Mahjong Is One of the Oldest Games in the World

MaQue, which refers to sparrow, is the original name given for the mahjong game, a trendy game which originated in China. Most southern Chinese vernaculars still use the name MaQue when referring to the game. Nevertheless, in other parts of this rich country, the game is generally referred to as MaJiang.

Involving four key players, the game entails a lot of meticulous calculations, not to mention a concise level of expertise and a discreet strategy. Depending on the different game versions, each player transacts with thirteen to sixteen tiles at a time. The customary Chinese rules of the game have been modified depending on where the game is being played. Today, the game is being played in many different countries across the world.

Regardless of the rules applicable in the different countries, through the game, a player draws one tile while they castoff another. Winning will depend on the draw, which is taking the redundant tile or picking up a new tile. There have been a lot of mythical stories trying to explain the origin of this very popular game. A well-known story states that the game was invented around 500 BC by Confucius, a famous Chinese philosopher at the time. According to this allegory, the philosopher would travel to the different parts of the country teaching people about the game, thus explaining the dominance of the game.

Confucius taught that the story behind the legend was about an isolated lady in the emperor’s palace that used ivory and bamboo to carve the tiles for the game. She would call her three maids once she was done, to come and play the game with her. Later in life, Confucius developed the game. Since he was very fond of birds, as indicated in the myth, the game came to be known as Mahjong, which means a sparrow.

Paradoxically, there is no indication whatsoever of the existence of this game before the nineteenth century. Historians suppose that, the game was founded on “MaDiao”, a typical Chinese game, and that forty paper cards were used to play the game. The paper cards were numbered one to ten, in four different suits alongside four other additional flower cards. This can easily be compared to the Mahjong game played presently in different parts of the world. Mahjong is now considered a classic game by all rights, and can easily be found online. Over the years, many different variations have been created, with each having their own sets of rules.

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