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Which Game is More Difficult to Play? Mahjong vs Chess

If you’ve ever seen people playing Mahjong you’ve probably observed that it’s an extremely complex game that requires a lot strategy. It can lead you to think of chess, and you’ll start asking yourself if one is harder to master than another? It’s a good question, however there isn’t a simple answer. Here’s why.

Are Mahjong more difficult than Chess? Chess is most likely harder as compared to Mahjong due to the fact that there’s not any chance involved in the game of chess. Certain variations of Mahjong are more difficult than others, however the chance factor remains present. Mahjong247 rules are not as simple. Mahjong is, however, prone to be more complex, and it’s more difficult to master than Chess.

Let’s examine how mahjong and chess differ and how you can weigh every game.

It’s the Variations of Games: Mahjong and Chess

Mahjong is a game that is extremely complex at the very least due to the fact that there isn’t a standardized variant for Mahjong. In reality, Mahjong is played in a variety of ways and not just based on the nation an individual player lives in, but more often, in the part of the country they reside in. For instance, there are over 30 variations in Mahjong that are played in Mainland China alone. Another game similar to Mahjong is Solitaire card games which you can play at 247solitaire.

What’s Three to Play?

You’ve probably played the game played by four players however if you travel in Southeast Asia, Japan or South Korea, then it’s highly likely that there will be games played, using different rules, only by three players.

To make things more complicated, each individual table could introduce rules that are unique to them if all players are in agreement (or the large majority in certain instances). This means that if you’re looking to master the rules of Mahjong, you’ll be required to determine which table you’d like to play first.

Chess is a lot simpler

In contrast, it’s not that there aren’t chess variations There are many, and we’ve examined several games that played on the chessboard as well as some variations of chess here. It’s true that, unlike Mahjong which every community has their own distinct variant of Mahjong which they play, Chess isn’t like Mahjong.

Standard Rules

While there are a variety of variations in chess and players might play with these variations at different times in their chess journeys the vast majority of players in the world play the identical game which is chess as described by the FIDE rules (the International Chess Federation which has always been known as it’s French acronyms).

This means that that you don’t need to explore your neighborhood before you can begin playing chess you can just take a set of common rules and begin to master them in no time.

Therefore, Chess is much simpler to begin with as compared to Mahjong.

It’s the Rules of the Game: Mahjong and Chess

Chess consists of 32 pieces that play on an 8×8 board. Of the 32 parts, there are only six different pieces, and each one of them follows a particular sequence of moves. Although there are some complex maneuvers (pawn promotion, castingling, and En by) along with the standard moves, there aren’t that many.

There are several other rules to be learned, however, there aren’t many. That means that any player, even one with an average capacity to acquire new knowledge is able to master the rules and strategies of chess in just a one or two days.

Mahjong has More Pieces

Although it is not as strict as the rules of Mahjong, Mahjong has no standard tile set Most tile sets are built on what is called Mahjong’s Old Hong Kong Mahjong set. The set contains 144 tiles within one set of tiles and they’re all different!

They’re Not That Hard to Learn

This doesn’t mean that the player has to master 144 pieces. Three sets are “simple” tiles. They are similar to suits on cards. They are numerated from 1 to 9 and the suits consist of bamboo, dots and characters. If you are able to comprehend Chinese numbers (which are on characters) it will take less than 2 minutes master these tiles.

These Honors tiles are more intricate. Anyone who is a native speaker of Mandarin will have an enormous advantage since the Winds are identified as East, South, North and West. This is printed with Chinese calligraphy on every tile. The Dragons are green, red and white. The Chinese characters for green and red is displayed on the correct tile. In order to avoid difficult to understand. “White dragon “white dragon” is usually the blank tile.

Being fluent in Chinese is a benefit

It will take more time for someone who isn’t Chinese to be able to recall these pieces, but not too long that you’ll get sleepy over it.

There are 2 sets consisting of “bonus tiles”. These are divided into flowers (broken down into orchids, plum blossoms, chrysanthemums, and bamboo) and seasons (spring, autumn, winter and summer) They are, as usual, fairly easy to discern if you’re fluent in Chinese since the right symbol appears on every tile. They are also illustrated to help make them clearer as well.

In all, it might take an additional hour or two to master the elements of Mahjong in comparison to the game of chess.

The Rules of Mahjong are very complex

However, the Old Hong Kong Mahjong rules are much more complicated than the Chess rules. It is essential to understand everything from the sequence of the game every round (each round is comprised of all players playing in different order) to the best way to stack tiles as well as what to do with the tiles, and after that, what to do.

The game of Mahjong is more complex than Chess. If you want to master this specific version of Mahjong it could take about a week to learn the rules. This is a lot longer than what it takes to master the game of chess.

Therefore, learning Mahjong is much more difficult than learning Chess. It is, at least when it comes down to the basics.

Mahjong Vs Chess: The Problems

There are two more issues to be considered when weighing the two sports against each the other. The first one is the issue of skill versus luck. Chess is a game where there’s no luck. Although you may feel lucky when you see your opponent make mistakes that allow you to benefit from it, it’s not “luck” instead it’s the lack of skill.

Similar to when you perform a flawless mid-game and you enter the final game confident of winning, it is your ability to play, and nothing more.

In Mahjong tiles are randomly chosen. Similar to how the poker hand is taken out of a deck and then handed over to them. This implies that every hand is not equal which is why luck is a major aspect in Mahjong however, much similar to it is with poker Mahjong remains primarily an art of skills. We aren’t sure how to solve this problem however it is an important aspect.

The art of mastering Chess may be More difficult than mastering Mahjong

Another point is that if you compare chess with Old Hong Kong Mahjong, we can conclude that chess is a lot more difficult for a player to master in comparison to Mahjong. You can certainly master it quickly, however, with the sheer number of possible games available in chess, nobody any computer with the greatest power is able to be sure they’re making the best possible moves.

This is more so in Mahjong in which strategy is paramount, however also bluffing abilities and other skills.

So, we’ll affirm that even though Mahjong is certainly more difficult to master and start playing, we believe that chess will be the more difficult game to master over time, however, we cannot be sure of that and nobody has yet, conducted an analysis using math’s of both to establish which is the more difficult game.

Final Thoughts

Are Mahjong more difficult than Chess? It could be. The rules that govern the majority of games like Mahjong are more complicated than chess. This certainly makes it more difficult to learn. Mahjong is played at a speed that is much faster than “lightning” chess, which can make it more difficult to evaluate your chances of winning in the exact chance of winning.

There is the argument that chess is easy to master (see our article on how simple) it is much more difficult to master than almost every other game. We recently asked if the chess puzzle could ever be solved? To play through all possible variations of chess, computers will require more time than what is to be left to the universe! Thus, “solving chess” is in reality, not possible. It’s just not any harder than that, is it?


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