Does Mahjong Improve IQ?

Mahjong, an alluring game that combines skill and chance, has crossed borders for more than one hundred years. But apart from the clacks of the tiles, Does Mahjong Improve IQ?

This article delves into the world of Mahjong, explores the idea of IQ, and looks at whether there might be a relationship between them.

Does Mahjong Improve IQ

Does Mahjong Improve IQ? Explained!

China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is believed to be the time when mahjong was first played although there are many theories concerning its origins. Some say that it came from card games already in existence while others give credit to soldiers who invented it.

The game is usually played by four people and uses sets of beautifully designed tiles that portray symbols, numbers plus dragons. What’s your goal? To have a winning hand through specific combinations and patterns before anyone else does.

But don’t let such a simple plot fool you. Winning in mahjong necessitates strategic thinking, manipulation of tile positions, and luck too.

It is not just where they originate from but also loved around Southeast Asia as well as gaining popularity in Europe and North America alike. This transcendent nature builds bridges across various generations by encouraging interaction among strangers on common ground.

A Measure of Cognitive Ability

What Is IQ? Intelligence Quotient or simply IQ is a measure used to assess the mental powers of other people at a particular age level by giving them standardized scores. It’s hard to understand because psychologists often argue about its limitations.

Nevertheless, IQ scores can give a rough indication of how well someone reasons through problems, solves them, or processes information. Thinking in terms of intelligence as a homogenous entity is misleading. Intelligence has been broken down into various components by psychologists, including:

  • Logical-mathematical: The ability to analyze problems, reason logically, and solve mathematical equations.
  • Verbal-linguistic: Mastery of language skills that involve understanding, speaking, and vocabulary in general.
  • Visuospatial: It involves perception and manipulation of spatial relationships important in activities such as navigating or jigsaw puzzles.

Measuring Intelligence: IQ tests usually consist of different types of timed tests covering a range of cognition areas. These can involve pattern recognition, verbal reasoning, or problem-solving.

A Cognitive Bootcamp in Disguise?

Although mahjong is not intentionally designed to enhance IQ, the game inherently improves a few cognitive functions:

Analysis and Strategy
– Determine winning hand
– Predict rivals’ moves
– Adapt tactics based on game progress
– Requires quick analytical thinking
Memory and Recall
– Remember discarded tiles
– Guess other players’ holdings
– Strong memory skills needed
Pattern Recognition
– Identify winning combinations
– Recognize tile patterns
– Crucial for playing mahjong
Concentration and Focus
– Maintain focus throughout the game
– Essential during critical decision-making points

Researching the Mahjong-IQ Connection

Studies Exploring the Link: A study conducted by the National Institutes for Health Database 2019 reveals that there could be a connection between playing mah-jongg and cognitive development among kids.

In future research, using a larger sample size, extending the observation period, and including control groups playing other mind-stimulating activities apart from mah-jong can be helpful.

Mahjong involves a delightful combination of enjoyment and cognitive strain. Although there is no well-founded proof that mah-jong enhances mental abilities directly, the game certainly stimulates different intellectual capacities.

For centuries, players have been enthralled by Mahjong, a tile-based game originating from China. However, aside from its complexity and social appeal, some people are questioning whether playing this game genuinely makes you smarter. This article examines various studies on Mahjong as a catalyst for improving memory.

Studies and Research

In the absence of extensive scientific research directly linking mah-jong to enhancement in IQs, there is evidence that the game may offer cognitive benefits. So what do we know so far?

  • Enhancement of Cognition: Involves constant mental analysis/evaluation of information, planning one’s next move as well as adaptability when there are changes in the game like other games unique to a particular culture.  Such cognitive exercises can increase brain functions.
  • Skills in Solving Problems: Strategy is everything when it comes to mah-jong and forming combinations for winning just like life issues. Continued problem-solving enables one to develop critical thinking abilities and decision-making skills which are important in day-to-day living.
  • Memory plus Attention Span: Discarded tiles are remembered; opponents’ possibilities anticipated; hand composition tracked; all necessitating strong memory faculties and concentration levels. With time, however, regular play may result in better memories and greater attentiveness.

Broader implications of playing Mahjong

The potential benefits of playing mah-jong go beyond increasing your IQ. Here are more reasons why it would be good if you engage yourself in this activity:

The focus required during Mahjong helps to escape daily pressures thus helping one achieve inner peace through relaxation techniques.

Typically friends or family members play mah-jong together encouraging interaction between these individuals thus enhancing their emotional intelligence (EI).

The mix of mental exercise, socialization, and strategic planning might improve general cognitive health thus reducing the chances of dementia as one ages.

Challenges and considerations

Some reservations must be made when linking mahjong directly to IQ:

A lack of causative research connecting Mahjong with a rise in IQ even though it is known for being cognitive. Other lifestyle choices including, but not limited to, individual learning styles and pre-existing cognitive abilities can affect how someone plays this game or what benefits they may gain from playing it.

This research should consider these regional differences due to multiple versions of Mahjong that exist as well as any cultural biases which might be present during the gameplay.

Enhancing Cognitive Benefits through Mind Sharpening

Do you want to start using mah-jong for your brain exercises? Here are some suggestions:

  • Playing Regularly: Try to have mah-jong session daily even if it will take fifteen minutes only because such consistency is necessary for achieving these gains in cognition.
  • New Challenges: As your skills advance, try switching to more complex forms or find better opponents who will keep your thinking sharp all the time.
  • Learn Something New: Start Mahjong as a learning experience. To memorize tile formations actively look for strategies that you believe could work better than others.


In conclusion, “Does Mahjong Improve IQ?” If you like this game, then it’s important to note that the science behind Mahjong and IQ remains unclear. This game definitely works your mind. It can contribute to cognitive development, and promote healthy living and relaxation.

If you mix these tiles properly, invite your friends over and indulge in a strategic pastime that could also smarten up your brain as you play it. The main way to maximize cognitive benefits from such an old game is by maintaining consistency and focusing on learning.

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A Letter from Louise Toms

I'm Louise Toms, your dedicated companion on your AARP Mahjongg journey. With a passion for gaming and a background in customer support, I'm here to ensure your experience with AARP Mahjongg is seamless and enjoyable.

Whether you're a novice player or a seasoned expert, rely on me to provide the assistance you need. From navigating the game interface to mastering advanced strategies, I'm committed to making your Mahjongg experience both fun and fulfilling.

Thank you for choosing AARP Mahjongg, and I'm eager to assist you in making your gaming sessions effortless and rewarding.

Warm regards, Louise Toms