Mahjong Game

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Play Free - Mahjong Game

This is an ancient game of Maj-Jong played in the modern world.   Can it be beaten? Instructions are in the game.

History of Mahjong

One of the myths of the origin of Mahjong suggests that Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, had developed the game in about 500 BC. This assertion is likely to be apocryphal. According to this myth, the appearance of the game in the various Chinese states coincided with Confucius' travels at the time he was teaching his new doctrines.

Also, this myth claims that Confucius was fond of birds, which would explain the name "Mahjong" (sparrow). However, there is no evidence of Mahjong's existence before the Taiping era in the 19th century, which eliminates Confucius as a likely inventor.

The general consensus is that the game was developed from existing Chinese card and domino games sometime around 1850. Many historians believe it was based on a Chinese card game called Mdio (馬吊) (also known as Ma Tiae, lit. Hanging Horse; or Yz (葉子), lit. Leaf) in the early Ming dynasty. This game was played with 40 paper cards similar in appearance to the cards used in the game Ya Pei. These 40 cards, numbered 1 to 9 in four different suits along with four extra flower cards, are quite similar to the numbering of Mahjong tiles today.

There is still a healthy debate about who created the game. One theory is that Chinese army officers serving during the Taiping Rebellion created the game to pass the time. Another theory is that a noble living in the Shanghai area created the game between 1870 and 1875. Others believe that around 1850 in the city of Nngpō two brothers had created Mahjong from the earlier game of Mdio.

This traditional Chinese game was banned in its homeland in 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded. The new Communist government forbade any gambling activities, which were regarded as symbols of capitalist corruption. After the Cultural Revolution, the game was revived, and once again Mahjong has become a favorite pastime of the Chinese, as well as in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and elsewhere.

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