Friday, December 10, 2010

Why rules vary?(1)

You may mutter there are too many variations to play mahjong in Japan.
I think at least two major reasons exist.

More inflation in scoring
Dora, or lucky tile is of course most popular, especially red 5 tiles and "kandora" or doras added by some player's making a kong.
Making a kong increases at least another four doras, and four uradoras given only for riichi-declared winner.
Since your name is not Saki, I seldom recommend you to make a kong because you cannot always win with your added dora but help other players with bonus dora.

There may be extra award called "tip" for the winner who wins with red dora, uradora or ippatsu.

You may notice special terms including "yakitori" which Fukabori Sumiyo murmurs after her play.
Yakitori, "barbecued chicken," means "to conclude a game with no winning hand."
Yakitori player will be charged some penalty, usually 10000 points, if the game admits yakitori rule.

Faster game
Imagine you are the master of a mahjong parlor.
The faster game ends, the more you can earn the fare of another game.
Therefore each mahjong parlor has their house rules.
*Dealer cannot be continued without winning
In standard rule if you are a dealer, you can continue to be a dealer if you secure a ready hand and no win.

*Even the fourth player who calls riich, the round continues.
Originally when there are three players and each of them call riichi, the round will be draw if the fourth call riichii, that before playing you have to consult other players about the rules hired by them.
"Ari-ari" rule is most popular. In another words, DO NOT PLAY WITH THEM if you cannot understand any part of their rules explained by them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pinfu 03 - CAUTION when the pair is honors

Pinfu means 'peace' in Japanese and 'mild' in Chinese.
But I think pinfu may be troublesome for newcomers in certain way.
One of the feature which includes problem is, this time, the head.

Not only suits but honors can be the pair (the eyes or the head) in pinfu.
But it does not mean any honors are OK with the head in pinfu.

For instance, no dragon, either white, red or green is accepted as a head of pinfu.
This rule is relatively easy.

The problem IS, neither round wind nor player's wind is allowed as a head of pinfu.
So that a beginner who doesn't (or can't) care what is the round wind or his own wind may make a hand with honors which will not be regarded as pinfu.

You can understand that the dealer never make a pinfu with a head made of east:
Because the dealer's own wind is always east.

Self-drawn is still OK because he will secure at least one yaku, concealed self-drawn or 'tsumo'.
If he tries to go out with other player's discard, he will pay a penalty called 'chombo'. 8000 if he is a non-dealer,
12000 if he is a dealer.

Conclusion: if you are new comer, you had better call 'riichi' in case your hand 'seems to be' pinfu and your head is made of honors.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pinfu 02 - CAUTION when self-drawn

Pinfu means 'peace' in Japanese and 'mild' in Chinese.
But I think pinfu may be troublesome for newcomers in certain way.
One of the feature which includes problem is scoring system.

The minimum score of self-drawn hand in Japan is,
if you are a non-dealer,
300 for non-dealer and 500 for dealer .
It is called 'gomi' or 'garbage,' partly because it is a homophone of '5-3,'
partly because it is rather useless score as garbage.
Total earnings... 300*2 + 500 = 1100

Question: if you win pinfu with your self-drawn tile, how much can you earn?

1100 * 2 = 2200?  Nope.

The answer is 400 * 2 + 700 = 1500.


OK, I understand you would like to read the following boring explanation.

The basic score of pinfu is 20.
Pinfu is 1 yaku, meaning 1 double
so the score will be 20 * 2 = 40

Since you draw your winning tile, you secure another yaku,
Tsumo ツモ or "Menzenchin Tsumohou 門前清自摸和," 1 double
the score will be 40 * 2 = 80

Unlike in the end of WWII, Japanese mahjong scoring system quadruplicates the score since in the midst of the 20th century.
so that the score will be 80 * 4 = 320

Finally the score should be rounded to the nearest 100 above
therefore the score IS 400

Of course you do not have to memorize such procedure
Just keep in your mind that you will earn 400, 700

 N O T  1000 2000 OR MORE


...I confess I didn't when I was a newbie.

