In Mahjong Solitaire, players must remove tiles from the board by finding pairs of tiles with matching symbols. A pair of tiles can only be removed if both tiles have space on either the left or the right. Tiles that are surrounded by other tiles cannot be removed.
The traditional Mahjong Solitaire board consists of eight rows of tiles. The top and bottom row each contain 12 tiles, as do the middle two rows. The second and seventh rows both contain eight tiles, while the third and sixth rows contain 10 tiles each. Tiles are arranged on top of this base layer in a pyramid structure, so that some tiles are hidden from view.
Starting with the tiles at the edges of each layer, players remove pairs of tiles to reveal the tiles that lie underneath. A pair of tiles can only be removed if the symbols on both tiles match and both tiles have space to their left or right. In traditional Mahjong Solitaire, each symbol appears on four pairs of tiles, giving players several options to find a match. In some modern versions of the game, each symbol only appears on a single pair of tiles, which makes the game more challenging.
Players win the game by removing all tiles. A player loses the game if there are tiles remaining but there are no more legal moves.