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Archive for February, 2007

Game Fiesta Mahjong Review – CLOSED

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007


Game Fiesta

Summary – Game Fiesta

Game Fiesta have 10 different mind boggling Mahjong based games to download for Free. Pay a fee to upgrade to the full version. Or join ClubFiesta subscription and you get a free game each month plus all sorts of extras.

NB Game Fiesta is not open to customers in the USA

Game Fiesta Mahjong

Game Fiesta have no less than 10 Mahjong games to choose from. Here are their descriptions of them:

Mahjong The Endless Journey

Embark on a never-ending journey of brain-bending fun in this remarkable version of the ancient puzzler. Featuring amazing 3D effects, hundreds of secrets to uncover, and more than 500 tile layouts.


Mahjomino blends the challenge of Mahjong and Dominoes into a unique two-sided mahjong game. For the past decade, archeologist William McEndri has dedicated his life to uncovering the secret whereabouts of twelve ancient artifacts that could prove the existence of the lost city of Atlantis. The time has come for his daughter Helen to carry on his adventure. Journey with Helen into the unknown in this truly exciting Mahjong experience.

Mahjong: Journey of Enlightenment

Play strategically through mahjong games, each one harder than the last as you continue on your journey. Along the way you can unlock over 550 hidden items; the more you unlock, the more varied and interesting your mahjong journeys become!

Caribbean MahJong

Take a fabulous Luxury Cruise and visit 12 exotic islands while collecting attractive keepsakes and quirky postcards. Or be footloose and fancy free, and Island Hop to any layout with no commitments. No matter how you tailor your island experience, it will be a luscious treat for your eyes! Tile layouts range from easy, to multi-layered monstrosities of 15 layers! But you can breeze through them with powerups like Trade Winds, and use the unique Tile Focusing feature to find matches quickly.

Mahjong Towers Holiday 2005

This festive version of mahjong will delight even non-mahjong lovers. Break out the eggnog, throw a log in the fire and settle in for some real mahjong fun! Choose from 3 play modes. Create tile sets & backdrops. Make layouts that can be shared with others.

Mah Jong Adventures

Your eccentric uncle’s greatest treasure awaits you at the end of this globe spanning adventure. Use his humorous journal to locate gold tiles with the grace and swiftness of a Canadian Mountie! Your adventure spans 18 engaging destinations and immerses you in the local culture through unique tile-sets and backgrounds.

Mah Jong Medley

Choose from over 300 layouts, all distinctly original, ranging from super easy to extremely challenging. 4 game modes to choose from: Classic mode allows you to play like you’ve always played Mah Jong Solitaire. In Ten mode, the object is to select tile pairs that add up to ten. In Freecell mode, you can move up to two tiles out of the way into a special “reserve” area. And in Addiction mode, rearrange the tiles in numerical order.

Mahjong Towers Eternity

Choose from three play modes, make your own tile sets, create boards that can be shared with others, and chat with players using in-game messaging.

Mahjong Quest

More than an addictive puzzle game – this is an original cinematic experience. The classic game of Mahjong has been given a new twist with Mahjong Quest. After dragons wreak havoc over the empire, young Kwazi must use an ancient set of Mahjong tiles to restore balance. Journey through twelve different lands with the help of spirit guides and special tiles to restore peace. Mahjong quest also includes two other game modes. Classic has over eighty layouts. Puzzle mode adds a brainteaser element to the Mahjong style.

Super Mah Jong Solitaire

3,000 years old and better than ever! Super Mah Jong Solitaire is loaded with features to make one of the most popular games in history even more fun to play. Simply match tiles in pairs to eliminate them from the board. But be careful, remove the wrong tile and be stuck without a move.

Our Mahjong Game Enjoyment Factor Rating: ★★★★☆

Gaming Software & Website Features

  • Game Fiesta provides a huge variety of games to download and demo for free. If you like them you can pay to upgrade to the full versions.
  • They’ve got over 100 great games in their portfolio: card games, puzzle games, arcade, crosswords, classics, brain games, word games, and solitaire including, solitaire spider and klondike just to name a couple. They’ve even got jig-saw puzzles, crosswords, screen savers, Las Vegas casino style slots, roulette, blackjack, poker and more.
  • The games are a mix of their own software developments and games they have licensed from other developers.
  • Community features:
    • Members write game reviews
    • Messaging system

Our Software & Website Quality Rating: ★★★½☆

Game Fiesta Bonuses & Promos

Bonuses change over time so check out the latest, but when we looked they had these:

  • ClubFiesta: is a monthly subscription service from GameFiesta. Monthly fee $9.95. Or commit to longer than 1 month and you get discount on the subscription. For that you receive the following;
    • Every month you can choose a FREE full version game.
    • Bonus loyalty points (5x the normal level) to cash in for free games. 25 loyalty points will get you a game.
    • Live customer service support.
    • Game tips and hints, a weekly newsletter on the latest games and access to new release games before anyone else.
    • Get unlimited usage of all the Web Games.
  • Loyalty points: Loyalty points for verifying your email address, for every game you purchase, for every friend you refer who becomes a ClubFiesta member, or for redeeming select coupons. 25 points gets you a free game.
  • Refer a Friend: 10 Loyalty points each time that your friend buys a game. Free full version game for every friend that joins ClubFiesta.