Do you really understand?

Question 2
You have won pinfu, self-drawn with 2 dora.
How many point will you earn?
Hint: 4 doubles.

2000, 4000?

The answer is
1300, 2600

Therefore I say pinfu may be troublesome.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pinfu -why also called "No Point" 01

A hand composed of sequence units (run) is called pinfu (peace).
Pinfu is also known as "no point," since this hand has no extra base points (mini-point) or "fu."

Basically the concept of evaluating hand is simple: the harder to complete, the higher the score will become.

Your hand will be counted as follows:

0. You will unconditionally earn 20 point.
1a. If your hand is concealed and going out with other player's discard, you will earn another 10 point.

1b. If your hand is concealed and going out with your self-drawn tile, you will earn 2 point and
     1 yaku, Tsumo(official name: menzenchinmohou 門前清摸和.)
     Pinfu is the exception: if you go out pinfu self drawn, at least you secure tsumo as well as pinfu
     without gaining 2 point : see Pinfu 02
1c. If your hand is partly revealed and going out with your self-drawn tile, you will earn 2 point.

2. If your hand contains a triplet or a four, you will earn extra point, from 2 to 32 according to the type.
3. If your last waiting component requires only one sort of tile, you will earn 2 point.
4. If your pair (eyes) is dragons, round wind or your own wind, you will earn 2 point.

Pinfu has only 0. and 1a...30 points. Therefore it is also called No Points.
Pinfu is 1 fan hand, one double, meaning 30 * 2 = 60 points.
In those days even if some player mistakenly discards a winning tile, each player except the dealer pays 60.
The dealer pays double: 120.

Later the rule has changed in Japan...the one who discards the winning tile pays all.
In this case, the loser pays 60 * 4 = 240.

In less than 50 years, the score has become inflated...4 times.
Today pinfu counts 240 * 4 = 960 rounded up to 1000.

If your pinfu contains no honor or terminal, it is also tan-yao ("tanpin")
Tan-yao is 1 fan, one double.
The score will be 960 * 2 = 1920 rounded up to 2000.

If your pinfu contains "mixed triple chow," three similar sequences (sansyoku)
the score will be 960 * 2 * 2 = 3840 rounded up to nearest hundred...3900.
Sansyoku is 2 fan, two doubles.

If your pinfu is tan-yao and contains sansyoku,
your score will be 960 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 7680 rounded up to 7700.

Please memorize the pinfu score as 1000-2000-3900-7700.
Do not calculate as (20+10)*4*2*4.
If you are a dealer, the score will be 1500-2900-5800-11600.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A case of failure

Here is a sample of failure found on YouTube

The principle of winning Japanese mahjong is really simple:
make four sets and a pair WITHOUT CHII OR PON
if you are not familiar with Japanese mahjong.

In this case, you will need 1p or 4p, 8p or 6s
and declare 'riichi.'

C'mmonnn! What the hell are you doing?
Just discard 1s or east!

The player has made a fatal error: chow without strategy.
Few chances remain including three mixed chow(sansyoku) of 123,
final draw or final discard

Like the TV episode, Saki wins four concealed triplets,
48000 directly hits (datsui mahjong rule) the player.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trailers for each episode of Anime Saki TV series (introduction)

When Saki was on the air on every midnight Sunday, viewers expected next episode by each trailer shown at the end of the program.
I think less than half of the trailers are fully understood, cited from various mahjong manga and novel.
More explanation will be added later.

