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Free Mahjong Games to Download on iPad
If you are looking for a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend your free time, you might want to try playing mahjong games on your iPad. Mahjong is a classic tile-matching game that originated in China and has become popular all over the world. It is a game of strategy, memory, and skill that can challenge your brain and entertain you for hours. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about mahjong games, how to choose the best ones for your iPad, how to download and play them, and answer some common questions you might have.
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What is Mahjong and Why is it Fun?
Mahjong is a game that involves matching pairs of tiles with the same symbols or images on them. The tiles are usually arranged in a rectangular layout on a board or a table, with some tiles stacked on top of others. The goal is to clear all the tiles from the board by finding and removing the matching pairs. However, you can only remove tiles that are free, meaning they have at least one side exposed and no other tiles on top of them. You have to be careful not to run out of moves or time, as some games have a limit on both.
The Origin and History of Mahjong
Mahjong is believed to have originated in China during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), although its exact origins are unclear. Some historians suggest that it was derived from an ancient card game called Mǎdiào (馬吊), while others claim that it was influenced by dominoes or chess. The name mahjong means "sparrow" in Chinese, as the sound of the tiles being shuffled resembles the chirping of birds. Mahjong became popular among the Chinese nobility and upper class, as well as among foreigners who visited China in the 19th and 20th centuries. It spread to other countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, where it developed different variations and rules. In the West, mahjong was introduced by Joseph P. Babcock, an American businessman who published a simplified version of the game in 1920. Since then, mahjong has become a global phenomenon, with millions of players and fans around the world.
The Rules and Objectives of Mahjong
The rules and objectives of mahjong vary depending on the version and variation of the game you are playing. However, the basic principle is the same: you have to match pairs of tiles with the same symbols or images on them and remove them from the board until there are no more tiles left. The tiles are usually divided into four categories: suits, honors, flowers, and seasons. The suits consist of three types: circles (or dots), bamboos (or sticks), and characters (or numbers). Each suit has nine tiles numbered from one to nine. The honors consist of two types: winds and dragons. There are four winds: east, south, west, and north; and three dragons: red, green, and white. The flowers and seasons are optional tiles that have different images representing plants or times of the year. Each category has four tiles.
To start a game of mahjong, you need four players who sit around a square table or board. Each player takes turns to draw tiles from a wall or a pile until they have 13 tiles in their hand (except for the dealer or east wind player who has 14 tiles). Then, the game begins with the dealer or east wind player discarding a tile from their hand and placing it face up in the center of the table or board. The other players can either take the discarded tile if it completes a set of three or four tiles in their hand, or draw a new tile from the wall or pile. A set can be either a sequence of three consecutive tiles of the same suit (called a chow), a triplet of three identical tiles of any suit or honor (called a pung), or a quadruplet of four identical tiles of any suit or honor (called a kong). The player who takes the discarded tile must reveal the set they have formed and place it face up next to their hand. Then, they discard another tile and the turn passes to the next player in a counter-clockwise direction. The game continues until one player has 14 tiles in their hand and can form four sets and a pair (called a mahjong or a winning hand). The player who achieves this declares "mahjong" and reveals their hand. They score points based on the value and difficulty of their hand, as well as any bonuses or penalties they have. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
The Benefits of Playing Mahjong
Playing mahjong is not only fun, but also beneficial for your health and well-being. Here are some of the benefits of playing mahjong:
It improves your cognitive skills, such as memory, concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making. Mahjong requires you to remember the tiles, plan your moves, and strategize your actions. It also stimulates your brain and prevents cognitive decline and dementia.
It reduces your stress and anxiety levels, as well as your blood pressure and heart rate. Mahjong is a relaxing and enjoyable game that can help you cope with stress and anxiety. It also promotes positive emotions and social interaction with other players.
It enhances your creativity and imagination, as well as your cultural awareness and appreciation. Mahjong is a game that involves symbols, images, colors, and patterns that can inspire your creativity and imagination. It also exposes you to different cultures and traditions that have influenced the game.
How to Choose the Best Mahjong Games for iPad
If you want to play mahjong games on your iPad, you have plenty of options to choose from. There are hundreds of mahjong games available on the App Store, each with different features, themes, modes, and levels. However, not all mahjong games are created equal. Some are better than others in terms of quality, design, functionality, and user experience. How do you choose the best mahjong games for your iPad? Here are some tips and criteria to help you:
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The Features and Criteria to Look for
When choosing a mahjong game for your iPad, you should look for the following features and criteria:
The graphics and sound quality. The game should have clear, crisp, and colorful graphics that are pleasing to the eye and easy to see on your iPad screen. The game should also have realistic and soothing sound effects that enhance the gameplay and atmosphere.
The gameplay and controls. The game should have smooth, responsive, and intuitive gameplay and controls that are suitable for touch-screen devices. The game should also have different modes, levels, and challenges that suit your preferences and skills.
The variety and customization. The game should have a variety of tiles, layouts, backgrounds, themes, and styles that you can choose from and customize according to your taste. The game should also have different options and settings that you can adjust to your liking.
The updates and support. The game should have regular updates that fix bugs, improve performance, add new features, and enhance user experience. The game should also have reliable support that responds to your feedback, questions, and issues.
The ratings and reviews. The game should have positive ratings and reviews from other users who have downloaded and played it. You can read the ratings and reviews to get an idea of what other people think about the game.
The Top 3 Free Mahjong Games on the App Store
Based on these features and criteria, we have selected the top 3 free mahjong games on the App Store that you can download on your iPad. Here they are:
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