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       xmahjongg - colorful solitaire Mah Jongg game


       xmahjongg [--display display] [options]


       Real  Mah  Jongg is a social game that originated in China thousands of
       years ago. Four players, named after the four winds, take tiles from  a
       wall  in  turn.  The  best tiles are made of ivory and wood; they click
       pleasantly when you knock them together. Computer Solitaire  Mah  Jongg
       (xmahjongg  being one of the sillier examples) is nothing like that but
       it’s fun, or it must be, since there are like  300  shareware  versions
       available for Windows.  This is for X11 and it’s free.


       The  object  is to remove all Mah Jongg tiles from the playing field by
       taking one matching pair at a time. Generally, two tiles match if  they
       have  identical  pictures on top. There are some exceptions: any season
       tile (spring, summer, autumn, or winter) matches any other season,  and
       any  flower  tile  (bamboo,  orchid, plum, or chrysathemum) matches any
       other flower. There are 144 tiles in all --  one  of  each  season  and
       flower,  and  four copies of each of the following: 1 to 9 dots; 1 to 9
       bamboo sticks; characters for 1 to 9; the  four  winds  (north,  south,
       east, and west); and three dragons (red, green, and white).

       Only  free  tiles can be removed. A tile is free if its entire top face
       is unobstructed and either its left or its right edge  is  open.  (When
       looking  at  the  left  and  right  edges, only tiles on the same level

       The rules are simple, but winning, it turns out, can  be  pretty  hard.
       It’s  easy  to make a move that causes a stalemate thirty or more moves
       later.  What’s worse, the --any-boards  option  lets  xmahjongg  create
       boards that cannot be solved at all!


       To  select  a free tile, simply click it with the left mouse button and
       it will light up. Click it again to deselect it. If you try to select a
       non-free  tile,  xmahjongg  will beep at you. To remove a matched pair,
       just select one of the pair and click on the other one. The  number  in
       the  upper  left corner tells you how many tiles you have left. This is
       all you really need to know to play the game.

       Xmahjongg comes with several features that may dismay purists, but make
       the  game  more pleasant to play. First is the match count, an array of
       small gold  coins  in  the  upper  middle.  Each  coin  represents  one
       potential  match  on  the  board. (If three mutually matching tiles are
       free, it counts as three matches, and if  four  are  free,  that’s  six
       matches.)  This  will let you know when the game is over (no gold coins
       means no matches -- a dead end) and when you’re getting close.

       The five buttons along the top right have the following functions:

       New (keystroke: n)
            Start a new game.

       Quit (keystroke: q)
            Quit xmahjongg.

       Undo (keystroke: u)
            Undoes your last move. You can undo  multiple  moves  by  clicking
            multiple times. If you change your mind about undoing a move, hold
            down Shift while you click the Undo button (or press  r)  to  redo

       Hint (keystroke: h)
            Gives you a hint by flashing a set of free matching tiles. You can
            cycle through all existing matches by clicking multiple times.  If
            you  select  a  tile and then click Hint, xmahjongg will flash any
            free tiles that match that tile, or beep if there aren’t any.

       Clean (keystroke: c)
            Cleans the board by  automatically  removing  obvious  matches.  A
            match is obvious if it involves all the remaining tiles of a given
            type. (For example, if there are 2 green dragons left and they are
            both free, they form an obvious match; but if there are 4 left and
            only 3 are free, they don’t.) Cleaning the board is guaranteed not
            to cause a stalemate later.

       Solve (no button; keystroke: s)
            If  you get stuck, press the s key. After the board is restored to
            its original state, xmahjongg will show you one way to solve it by
            removing  tiles  two  at  a  time.  Press  s again to speed up the
            solution, or press Esc to stop. This won’t work if  you  gave  the
            --any-boards option (see below).

       Additionally, the Escape key deselects any selected tile.


       You  can  use the arrow keys and the spacebar to play xmahjongg without
       using the mouse. These keys control the cursor, which  is  shown  as  a
       flashing  tile.  The  arrow keys move the cursor around on the board in
       the obvious directions. The spacebar is like clicking the mouse  button
       on  the  cursor  tile: it either selects the tile or removes a matching

       The hint key, ‘h’, is  also  useful  for  playing  without  the  mouse.
       Experiment  with  ‘h’, the spacebar, and the Return key to see how this
       works. When a hint is active, the spacebar is like clicking on  one  of
       the  flashing  hint tiles, while the Return key is like clicking on two
       of them (so it removes the tiles in one stroke). This method gives  the
       fastest playing speed.