Ep02: 麻雀放浪記 Mahjong Hourouki by 阿佐田哲也 Asada Tetsuya

Ep03: はっぽうやぶれ Happouyabure by かわぐちかいじ Kawaguchi Kaiji

Ep04: アイドル雀士スーチーパイ Suuchiipai by ジャレコ JARECO

Ep05: 少年雀鬼 東 Shonenjanki Higashi by 中島徹 Nakajima Toru

Ep06: 雀鬼流 Jankiryuu by 桜井章一 Jankiryuu

Ep07: 麻雀激闘録3/4 Yonbun-no san by ほんまりう Honma Riu

Ep08: 哭きの竜 Nakinoryuu by 能條純一 Noujou Jun-ichi

Ep09: 亜空間殺法 Akuukan by 安藤満 Andou Mitsuru

Ep10: スーパーヅガン Superzugan by 片山まさゆき Katayama Masayuki

Ep11: 北京五輪女子卓球団体敗者復活戦への送る言葉 Phrase by Sakurai Shoichi

Ep12: 恋する麻雀~いつか勝ち組~ Koisuru Mahjong by 宇佐美うみ Usami Umi

Ep13: 天 天和通りの快男児 Ten by 福本伸行 Fukumoto Nobuyuki

Ep14: 哭きの竜 Nakinoryuu by 能條純一 Noujou Jun-ichi

Ep15: 玄人のひとりごと Kuroutono hitorigoto by 中島徹 Nakajima Toru

Ep16: 伝説の雀鬼 Densetsuno Janki by 神田たけ志・安田潤司・桜井章一

Ep17: 天牌 麻雀飛竜伝説 Tenpai by 来賀友志・嶺岸信明 Kuga Tomoshi & Minegishi Shinmei
Ep18: スーパーヅガン Superzugan by 片山まさゆき Katayama Masayuki

Ep19: 天 天和通りの快男児 Ten by 福本伸行 Fukumoto Nobuyuki

Ep20: 海雀王 Kaijan-oh by 渡辺みちお・志村裕次 Watanabe Michio & Shimura Yuji

Ep21: 麻雀無限会社39 ZANK Mahjong Mugengaisya39 ZANK by 本そういち・安藤満 Moto Souichi & Andou Mitsuru

Ep22: スーパーヅガン Superzugan by 片山まさゆき Katayama Masayuki 

Ep23: 牌賊!オカルティ Paizoku! Occulty by 片山まさゆき Katayama Masayuki 

Ep24: むこうぶち Mukoubuchi by 天獅子悦也・安藤満 Amajishi Etsuya & Andou Mitsuru

(*1)兎 Usagi -野性の闘牌- by 伊藤誠 Ito Makoto
(*2)バード 砂漠の勝負師 Bird by 青山広美 Aoyama Hiromi or 同人ゲーム「野性の闘牌 鰻」Unagi (a software developed by a fan)
(*3)ぎゅあんぶらぁ自己中心派 Gambler Jikochuushinha by 片山まさゆき Katayama Masayuki  
(*4)天牌 Tenpai 麻雀飛竜伝説 by 来賀友志・嶺岸信明 Kuga Tomoshi & Minegishi Shinmei
(*5)立-Ritz- by 大和田秀樹 Owada Hideki

Friday, June 18, 2010

Full Flush (Chin-itsu) Trainer 03

You can play the game as diabolic yet kawaii Saki does: "Rinsyankaihou!!"

Shoot, I should have discarded 7s instead of 8s to win...


Tsumo!! Rinsyankaihou!!

No lightning. Just a modest sound and graphic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Full Flush (Chin-itsu) Trainer 02

Kiyosumi Highschool's mahjong club members sing "to the world of score 10,000 100,000 1,000,000" at the ending theme.
Now we begin with 100,000 aiming 300,000 to win.

If your score becomes zero or lower, the game ends.

If your score exceeds 300,000 you win.

Below is a list of yaku which can be combined with chin-itsu 清一色(6)
Each number represents the fan of the score:

- Yaku designated by its formation -

1)一盃口 [Iipeikou] Two Identical Sequences “Pure Double Chow”
3)二盃口 [Ryanpeikou] Two Units of Two Identical Sequences

2)七対子 [Chiitoitsu] Seven Pairs: each pair must be unique.
8888 will not be accepted as two pairs.
Note: since the formation of this hand is so special, few hands will be combined.
Chin-itsu and Tan-yao are some exceptions.

