Mahjong is one of the most popular games in the world, but if you play mahjong solitaire online, you may not know that there is a difference between "mahjong solitaire" and "mahjong", the board game on which mahjong solitaire is based.
There are several major differences between mahjong and mahjong solitaire:
Mahjong is played by a group of people
Mahjong is a table game similar to rummy, played with groups of 2 or 4 people. Mahjong is usually played with solo competitors, each trying to get the highest score, but it can also be played as a team game such as at the Mahjong World Championships. Mahjong is a popular social activity in China and other Asian countries, where many people love to play mahjong at family gatherings, weddings and banquet halls.
Mahjong solitaire is of course a game for one, usually played online.
Mahjong is about making "hands" or "melds" of tiles
In Mahjong, each player is given 13 tiles at the start of the game and the objective is to gradually discard, exchange and draw new tiles to find the correct combination of 14 tiles to make a winning "hand". There are many complex variations of winning hands based on the combination of tiles a player can get - for example, depending on the rules and the type of mahjong being played, a winning hand may involve a combination of four different sets of three matching tiles or three sets of four matching tiles plus a matching pair (for a total of 14 tiles).
In Mahjong solitaire, the goal is simpler – you don't have to line up the tiles in a particular order or worry about whether you might line up a winning hand of 14 tiles. You just have to find the matching tiles and gradually work until you remove them all.
Mahjong has unique superstitions
Many Mahjong players have their own personal superstitions or habits that they use to try to bring them luck – for example, some Mahjong players will wear lucky clothing or lucky jewelery and trinkets, or try to find seats at the Mahjong table , which have the best "Feng Shui" or the most favorable placement according to traditional Chinese design principles.
Mahjong solitaire, perhaps because it's a solo game, doesn't have the same kind of superstition attached to it - but if you want to wear a "lucky t-shirt" that makes you play Mahjong better, feel free to keep doing it!