Over the years, Mahjong has developed into an internationally popular game, then into an internationally recognised sport. From an illegal gambling game, it is now an accepted new form of enjoyment referred to by those in the know as a ‘healthy sport’. To this end, brand new rules were founded in 1998 and these are referred to as International Mahjong Tournament Rules. With Mahjong’s place in the international online rummy community firmly established, and with other popular games like online Canasta, the incidence of Mahjong tournaments online became a very popular form of relaxation and enjoyment for many people.
With the passing of time, nearly every movie to come out of China has included a scene of the actors playing in Mahjong tournaments. Because the game has its roots in the mysteries of the Eastern culture, it is still far more popular in Asia than in the Western world. In Japan a lot of video arcades have introduced the ability to connect to the internet so that Mahjong players can participate in online Mahjong tournaments. This helped the game grow in popularity and it is now seen as one of the most addictive online games. Free Mahjong tournaments can be played online from the player’s home or from established video arcades where the game is offered.
When the player plays Mahjong tournaments, the website are completely geared to catering to the player’s needs. Every single possible topic is covered under the Help section and most of them also offer Online Support. These online tournaments offer one table tournaments or multi-table tournaments depending on the player’s level of skill. All Mahjong tournaments have different catchy names and players are free to join whichever one appeals to them the most. Any extra players over a multiple of four cannot play until the next game, and everyone is seated randomly. When each game is finished, all the players change seats.
In China, world championship online Mahjong tournaments are held, as well as tournaments to determine the best player for that particular country. When Chairman Mao banned the playing of Mahjong during the 1960′s and 1970′s it was said that he still managed to play in Mahjong tournaments in secret!