       If you get bored with xmahjongg’s original layout and appearance, never
       fear: it comes with several tilesets (tile images)  and  layouts  (tile
       arrangements).  In  addition  to these, xmahjongg can read layout files
       from the original xmahjongg, KDE Mahjongg,  and  Kyodai  Mahjongg,  and
       tilesets  in  KDE Mahjongg, Gnome Mahjongg, and Kyodai Mahjongg format.
       (However, tilesets must be converted to GIF format before xmahjongg can
       read them.) See the -l and -t options.

       Long option names can be abbreviated to their unique prefixes.

       --number N
       -n N Start with board number N.
       -l layout
       --layout layout
            Use  the  specified  game  layout.   xmahjongg  comes with several
            layouts. The normal layout is called default;  to  see  the  other
            ones’  names,  run  ‘xmahjongg  --list’.   You  can  also  use  an
            arbitrary layout by  giving  its  filename.   Xmahjongg  can  read
            layouts  in  its own simple format, in KDE kmahjongg format, or in
            Kyodai Mahjongg format.  (Kyodai  Mahjongg  is  one  of  the  more
            popular  Windows  Mah Jongg solitaire games. It’s got 3D tiles and
            all  sorts  of   stuff.   See   for   more
            information.  You  can  download  a zip archive with more than 100
            different   layouts,   mostly   usable   with   xmahjongg,    from

       --tileset tileset
            Use  the specified tileset to draw the Mah Jongg tiles.  Xmahjongg
            comes with several extra tilesets, particularly small (perfect for
            smaller screens). There are others too; run ‘xmahjongg --list’ for
            a complete listing.

       --background image
       --bg image
            The background image is set to image.  Run ‘xmahjongg  --list’  to
            see  the backgrounds that come with xmahjongg, or use an arbitrary
            GIF as a background image by giving its filename.

            Lists all the layouts, tilesets, and backgrounds  that  came  with
            xmahjongg, then exits.

            Always create solvable boards. This is the default.

            Allow  any legal board, some of which will be solvable and some of
            which won’t.

       --display display
            Sets the X display to display.

       --name name
            Specifies the application name under which  resources  are  found,
            rather than the default ‘‘xmahjongg’’. Since xmahjongg itself does
            not  use  the  resource  database,  this  is  mostly  useful   for
            communication with your window manager.

       --geometry geometry
            This  standard  X option specifies the preferred size and position
            for the xmahjongg window.

            Prints usage information and exits.

            Prints the version number and some  quickie  warranty  information
            and exits.


       Please    email   suggestions,   additions,   patches   and   bugs   to The following features have not made it into  3.0
       as of yet:

       * Tournament mode.

       * Board setup mode.


       xmahjongg   version   3   is   a   complete  rewrite  by  Eddie  Kohler
       <> of xmahjongg versions 1 and 2 by Jeff  S.  Young

       The default tileset was originally created in color by Dorothy Robinson
       <>  with  Mark  A.  Holm  <>.  The
       publicly available version was in black-and-white. Holm copyrighted the
       tiles in 1988, giving permission to copy and distribute for  non-profit
       purposes.  The  significantly  altered  color  version  that comes with
       xmahjongg was created by Eddie Kohler in 1993. The ‘small’ tileset  was
       found  at, and is presumably by Berrie Bloem.
       The ‘gnome’ and ‘gnome2’ tilesets were created by Jonathan Buzzard  and
       Max Watson. The ‘dorothys’ and ‘dorwhite’ tilesets were made by Dorothy
       Robinson <>. The ‘real’ tileset was scanned by Mark
       Sanctuary <>.

       Many  of the layouts are based on layouts designed for Kyodai Mahjongg,
       a fun Windows Mah Jongg game.  In  particular,  ‘arena’,  ‘ceremonial’,
       ‘deepwell’,   ‘farandole’,   and  ‘theater’  are  by  Naoki  Haga,  and
       ‘hourglass’ and ‘papillon’ are by Vincent Krebs. Kyodai Mahjongg’s  Web
       homepage is


       Eddie Kohler,
       The xmahjongg home page.