2)一気通貫 [Ittsuu] Three Consecutive Sequences “Pure Straight”

1)断幺九 [Tan-yao] All Simples
3)純全帯幺 [Junchan] Terminal in Each Set

1)平和  (ピンフ) [Pinfu] No-points: All Sequences with waiting two way

2)対々和 [Toioti] Four Triplets

2)三暗刻 [San-ankou] Three Concealed Triplets
13)四暗刻 [Suuankou] (yakuman) Four Concealed Triplets

2)三槓子 [Sankantsu] Three Fours
13)四槓子 [Suukantsu](yakuman) Four Fours

- Yaku designated by its timing or procedure -

1)嶺上開花 [Rinsyankaihou] Supplement Tile “After a kong” 

13)天和 [Tenhou] Heavenly Hand
13)地和 [Chiihou] Earthly Hand
13)人和 [Renhou] Humanly Hand (Note: allowed in this game only)

1)リーチ [Riichi] Announce to be ready
2)ダブリー [Daburii(double-riichi)] Announce Riichi with First discard
1)一発 [Ippatsu] Winning after riichi within a first draw

1)ツモ [Tsumo] Concealed Self-Drawn

1)ハイテイ [Haitei] Winning with the last self-drawn tile
1)ホウテイ [Houtei] Winning with the last discarded tile

Can you visualize these yaku? if not, here are some samples:

2)七対子 [Chiitoitsu] Seven Pairs

2)一気通貫 [Ittsuu] Three Consecutive Sequences “Pure Straight”
1)一盃口 [Iipeikou] Two Identical Sequences “Pure Double Chow”
Note: this hand is not a pinfu

1)一盃口 [Iipeikou] Two Identical Sequences “Pure Double Chow”
1)平和 (ピンフ) [Pinfu] No-points: All Sequences with waiting two way
78 waits either 6 or 9: this case 6 is winning as well as iipeikou
if you win with 9, no iipeikou but pinfu will be accepted.

What is this hand? chiitoitsu?
It's ok, no one will contradict:
In this case, you can name the highest to claim.

If you declair this hand as chiitoitsu, your score is 9 fan
[Tsumo(1) + Chiitoi(2) + Chin-itsu(6)]

But if you claim this as ryanpeikou(3),
223344 + 77889 with wining 9
also pinfu(1) will be added.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Full Flush (Chin-itsu) Trainer 01

Someya Mako, a second grade student of Kiyosumi Highschool is good at making one-suit-only hand.
Of course Saki, Yuuki and Takei Hisa(buchou) make it handsome.
How about YOU? I'm training at this page.
Also the software is available to download on this site so that you can play it without www.


*Banboo tiles only.

*No chii(chou), pon(pung) is allowed so that the score secures 6 fan(haneman).
-If the score exceeds 5 fan, counting is really simple.
 from 6 to 7 fan : haneman, non-dealer 12000, dealer 18000
 from 8 to 10 fan : baiman, non-dealer 16000, dealer 24000
 from 10 to 12 fan : sanbaiman, non-dealer 24000, dealer 36000
 over 13 fan or yakuman : yonbaiman, non-dealer 32000, dealer 48000

*Unlike riichi mahjong the score will be added or subtracted same, either tsumo(self-drawn) or ron(claiming opponent's discard).

*Renhou(humanly hand), non-dealer's going out with other player's first discard. Counts as yakuman(32000).
Note: these days Renhou is not commonly accepted other than Tenhou or Chiihou.

If your hand is complete with the tile,

press right button of your mouse and choose 'ron'

Since the tile is dealer's first discard, you win Renho.

If you mistakenly choose "tsumo" or "ron",

penalty called"chonbo"  will be charged: dealer 12000, nondealer 8000

to be continued...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ep.9-1 The captain's vision

Here I will show you what Fukuji Mihoko, "the captain" of Kazekoshi Girls' High School, sees with her beautiful odd blue eye.