Our Bonus & Promos Rating: ★★★☆☆

Management & Customer Services

  • Game Fiesta is a Canadian company.
  • Operating online since 2004.
  • Live Help is available to ClubFiesta Members.
  • Customer support also available via online contact form.

Our Customer Service Rating: ★★★½☆

Money & Banking

  • Game Fiesta operates in US$
  • You can purchase using credit card, cheque or money order.

Our ‘Game Fiesta’ Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


Win at Mahjong

Friday, February 9th, 2007

MIT Mahjong Team – students, but not only, know everything about Mahjong.

Win at Mahjong

The MIT Mahjong Team was a group of students and ex-students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who attempted to beat casinos at mahjong worldwide. The team and its successors operated from 1979 through the beginning of the 21st century.

Mahjong gives the house a low statistical advantage compared to other casino games. Beyond the basic strategy of when to hit and when to stand, individual players can use a combination of betting strategy, card tracking, and card counting to improve their odds. Since the early 1960s a large number of card counting schemes have been published, and casinos have adjusted the rules of play to counter the most popular methods.

The origin of the MIT Mahjong Team was a mini-course called ‘How to Gamble if you Must’, taught in January 1979 at MIT over what is known as Independent Activities Period (IAP). A number of MIT students from a living group known as Conner III, who often played penny-ante poker with each other, attended this course and learned about mahjong and card counting methods.

Determined to put their newly-discovered knowledge to work, the group resolved to travel to Atlantic City in the spring of 1979 to win their fortunes. Failing miserably in this endeavor, the group went their separate ways when most of them graduated in May, but two members maintained an avid interest in card counting. These people decided to give their own IAP course on card counting in January 1980, and created a course-listing in the MIT Independent Activities Period Guide, published in early November of 1979.

In late November of 1979 a person known only as ‘Dave’, who claimed to have been a member of Ken Uston’s Mahjong team, contacted the organizers, and proposed forming a team to travel down to Atlantic City and taken advantage of the New Jersey Casino Commission’s recent ruling that made it illegal for the Atlantic City casinos to bar (that is, prevent from playing mahjong) card counters.

The team, consisting of four players and an investor who put up most of its $5000 in capital, went to Atlantic City in late December after months of intense training, and over the next few weeks doubled and then redoubled its capital.

This was the beginning of the actual MIT mahjong team. The team members held their January IAP course and recruited a number of additional MIT students as players. The team continued to play in Atlantic City with moderate success. In May of 1980, Dave was ousted from the group because of disagreements over whether certain shuffle-tracking techniques were mathematically correct or based on false hypotheses, as well as personality conflicts.

The team often recruited students through flyers posted around campus. The team tested potential members to find out if they were suitable candidates, and if they were, the team thoroughly trained the new members. A fully-trained player had to pass an intense ‘trial by fire’, consisting of playing through 8-10 six-deck shoes with almost perfect play, then undergo further training and supervision in actual casino play.

The group combined the individual player advantages with a team approach of counters and players to maximise any opportunities and disguise the betting patterns card counting produces. In a 2002 interview in Mahjong Forum magazine, Mahjong Forum interview with Johnny Chang MIT team manager Johnny Chang reported that, in addition to classic card counting and mahjong team techniques, the group at various times made use of advanced shuffle tracking and ace tracking techniques. While the card counting techniques used by the MIT team can give players an overall edge of up to about 2%, some of the MIT team’s methods have been established as gaining players an overall edge of up to about 4%. In his interview Chang reported that the MIT team had difficulty attaining such edges in actual play, and their overall results had been best with straight card counting.

The team approach used by the MIT groups was originally developed by Al Francesco, elected by professional gamblers as one of the original seven inductees into the Mahjong Hall of Fame. Mahjong team play was first written about by Ken Uston, an early member of Al Francesco’s teams. Uston’s book on mahjong team play, Million Dollar Mahjong, was published shortly before the founding of the first MIT team. The team methods devised by Al Francesco, and later used by the MIT team, at first made it more difficult for casinos to detect card counting at their tables.

The MIT Mahjong team continued as an informal organization throughout the 1980s, growing at times to have as many as 25 players, with a capitalization of as much as $300,000. Recruiting new players from the MIT student body and elsewhere as necessary, it continued to exist until 1990, when casino conditions, player exhaustion and other factors caused the group to stop playing.

