Firstly, one should understand what is meant by the term real Mahjong. Most people who know about Mahjong think of it as the solitaire tile matching game. However, the real Mahjong is very different and much more interesting. Real Mahjong is a multi-player (usually four players) based on the draw and discards system.
Mahjong is an important part of the Asian culture. Playing Mahjong and comparing scores is a favourite time pass among people belonging to the Asian regions. One might say that Asians talk about Mahjong the way Golf is talked about in the West.
What makes the Game so Interesting?
Like all board and puzzle games, Mahjong needs certain skill and focus to play. It allows you to push your mind in order to get a winning hand. It is about achieving a balance between playing defensively and aggressively. The game involves calculated risks but the real goal is to prepare a winning hand. Despite being easy and simple to learn, the more experience you have, the better chances you have of winning.
Therapeutic Effects of the Game
Nowadays, we have all kinds of facilities; mostly provided as a result of developments through technology, allow us to have a better quality and easier life. However, it has also resulted in more pressures, social and personal burdens, and stress. In the past, people were more connected by one on one time with each other. Technology allows us to reduce the barriers across the globe but it feels like we are disconnecting ourselves with what we have right in front of us. In a situation like this, traditional games like Mahjong play a good role in bringing people together for not only a fun time but a brain stimulating activity. Mahjong, as admitted by long time players, has helped to relieve their hypertension. Moreover, the strategy of playing the game allows the players to discover their personal level of mental concentration and alertness.
Real Mahjong is played using 136 tiles. These tiles feature Chinese characters and symbols. The game needs four players with each of the player sitting on one side of a square table. Each player starts off with an initial hand of 13 tiles. Each player is supposed to complete a winning hand by drawing a tile on their own or retrieving a tile discarded by another player. The player who completes a hand before others wins. The second aim is to create a high scoring hand and score is based on certain combinations. The lower the probability of achieving a combination, the higher the score is.
Playing the game involves quick strategic thinking. Playing the game makes you learn how to overcome challenges through applying your skills of strategic thinking. Many players admit that the stimulation of the mind through this game has helped them face challenges of the real life.
In Asian cultures, Mahjong is more than just a game. It has become a part of regular life and is a vital part of socializing.