This is a tutorial on how to play Dragonboard (and more generally speaking the variation of Mah-Jongg used in this game). In this chapter, you will learn how to play Mah-Jongg and what it's all about.

In the following we will simply refer to this solitaire variation as Mah-Jongg although this is not quite correct. The "true" Mah-Jongg is an ancient board game for exactly four players which bears a distant resemblence to the western game of Rummy (very distant indeed, for the rules are far more complex). So we would like to apologize in advance to all passionate "true" Mah-Jongg players for abusing the name Mah-Jongg for this profane solitaire game ;-).

We suggest you read this and the following pages of the tutorial if you are not familiar with the concepts and the rules of Mah-Jongg.

So first on, a little history teaching on Mah-Jongg. You don't necessarily need to know the historical background of this game to actually play it. So if you are not interested in this, you can directly go to the next page introducing you to the rules of play.

The history of Dragonboard / Mah-Jongg

The game of Mah-Jongg originates from ancient China. The exact age of this game is unknown. One Legend says, that it was already played during the Shang dynasty (1500 - 1000 b.c.). Yet, following another legend, the game of Mah-Jongg at first evolved during the Chou dynasty (1000 - 221 b.c.). However, it is acertained that in the old China there was a close relationship between board games, playing cards and tiles. Mah-Jongg first evolved as a card game until these card were replaced with tiles made of bamboo. These tiles had the shape we still know today. Approximately 600 years before now, the game became popular amongst river-sailors. They were the first to use tiles instead of cards. The reason for that was obviously, that the cards were often dragged over board by the winds. During the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644 a.d.) Mah-Jongg evolved as national game.

There exist many variations of the game of Mah-Jongg. Obligatory gaming rules only exist in the american an japanese versions. All these variations have in common, that the tiles are being built up on a table in a certain way and the game is similar to the card game of Romm�. The variation played in Dragonboard has been made popular mainly by computer games. In this version of the game tiles are built up pair-wise and then need to be taken from the board.

In China there are many names for the game: Ma-Tsue-Pai (dragon battle), Pung chow (game of the winds), Be shan - Be sh�n (100 warriors - 100 victories) or Ma-Ts�e. In the whole western world it is called Mah-Jongg, insinuating to the sparrow. This bird is displayed on the first tile of the sticks suit.

Well that's enough for history by now. So let's go on to the next page and learn something about the rules.