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Mahjong is Chinese for sparrow. In reality a game for up to four players, free mahjong online is the quite popular tile matching version of the game for solo play , somewhat akin to a solitaire game. There are quite a lot of tiles, placed randomly next to each other, forming five levels of tiles. In order to remove tiles, you have to pair them according to their symbol or inscription, and in order to make a successful pair, neither tile must be between two other tiles, or underneath another tile.
Though basically a puzzle game, in order to play Mahjong online you have to consider time, since there are many tiles, many different pairs of tiles, as well as tiles stacked on top of other tiles that have to be cleared first in order to get to the tiles on the first level. A keen eye is crucial in quickly identifying the pairs easiest to match and clear. There’s also some thinking and puzzle involved in getting to the harder to reach tiles, clearing off appropriate sections of tiles first.
Though there is enough time to clear all the tiles, a player might find some trouble identifying trouble spots and fall in an erroneous repeating pattern without being able to clear problematic tiles, thus losing because of the time constraint. It is even possible to clear tiles in a way that leaves no available moves, with the player losing the game.
The rules are simple, but time is of the essence. One hundred and forty four tiles have to be cleared by matching identical tiles that are not connected with another tile to their left and right, or are not underneath another tile, within ten minutes. Each cleared tile is worth 5 points, and when all the tiles are cleared within the time limit, a time bonus is awarded to the player equal to a multiple of the time left. Important things to notice are that there are 7 different categories of symbols on the tiles, two of which, seasons and flowers, can be matched with any combination within their sets.
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