The Games We Play

Hello.  My name is Jan and I am a mahjongg addict.  The solitaire kind you play online, anyway.

I had no idea what the hell mahjongg was until I ran across it on, and I was all like, “Oooh – pretty!”

It didn’t stay pretty for very long.  There is something about those Flash games you can find all over the internet (don’t even get me started on my Reversi/Othello obsession) that just brings out my inner male:

“Directions?  We don’t need no stinking directions!”

Needless to say, it took awhile to figure the damn thing out.  And while, yes, I can play the game – for ridiculous periods of time, in fact – I could not begin to explain how it’s played.  To say nothing of telling you what the little tiles stand for.

But I’ll give it my best shot.

Okay, so some of the tiles are numbered and those numbers are represented with dots – except for the one, which is represented by something that looks like the bastard offspring of a color chart and a roulette wheel.  But that’s fine – I mean, there’s just one of them.  Others are numbered as well, and are represented by little lines…except again the one, which looks like a bird.  But again, that’s all good and well – there’s only one, so it does tend to cut down on the confusion.  Yet another set is also numbered, and all of the numbers are represented by interesting little ideograms that I tend to call things like “little jalapeno guy” and “knitting needles” and I’m sure would make perfect sense if read Chinese.  Even the number one.

Because gawd help us that this game should be consistent, or anything.

There are two other sets of tiles; one represents each season – winter, spring, summer and fall.  Another set represents four different kinds of plants – bamboo, orchid, plum and chrysanthemum (which I can barely pronounce, never mind spell).  All are easy to identify, thank goodness.

So, the game is easy enough to play – you just match the tiles exactly…oh, wait.  You don’t have to match the tiles exactly – any two seasons will do.  You can match summer and winter, for example.  The same goes for the plants; you can match up a bamboo with an orchid, and so on and so on.  Just don’t try to match up a season with plant, because apparently cross-tile relationships aren’t allowed.

Think what the neighbors would say.

So, as I was saying, you don’t have to match the tiles exactly…well, $&*@.  You DO have to match the numbered tiles exactly – you can’t match up a number three represented by dots with a number three represented by interesting little ideograms.  And there are two rebel tiles that don’t belong with any set – one is a red, squiggly line that vaguely resembles a squashed mosquito and another that, if pressed, I’d say it looks like a bunch of mown grass that The Young One forgot to sweep off the sidewalk.  You can’t match up the squashed mosquito with the pile of grass, either.

Anyhoo – easy enough to play.  Right.  You just match up the tiles the computer lets you match up.  But only if they’re not covered or flanked on the left or right by another tile.  I think.  I’m pretty sure there’s a strategy to it, although I’ll be damned if I can tell you what it is.  There must be, because each game is supposedly completely solvable.

My ass.

Oh, never mind.  Wanna learn how to play Hearts?

12 thoughts on “The Games We Play”

  1. that was definitely your inner male talking…i had no idea what you were saying and i’ve played mah jong for years LOL…actually ‘used to play mahjong’ because when i switched from my old clunker computer i couldn’t get my game to reload onto my shiny new laptop…and i haven’t found an online version i liked. Perhaps i’ll have to try out the site you use because now i’m feeling like looking for one again

    just what i need, yet another excuse to not do my paperwork…yay!

    thistles last blog post..Friday Fill-Ins #95

  2. Mahgongg is really popular over here. One of my friends lives in an older neighborhood and her little old neighbor has a mahgongg party every Saturday and it lasts all day. We have been saying that once the kids are raised we are going to start a mahgongg group. I think I’ll strt playing online so I can be ready.

    phhhsts last blog post..Friday Foto

  3. I’ve been playing Mahjong online for a few years and love it. Had it bookmarked, but the version online I enjoyed disappeared. Have not found another one that I appreciate… so many of the free ones make the tiles/game too small and all the squinting gives me a headache… Anyone know where there is a GOOD free Mahjong game online?


    Dis last blog post..Paint My Wagon

  4. No! No! Noooooooooooo….! Must… not… give in…

    I should mention at this point that I have an addictive personality, and I’m also attracted to shiny objects. Which, as personality disorders go, might be the ultimate BAD combination. I’m trying to resist learning Mahjong now, and playing until I lose consciousness… 😉

    Have a great weekend!

    goodfathers last blog post..Spin Cycle: Trick

  5. Have I told you that I suspect I’m ADD, which means I can not possibly focus long enough to figure out what you’re talking about. Does it include chick food and wine, if so, I’m in. Wanna play Pitch or Cribbage or how about Yatzee, Canasta anyone?

    tricias last blog post..Friday Photo Funday

  6. I forgot poker. I like poker, especially if I get to keep my clothes on, or maybe it’s when I lose my clothes…I guess it all depends on how much chick food and wine really is involved.

    tricias last blog post..Friday Photo Funday

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