Mah Jongg is a classic Chinese game traditionally played by multiple players. In it's multiplayer form, it was a game that became popular in America in the 1920s. It is often referred to as a craze or fad because its rise in popularity happened so quickly.
The name literally means, "Sparrows," because the actual tiles used to play were discarded so quickly by Chinese players, that the sound was similar to that of a sparrow tapping. Also, in its traditional form the game is sometimes used as a gambling game, such as the Cantonese variation, Ten and A Half.
The evolution of traditional Mah Jongg into a solitaire variation appears to have occurred in the U.S. in the 1980s when Brodie Lockard and Brad Fregger are credited with creating the first computerized, solitaire version of the game. Most online references site these two men for beginning what has eventually become an extremely popular online game.
The only real similarities between traditional Mah Jongg and the tile-matching solitaire version are the use of the tile set consisting of 144 tiles. The tiles can be arranged in a multitude of layouts, but the first layout created by Lockard and Fregger was called "The Turtle."
Since it's creation, online or computerized versions of Mah Jongg solitaire utilize a wide variety of layouts and tile designs. Although the first tile designs were the same ones used in the traditional game, current tile designs consist of many different matchable images.
In addition to the predesigned games on this site, you are able to create unique combinations of tile layouts, tile designs, and background images to personalize your Mah Jongg Solitaire playing experience.
"The Greatest Games of All Time" by Matthew J Costello, "Board and Table Games From Many Civilizations" by R.C. Bell, "The Everything Games Book" by Tracy Fitzsimmons & Pamela Liflander.