Based on how simple the rules are, you would assume that mahjong solitaire would be an easy game to play. Just remove matching tiles, as long as the matching tiles aren’t blocked by any another tiles.
Of course, it’s not that simple. If you’ve just started playing mahjong solitaire you will have quickly found that if you just remove the first matching pairs you see, it won’t take long before there are no more tiles you can remove.
This is because if you don’t remove the right tiles, then tiles will get stuck.
For example, if you have 2 ‘A’ tiles on top of each other, then you have to be very careful about how you remove the other ‘A’ tiles. If you remove the other tiles together, then the 2 on top of each other will be left at the end of the game. You won’t be able to select the lower tile, and you wont be able to finish the game.
There are many advanced ways of analyzing the layout, making sure that this doesn’t happen. But when you are starting out, you don’t want to spend hours analyzing before you make your moves, you just want to get going!
Well, I have 2 strategies for you, that will help you finish some mahjong solitaire games. They won’t make you an expert, but if you are struggling to finish a game, they should definitely help.
The first thing, is to watch for 4 of a tile being playable at once. If you see this, you should remove the 4 tiles immediately.
Because you know that there are no more of those tiles in the layout. So removing them can’t leave other tiles unplayable. *You can guarantee that this move will be correct, and won’t block the game.*
Another strategy is relevant when 3 of a tile are visible.
If 3 tiles are visible, and one tile is not blocking any other tiles, remove the 2 non-blocking tiles.
This is best illustrated with an example.
Suppose part of the mahjong layout is like this…
Should you remove the A’s, and if so, which ones?
Yes you should. You should remove the A’s from the top line.
You shouldn’t remove the A from the ‘AX’ line, because that A is not blocking any other tiles. You will get more tiles unblocked by removing the A’s from the top line. Also, there is no way the bottom A can be blocking another A. It is possible though, that the top A’s could be blocking the final A.
The above strategies won’t allow you to win every game of mahjong solitaire, but they should help. If you have a game that allows hints, try using that. This will allow you to focus on strategy, rather than finding matches.