Some strategies for playing Mahjong are to think ahead and to work from the top down or the outside in when making matches. On the Mahjong board, some tiles sit on top of one another, and successful players reveal all the stacked tiles by identifying matches on the top first.
Participants also should begin with the outside of the puzzle when looking for tile combinations. Players can only make matches when an empty space exists on at least one side of the tile. By starting from the outside, they can avoid trapping tiles on both sides.
Thinking ahead is another useful strategy for Mahjong. When choosing matches, players should look at the adjacent tiles to see if the combination could lead to more available matches. This especially applies to the less-common tiles that become more difficult to match. Freeing up these tiles early makes the game easier in the end.
The game of Mahjong originated in China and dates back to 500 B.C. Variations of the game emerged as its popularity grew, but it generally involves 144 tiles with various pictures of Chinese symbols. Multiple players can participate in the board game, while the computer version can be played as a solitary game.