In 1993 a founder of the original team back in 1979, Johnny Chang (who joined the team in 1981) and a Harvard MBA who played and helped run the team in the early 1980s, formed a corporation called Strategic Investments to bankroll a new team. With the backing of this corporation, and a massive new recruitment and training effort, this new team was able to play with a bankroll of a million dollars, significantly larger than any previous MIT team had played with.

Unfortunately, Uston’s books alerted casinos to the methods of mahjong team play, and many MIT team members were identified and barred. These members were replaced by fresh MIT students, and play continued. Investigators hired by casinos eventually realized that many of those they had banned had addresses in or near Boston, and the connection with MIT became clear. The detectives obtained copies of recent MIT yearbooks and added photographs from it to their image database.

In late 1994, with team morale suffering after a series of large losses, the corporation closed shop, and the original team disbanded, to be replaced by several new teams founded by alumni of Strategic Investments.

With most of the original team barred, most members retired, having made an amount variously reported as $1 million to $10 million. Some members have used reports of their successes to start public-speaking careers or businesses selling mahjong card counting systems or running mahjong seminars.

The story of the MIT Mahjong Team in its incarnation as Strategic Investments was told in the documentary Breaking Vegas, and on an episode of the Game Show Network documentary series, Anything to Win. Its further exploits after the demise of Strategic Investments are told in the book Bringing Down the House. review of Bringing Down the House.The private investigation firm referred to as Plymouth in Bringing Down the House was Griffin Investigations.

Robert Varkonyi, 2002 World Series of Poker Champion, lived on Conner III while attending MIT and played in penny-ante poker games with the founders of the team, though he was not otherwise involved with mahjong or the team.

Andy Bloch Professional poker player was also part of the MIT Mahjong Team. He is most famous for getting second in the 50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E Tournament at the world series of poker. He lost heads-up in the longest heads-up match at the end of a world series tournament to Chip Reese who is known as being the best all-around player.

Source:Wikipedia, Licensed under Creative Commons

[tags]mahjong, mahjong strategy, mahjong game, play mahjong, casinos, gambling[/tags]

Brandy Casino Mahjong Review

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Brandy Casino

Unfortunately Brandy Casino is now closed
Summary – Brandy Casino

Award winning Brandy Casino offers big deposit bonuses and other promos. Their single-play Mahjong games involve making up winning hands. You’ll find them in the download game suite. Wager from 10c to $100 per game and win up to $600. 

Note: Brandy Casino does not accept players from the US.


Brandy Casino Mahjong

The Mahjong games are available within Brandy’s download casino suite, in the Asian Games section.

Play free or for cash.


Solo Mahjong

  • Choose between World Mahjong Federation rules or Japanese rules.
  • You start out with a ready hand (one tile away from a win) and must find the right tile in the wall to complete it. You have three chances per round to find the right tile.
  • The better your hands, the bigger your win. You can win up to 6x your bet on each round.
  • You can wager 10c-$100 per hand. So you could win up to $600 per hand!


Solo Mahjong Pro

  • This requires more skill than the straightforward Solo Mahjong game.
  • Choose between World Mahjong Federation rules or Japanese rules.
  • You start out with 14 tiles, and have to first discard one of them. When choosing the first tile to discard, your goal is to create a ready hand (a hand of 13 tiles which is one tile away from a winning hand).
  • Then you must find the right tile in the wall to complete a winning hand.
  • You have three chances per round to find the right tile.
  • The better your hands, the bigger your win. You can win up to 6x your bet on each round. 
  • You can wager 10c-$100 per hand. So you could win up to $600 per hand!

    Our Mahjong Game Enjoyment Factor Rating: ★★★½☆


    Casino Software & Website Features

    • Brandy Casino runs on top quality, slick and fast running Playtech gaming software.
    • They offer a variety of language options: Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish
    • The games come as download or non-download Flash. (But note that the Mahjong game is only in the download suite.)
    • Their players’ online Forum helps you keep up to date with the latest news.

      Our Software & Website Quality Rating: ★★★★☆


      Brandy Casino Bonuses & Promos

      Brandy Casino offers some very nice bonuses. These change frequently so you’ll need to check out the latest, but when we looked they had these:

      • Welcome Bonus – get 100% bonus on your first 4 deposits, up to $1,000
      • deposit bonuses – all sorts of ongoing deposit bonuses including 10%-15% bonus when using their preferred deposit methods
      • loss rebates
      • Comps program – rewards for frequent play
      • Games of the Day’ with prizes for Max total bet, Max total games, Max wins, Hero of the Day, Player of the Day
      • High Rollers daily special prize 
      • referrals – $10 bonus

      Our Bonus & Promos Rating: ★★★★★


      Management & Customer Services

      • Brandy Casino is owned by Allgames Casinos Ltd.
      • Licensed in Antigua & Barbuda. 
      • Customer Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by e-mail, fax or phone.

