"Practice makes perfect", some say. "PERFECT practice makes perfect", others correct. This is true in all activities and Mah Jongg is no exception
As we discussed in our Complete Guide to American Mahjong Strategy, the key to getting better at the game is:
One of the best ways to practice is using an online Mah Jongg game. Most will allow you to play against bots and/or people. In this article, we compare the top online games for American Mah Jongg players.
First, here's a comparison grid of key features. Please scroll down for an analysis of each platform.
|Feature||I Love Mahj||Real Mah Jongg||Mahjong Time||My Jongg||NMJL|
|Play with bots|
|Multiple levels of smart bots|
|Combine bots and human players|
|Audio call within the game|
|Video call within the game|
|Schedule Friends' Games|
|Create and join Groups|
|Call players' hands dead|
|Think time statistics|
|Summary of hands completed|
|Track in-person game results|
|Practice tool with hand suggestions|
|Multiple color themes|
|Multiple tile styles|
|Searchable Knowledge Base|
|Mah Jongg Tutorials|
|Mah Jongg Shop|
|Free trial or free games|
This is, in our opinion, the best online American Mah Jongg game for beginner to advanced players. Though, of course, we may be just a little biased here! ;)
Real Mah Jongg is a decent game playing platform that offers an easy-to-use interface. Players can choose to play with bots or people, or a combination of the two. However, there are limited configuration options, several important features are lacking and its look and feel is a little garish (though this is obviously down to personal taste). The game makes some decisions for you (such as only offering the tiles it knows you can call), which removes a large chunk of the brainwork required to play Mah Jongg. Some players may like the assistance this offers, while more serious players will generally prefer to make decisions for themselves.
A sophisticated 3D user interface that simulates a real, live game. The platform offers many styles of mahjong and is quite configurable (though this can be overwhelming to some). The 3D rendering makes it difficult to see discarded tiles (especially for those with eyesight challenges). Offers games with bots or people, but cannot combine the two. The animations, though impressive, slow the game down considerably. A lot of "extras" are offered at additional cost, which can add up quickly.
My Jongg offers a decent alternative to the previous choices. Play against people or bots or a combination of the two. The user interface is a little crude, but it is very functional and easy to use. The bots are basic and would not provide a challenge to most players. The premium version offers some statistics.
This is the official online game of the National Mah Jongg League. The user interface is fairly primitive, it offers a minimal feature set and lacks timely support for subscribers. Members also have a reputation for being a little unfriendly, especially to new-comers (who are working to improve their rating on the platform). It does not offer a trial or free games and only has a yearly subscription.