Reputedly played by Noah to pass time aboard the ark, honed by a princess bored of her court duties, popularized by Confucius on his travels circa 500 BC, and reserved for centuries to Chinese royalty (on pain of execution, no less), Mahjong's complex-looking tiles and intricate rules are steeped in enough myth and history to impress just about anyone.
Mah Jong (Alex Wong / Getty Images)Or that's what they'll tell you, anyhow. Turns out most tales of Mahjong's origins are more myth than history.
For all its inscrutable Chinese charm, no credible documentation of Mahjong exists prior to the latter part of the 19th century. In other words, poker, a comparative newcomer in the traditional games world, is likely more venerable than Mahjong.
But don't let that put you off; modern though it is, Mahjong is still good times once you cut through its confusing veneer.Read More »from How to play Mahjong