Many of us know Mahjong as the easy to play online tile matching game. The game is available on many online gaming platforms plus in downloadable versions on both the iOS and Android platforms. However, what many of us don’t know that the original and traditional version of the game is much different and much more thrilling than the solitaire version. Most individuals from China would probably feel offended by the solitaire version.
The real Mahjong is an important part of the Chinese culture and is much more thrilling than the solitaire version. Free of any options like shuffle, hints and undo, the original game involves a lot of strategic thinking and stimulation of the mind.
Mahjong – A History
Mahjong has a fascinating history. There is no solid opinion on how and when the game originated. The identity of the person behind this interesting game is also shrouded in mystery. Due to the confusion related to the origins of the game, the history of the game is made up of many myths.
Some of the myths indicate that the first time this game was recognised was in the Chinese court sometime around 500BCE. At that time, only the noble were allowed to indulge in the entertainment provided by Mahjong. On the other hand, common people who were found playing this game were threatened with decapitation. The restriction was dissolved in 500 AD. This led to the spreading of the game all around the world.
Who Invented Mahjong?
Just like the general history of the game, there is no definite opinion on who invented Mahjong. Some say that the game was invented by Confucius. It is also said that Confucius invented many other games along Mahjong. However, there is no evidence to support this opinion.
On the other hand, some of the recent theories indicate that Mahjong might have invented by the Chinese troops as a way of passing the time.
Rules of the Original Mahjong
These days, people are familiar with the rules of the solitaire version of the game. However, the original version of the game involved more than one player. Over the years, the game found its way beyond the Asian borders and the rules changed as different versions of the game appeared. The game became so popular across the globe that there was a worldwide shortage of bone and ivory for making the tiles of Mahjong in the 1920s. An interesting fact is that ivory Mahjong tiles were considered to be a sign of elite status among the Chinese community.
The solitaire version of Mahjong remains popular among the younger generation but there is no shortage of people who still respect the original Mahjong. Mahjong is a significant part of the Chinese culture and is still a great way to socialise for the Chinese. As mentioned earlier, the game has many versions but the British version is closest to the original one except the addition of more melds. Given the significance of Mahjong for Chinese nationals, it would be no surprise that they will keep the essence of the original Mahjong for years to come.