Mahjong is a very popular online game and free Mahjong is offered by several websites. What is the origin of Mahjong? Let us find out. This is a game of Chinese origin and normally four players participate in a table game of Mahjong. But you can find 3 players version of Mahjong in Japan and Korea. The table Mahjong should not be misinterpreted with the single player western computer game that is recently invented and is totally different. Mahjong is a skill game and it needs great amount of calculation and strategy win. Certain amount of chance is also involved in the outcome of the game. In Asian countries Mahjong is played popularly for gambling purposes but it can also be played for recreational purposes.
How the game is played? A set of 152 tiles with Chinese symbols and characters are used in this game, though some variations on number of tiles could be found in certain regions. In most versions each player is distributed with thirteen tiles. The players then in turn draw and discard tiles until they form four groups and a pair to complete a legal hand using the fourteenth drawn tile. Rules are standard on moves like how to draw a piece, how it is stolen from another player, the ways of dealing and playing, usage of basics and honors, kinds of steals etc. But rules can be found varying in different regions. In addition rules on scoring system and minimum hand required for winning can vary according to local rules.
There are many theories on who founded the game, some myths imply that Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher was the father of this game and he invented it in 500 BC. Another theory is that officers of the Chinese army sent to quell the Taiping Rebellion developed it for passing time during breaks. Mahjong was however banned by the communist government when it seized power in 1949 and later revived in 1985 by Cultural Revolution.