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FAQ 12. "Where can I download a solitaire mah-jongg tile-matching game for my computer?"

A. Before I list the sites, I just want to clear up a common misconception. Many aficionados of these tile-matching games think they are playing "mah-jongg," but no. Although the tile-matching games are undeniably fun (and very helpful for training mah-jongg beginners to spot tiles among a plethora of other tiles), tile-matching (also sometimes called "mah-jongg solitaire") is NOT MAH-JONGG.

Tile-matching and mah-jongg are both games that are played with mah-jongg tiles, but they are very different games. One is mah-jongg, and the other is not.

Think of tile-matching as "Solitaire," and the game of Mah-Jongg as "Gin Rummy." Solitaire is not Rummy. Right? Even though they're both played with the same kind of cards, they are entirely different games. Just as Poker is not Bridge. Similarly, not all games played with mah-jongg tiles are rightly called "mah-jongg."

Since the purpose of this website is actual mah-jongg rather than tile-matching games, it is to be expected that many erroneously-called "mahjong" links on this page have died over time. Also, many of these links may lead to Flash games, and Adobe ended Flash Player on December 31, 2020 and blocked Flash content from running in Flash Player beginning January 12, 2021. Adobe strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems. If you encounter a dead link or a Flash game or a non-functional game on this page, please report it to webmaster at sloperama dot com.


Activision's 1986 game, SHANGHAI, was the original tile-matching game (the one that inspired the vast majority of games on this list).

  • All of the Shanghai products have been discontinued by Activision. Maybe you can get a used copy on eBay.

    For STRATEGY HINTS for these Shanghai-type tile-matching games, see FAQ 13.3.

    If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, you already have a free tile-matching game: Mahjong Titans. (Thanks to Chris Schumann for the tip.) But if you don't have one of those operating systems, and/or you want to download something or play something online, keep on reading...

    Other [non-Activision] tile-matching games (of the Shanghai type)...


  •"Shanghai Pocket Essentials" under license from Activision for Pocket PC and PalmOS
  • And another tile-matcher can be found at
  • "The Emperor's Mahjong"
  • "Palm Mahjong (Match Mania)" (It's a Shisensho-type, not a Shanghai-type game.)
  • "Mahjongg For Palm OS" by Global Star
  • (for the Newton)


    I don't know if anyone still uses WebTV, but here are some sites you can try, which should be WebTV-compatible:

    At the present time I do not think any of the above sites has a true mah-jongg game available for WebTV (you can find tile-matching software, but not true mah-jongg).

    OTHER (non-Shanghai-type, non-actual-mah-jongg) KINDS OF PROGRAMS USING MAH-JONGG TILES:

    PRETTY GOOD MAHJONGG: Includes the Shanghai-type tile-matcher, plus several other fun and innovative ways to enjoy the mah-jongg tiles; .

    MAH-JOMINO is "mahjong and dominoes combined" -

    ZIMO MAHJONG FANATIC is for the Nintendo DSi. It uses real mah jongg scoring. Read about it at Thanks to William Hostman for the tip.



    This FAQ is mainly about software for the computer (Windows, Macintosh, PalmOS). Although game publishers in Japan do publish console and Game Boy tile-matching software (usually under the Shanghai brand name), those programs are not easily available outside Japan. If there are gray-market Japanese software import shops in your area, you may be able to find Shanghai software for your video game system. Note that your video game system would have to either be a Japanese system (made for use in Japan) or modified to support Japanese software, to run Japanese software.

    Here is the FAQ on handheld tile-matching:

    Handheld tile-matching games are readily available in Japan and Hong Kong. Sunsoft has the Shanghai brand name for Japan. See if you can obtain a copy of Sunsoft's "Shanghai Pocket," a cartridge that works in Nintendo's Game Boy handheld game machines --

    Another solution would be to buy a Palm or Visor handheld computer, and download Shanghai or other tile-matching software for it.

    The above list is not purported to be complete. I only listed the ones that I am aware of at the time of writing. And I did not list any that I know to violate any trademarks. Please send me any more links that you find.

    How I found the first couple dozen websites above:

    I just did a regular internet search. I knew what to look for, and how to look for it. You can do it too. (PS: I also found a site that listed a dozen other sites. You will, too, when you do your own searches.)

    Click here to learn how to search the Internet.

    Got a question about this FAQ? Ask the expert -- visit to get answers to your mah-jongg questions.

    FAQ copyright 2001-2022 Tom Sloper. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.