Mahjong Solitaire is as famous on computers and mobiles as Tetris and Solitaire games. You have probably already seen several versions of the game for download in the arrangements for computers, Android, and iOS. Because it is a simple and accessible game, just combine pieces to eliminate them from the board in the shortest possible time. Nowadays, most people play Mahjong Solitaire.
History of Chinese Mahjong
When Mahjong appeared it was a four-player board game that involved skill, strategy, and luck.
The creation of this fun game predates computers. As we can imagine its origin is Chinese. But like so many other ancient games, its history is full of theories and mysteries.
But the game probably emerged during the Ming dynasty, between 1368 and 1644, from a combination of the secular Chinese card game MaTiae and dominoes.
The Chinese deck has many of the images we see in Mahjong.
The game has been around the world since the early 20th century when tourists and merchants visiting China began bringing the boards to the United States.
But the game didn’t really break out in the US until 1920 when businessman Ezra Fitch in New York arranged for some copies of the game to be brought in from China for a customer who admired the game.
The extra Mahjong games provided sold out in no time, and demand in New York was outstripping supply. So, Fitch decided to send representatives to China in charge of buying every Mahjong game they could find.
Ultimately, they came back with 12,000 copies of the game, all sold out within a week.
By the 1920s the Mahjong craze had taken hold across the country. Mahjong gained great popularity, especially among women, and several tournaments were organized.
In 1935 the book “Official American Rules” structured the official rules of the game. But a few years later, with the beginning of World War II, the game was left aside, only returning to generate interest a few years after the end of the war.
Its development has not stopped over the years and in 1981 it resulted in the introduction of a new version of Mahjong in the form of a computer game.
Mahjong comes to Computers
Mahjong Solitaire was originally built by Brodie Lockard in 1981 on the educational platform PLATO. Lockard, then a student at Stanford University, had a serious accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. His recovery took a long time in the hospital as he needed an artificial device to breathe.
Despite all the difficulties, his mind was full of ideas, and after much insistence, he got a terminal to program.
And so it was, typing with a stick of mouth, that within two years he created a digital version of Mahjong for PLATO that would eventually pioneer the game that would appear on dozens of other types of computers.
In 1986, Lockard’s game was renamed by Activision for Shanghai. Won versions for the most popular computers at the time: Amiga, Macintosh, and Atari ST. Sold over 10 million copies.
Microsoft also produced its own version, naming it Taipei. They added this version to the Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows 3.0.
Playing Mahjong Solitaire
The 144 tiles of Mahjong are arranged in a special four-layer pattern with their faces upwards.
A tile is said to be open or exposed if it can be moved either left or right without disturbing other tiles. The goal is to match open pairs of identical tiles and remove them from the board, exposing the tiles under them for play. The game is finished when all pairs of tiles have been removed from the board or when there are no exposed pairs remaining.