  • if the tiles match, they will disappear from the game board

A tile is only accessible if there is no other tile on top of it and if it can move left, right, or in both directions. The game ends if you successfully remove all the tiles or if no pair of accessible and matching tiles remains.

From the classic Mahjong game to Mahjong Solitaire

Try a wide range of online Mahjong games, from those with thematic motifs (animals, candy, diamonds, color scales), to classic Mahjong games and those with a limited playing time.

For lovers of the classic Mahjong game, we recommend the Mahjong Solitaire game, in which 144 tiles are arranged in layers, and the goal is to connect open pairs of identical tiles and remove them from the game board. You can only connect those tiles that are not covered by others, thus freeing the remaining tiles, which you then connect with matching ones. You win the game when you remove all the tiles. [source]

Try the Butterfly Kyodai game, in which you connect butterflies that fly, or the Mahjong Connect game, in which you connect motifs at the same level, are extremely popular. Many players are also convinced by slightly more demanding games in 3D, such as Mahjong 3D, in which you play on a 3D game board.

For those looking for an additional challenge, we recommend the Pyramid Mahjong Solitaire game, in which you can only combine cards with a total sum of 13, or perhaps the Miracle Mahjong game, which bets on a real miracle for success at all levels, as its name suggests.

Of course, you can also keep track of your results. If you want your score to be recorded, you must log in or join in a particular game. If you would like to enjoy different games in addition to searching for pairs, such as sudoku, tetris, card games, or perhaps puzzles, you are invited to find the ideal choice on our website.

Tips for Easier Playing of the Mahjong Game

Tip #1: Review the game board at the start

Every start is different, partly because the layout of the motifs on the game board is different each time. We recommend that you calmly look at the entire game board and internalize the composition of the motif tiles. Try to remember the first few moves that will connect the matching pairs and create an opportunity for easier searching for new pairs.

Tip #2: Think twice and then make your move

You know how the saying goes: persistence pays off twice. We advise you to strategically connect pairs and think about the next pair with each connected pair. In multi-level Mahjong games, first unlock the upper levels so that you can reach the motifs in the lower levels. A simple rule: play from top to bottom.

Tip #3: Always look for tiles that are free

In multi-level games, a motif tile can be fully or partially covered by another tile, which means that you cannot use the tiles below. In these cases, first find the matching motif tile on the upper tile and think about the next step in which you will already have a free tile with a matching motif for the tile on the lower level.

Tip #4: Don't avoid asking for help

Using the help can be a decision that can save you a gray hair or two. Many games offer a hint button, clicking on it will suggest the next move depending on where you are in the game. Don't worry, the computer won't make your job any harder, but it can significantly ease your strategic choice of the next move.

Tip #5: Try multiple times

If it happens that suddenly all potential pairs are blocked by other tiles and no move you imagined is possible anymore, then try with a new game. Many games offer a shuffle button, which allows you to try the game again.

Mahjong FAQ

Where does the game of Mahjong originate from?

The game, as the name suggests, comes from China. It is actually a social game that is originally played by several players, but the online game Mahjong is also suitable for individual players. The game offers a memory challenge, in some versions also a mathematical challenge, and in many cases, some luck is also needed to successfully reach the goal.

What makes the game of Mahjong so popular worldwide?

Mahjong is based on images and is probably for this reason extremely popular among different speaking nations. You don't need any additional tools for the game, nor does the game require too much effort from you. It's a relaxed game that relieves you, but at the same time also offers a challenge that is not too big for your brain. It is actually an ideal balance between play and practice of your own cognitive abilities.

Is it possible to solve all Mahjong games?

All mahjong are solvable as they are created logically. But there are different themes and difficulty levels that make the path to success more difficult. We suggest you read our tips above for easier playing of Mahjong game before starting the game.