麻将 (Májiàng), also known as Mahjong, is one of the most popular games in the world, perhaps only rivaled by chess.
Májiàng is often played in public spaces like parks, or in designated Májiàng parlors with custom-built tables, where you can buy food and drink as well.
The goal is to collect high-scoring combinations of tiles. These are thick decorated blocks usually made of bone or plastic that you either draw or take from other players. There is luck involved in which tiles you get, but it’s overwhelmingly a game of skill. Pattern recognition, memory, and bluffing skills will all serve you well - and if not, schools and strategy guides abound!
The game has previously caused controversy for leading to gambling addictions. It obviously comes in digital versions as well, although the one-player version that’s preinstalled on many computers has nothing to do with actual Májiàng.
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