Ultimate Mahjong

How to play Ultimate Mahjong

In a standard game of Mahjong, there are 144 playing tiles, the aim of the game is to remove all the playing tiles in the fastest time, while trying to achieve the highest score. Each tile has a picture on it, there are 42 different pictures in total. Tiles must be selected and matched with other tiles of the same picture. Whenever you match two tiles, they both disappear, when all tiles have disappeared the game is over.

Rules for selecting tiles

There are rules, however about which tiles can be selected. A tile must be "free" to be selectable, a free tile has the following properties:

+ It must not be covered at all by any other tile.

+ There must not be any other tiles touching one side of the tile, this does not apply to the top or bottom of the tile, just the sides (to the left or right).

Here are some examples of the rules:

In these examples, only the middle tile would be selectable, the side tiles are both covered by the middle tile and are therefore not free.

  In these examples, only the tiles at the sides are free. The middle tile is not, as it is touching tiles on both the left and right sides.

  In this example, all tiles are free, they are all free on both sides. The middle tile, although surrounded at both top and bottom, is still selectable.

To select a tile in Ultimate Mahjong, move your mouse cursor over a tile, if the tile is free then it will glow orange. Click the tile with the left mouse button and it will glow blue. Now you can select the matching tile, again just left-click a free tile. If you find a matching pair then they will disappear.

Special tiles

Usually, you must select a pair of tiles, however there are a 8 special tiles called "flowers" and "seasons". You can match any flower tile with any other flower tile, and any season tile with any season tile, however you cannot match a flower tile with a season tile.

The flower tiles:

The Season tiles:

So, for example, the Plum tile can be matched to the Bamboo tile, or the Winter tile to the Spring tile. Notice that all season tiles have a black number in the top left corner, while all flower tiles have a red number in the top right corner.


Tiles can be placed next to each other, or stacked on top of each other in layers. The arrangement of the tiles is called a "layout", Ultimate Mahjong allows you to play different layouts, or even create your own using the layout editor.


Ultimate Mahjong gives you a score at the end of every game based on how well you played, if your score is high enough you may be able to get a place on the top 10 score board. The scoring system works like this:

+ Every tile has a base value, whenever you remove a tile, your score increases by that tile's value multiplied by half the number of pieces in play. This means that to get a high score, you must choose your moves wisely, go for the highest scoring tiles early.

+ If you clear all 144 tiles you will receive a bonus to your score.

+ Time is against you, you will loose points the longer you take to finish. So play fast but carefully!

+ There are many other things which can affect your score, any of the "helper" functions will loose you precious points, as will running out of available moves.

Here are the tiles with their scoring values:

So, for example if you matched a flower tile (worth 6 points), and there were 100 tiles left in the game, you would get (6 * 100 / 2 = 300) points. You can see the points value for any tile by running your mouse over it, the points will appear in the bottom right of the screen.

What happens if I run out of moves?

Just like in the solitaire card game, you can run out of valid moves in Mahjong. When this happens, all is not lost, you can still shuffle the remaining pieces around and continue playing. Shuffling the pieces will incur a score penalty, so try and play carefully to avoid it as much as possible. It is worth clearing all 144 tiles to get a score bonus.

Tips for playing

+ Try and get the highest value tiles early on, this can land you a huge score.

+ Aim to clear tiles which sit on top of stacks of other tiles. Tile stacks can be hard to clear at the end of a game as they limit the number of available moves.

+ The order in which you clear tiles makes a big difference, if you play well then you can cut the chances of running out of moves at the end of the game.

+ The key to earning a big score is to play fast, but also to think about your move. You have to get the big scoring tiles while making sure that you wont run out of moves near the end of the game.

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