      Our Customer Service Rating: ★★★★☆


      Money & Banking

      • The casino plays in US dollars.
      • Payments via NETeller, Moneybookers, Citadel, Firepay, PrePaid ATM, VISA, MasterCard, Wire Transfer, Web Money

      Our ‘Brandy Casino’ Overall Rating: ★★★★☆


      Game Bonus Mahjong Review

      Monday, February 5th, 2007

      Game Bonus

      Unfortunately Game Bonus is now Closed
      Summary – Game Bonus

      At Game Bonus you can play a range of  Mahjong Solitaire tournaments for cash or Free bonus points, which can be exchanged for prizes.  It’s a straightforward site that requires no download.

      Note: GameBonus does not accept cash players from some US states.



      Game Bonus Mahjong

      GameBonus offer a single player Mahjong game in various tournament formats.

      Mah Jong Solitaire

      • You’ll find this game in the ‘Strategy Games’ section.
      • Remove all tiles on board by clicking on matching tiles in pairs.
      • Your score will based on a combination of matches you’ve made and a time-based bonus ranging from 1-10, based on how fast you make consecutive matches.
      • You may choose to use the two Hint indicators for 10 point deduction.
      • Should you decide to reshuffle all remaining tiles, it will deduct 50 Points from your score

      Mahjong Tournaments

      Using the basic game above, you can choose between;

      • 2-player Mah Jong Solitaire
      • Daily Progressive Mah Jong Solitaire
      • Weekly Progressive Mah Jong Solitaire
      • Cash Tournament Mahjong Solitaire

      Word Mah Jong

      GameBonus also have Word Mah Jong.
      Well it’s not really mahjong at all, but if you fancy a change it might be worth a try.
      The tiles have letters instead of the usual symbols. Select them to spell words of 2-9 letters in length and gain points.
      You’ll find this game in the ‘Word Games’ section.

      Our Mahjong Game Enjoyment Factor Rating: ★★★½☆


      Game Software & Website Features

      • GameBonus use their own proprietary software, which does not require a download.
      • Their range of games includes card games, word games, strategy games and arcade games.
      • They offer single and head 2 head games. Single games are designed so that you can enter a tournament and compete against other players whenever you want to.Head 2 Head games allow players to play simultaneously in real time.
      • You can play free for Bonus Points or for cash.
        • Bonus Points Play: Players compete against each other in head-to-head contests and multi-player tournaments to be rewarded with Bonu$ Points. These are then traded for game credits or merchandise.
        • Cash Play: We offer tournaments where you can win real prizes for our Points Plus and Premier Players.
      • Ratings: To ensure that players are matched with opponents that have similar skill levels as themselves, Game Bonus employs a Skill Rating System.
      • Tournaments: There are four different types of Tournaments available on Game Bonus:
        • Limited Entry Tournaments –  feature 2-25 players per game and require an entry fee to participate. When the last participant finishes the game, the winner is declared and prize money given out.
        • Progressive Tournaments – stay open until a pre-set end time. Each entry will increase the amount of the Prize Pot.
        • Cash Pot Tournaments – There is no limit on how many people can participate but the Cash Pot remains fixed.
        • H2H – go head-to-head with players at your convenience. You have the option of deciding who to play and when.
      • Community Features: 
        • Create player profiles, including avatars.
        • League of top scorers.

      Our Software & Website Quality Rating: ★★★★☆


      Game Bonus Bonuses & Promos

      Promos do vary, but when we looked they had these:

      • Bonus Points: When you sign up, you will automatically receive 1000 Bonus Points. You can then earn Bonus Points simply by using the site, for each tournament you win, making suggestions, and more. You can use Bonus Points to play games, or redeem for cool prizes like an X-BOX, PS2 or Digital Camera,  or to enter the weekly drawing for prize giveaways.
      • Premier Pass Bonuses:  This is Monthly and Yearly subscription package.  (When we last looked Monthly Premier Pass cost $9.99 per month, and One Year Premier Pass cost $100.00) Buy one of these and you get 500 Bonus Points each month and 5% more winnings.
      • Refer a friend: refer your friends and earn $5.00 Game Credit when they upgrade their account to Paid Player.
      • Suggestions: Send in suggestions. If they use it, you can earn 250-500 Bonus Points.

      Our Bonus & Promos Rating: ★★★★☆


      Management & Customer Services

      • Game Bonus is a privately held company located in New York.
      • Customer support is via email.

      Our Customer Service Rating: ★★☆☆☆


      Money & Banking

      • Game Bonus operates in US Dollars.
      • They accept MasterCard, Visa and PayPal for deposit payments.Game Bonus operates in US Dollars.


      Our ‘Game Bonus’ Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


      [tags]mahjong, game, skill game, arcade game, mahjong review, game bonus[/tags]

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