Kataoka 'Tacos' Yuuki aims to come from behind by making full flush, a killer hand, composed of one suit only.

Dora indicater is 6 circles: it means that dora is 7 circles.

She dares to discard two of her dora, 7 circles in this hand, a tile which makes the score one more fan up.

Inoue Jun, top runner of this game, of course notices Yuuki's hand because she has placed a precious dora on her bank in front of her.
Then Jun calls riichi, declaring "my hand is ready to go out" to intimidate Yuuki, who plans to discard her another dora.

Judging from the river of Jun, 7 pinzu (7p, 7 circles or 7 dots) may her claiming tile.
I would like to talk more and more with this hand...maybe in another column.

If the player obtains a winning tile within the first turn of calling riichi, another bonus named 'ippatsu' will be added, one fan.

Imazine discarding a dora for the riichi-declaring player immediately.
If the tile reveals to be "bingo!" the score, at least 1 fan riichi hand, will be multplied 1 fan for dora and another 1 fan for ippatsu.
Minimum payment is 5200 for non dealer.

Amazingly Mihoko discards her dora gracefully with confidence, so as to prompt Yuuki to go ahead, clearing her dora, too.

Why could Mihoko put her dora on her own river?

Note: there are four of a kind in each tile; no fifth 6p exists, for example.

Waiting set for claiming 7p may be classified into five cases:

a Waiting either 4p or 7p: Open-Ended (ryannmen)

b Waiting 7p to compose 789 (penchan)

c Waiting 7p to compose 678 (kanchan)

d Waiting 7p or another to compose a triplet (shanpon)

e Waiting 7p to make a pair (tanki)

Then gather information from the river, dora indicater (6p, in this case) and my own hand.

Note:dora indicator indicates the real doras which are NEXT to dora indicator.

The dora is 7p because the dora indicator is 6p.

(i) Jun declares riichi with discarding 8p.

(ii) There are two 6ps on the river.

(iii) I have one 6p(iii-1), two 7ps(iii-2) and three 8ps(iii-3)

(iv) Yuuki discarded one 7p


(v) The dora indicater is 6p

...OK, let's deliberate each case listed above.

Case a : Waiting either 4p or 7p :Open-Ended (ryannmen)

(ii) There are two 6ps on the river.

(iii-1) I have one 6p

(v) The dora indicater is 6p

So all 6ps are found.
Deduction: Jun's hand doesn't wait either 4p or 7p: Open-Ended (ryannmen)

Case b : Waiting 7p to compose 789 (penchan)

Case c : Waiting 7p to compose 678 (kanchan)

(i) Jun declares riichi with discarding 8p.

(iii-3) I have three 8ps.

So all 8ps are found.
Deduction: Jun's hand doesn't wait 7p to compose 789 (penchan) or 678 (kanchan)

Case d : Waiting 7p or another to compose a triplet (shanpon)

(iii-2) I have two 7ps.

(iv) Yuuki discarded one 7p.

Deduction: Jun's hand doesn't wait 7p or another to compose a triplet (shanpon)

How about Case e : Waiting 7p to make a pair (tanki)?

Mihoko says "Judging from Yuuki's style of sorting tiles, her tiles are all characters except the leftest"

and "Remaining dora worries her...OK I will fix it up, so follow me!"

Speculation: it is Yuuki , not Jun, who has the fourth 7p.

You're beat? I'm beat. How about Mihoko? She makes such a conclusion within a few seconds.
Beautiful, warm and clever woman...another monster.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Characters (Craks: Wanzu or Manzu)

This page is made so as to help memorizing characters (cracks).
You may found "1m"... It means 1 manzu or 1 wanzu
ex. "I should have discarded 1m instead of 2m to go out half flush."


Tiles are divided into two groups, the suits and the honors.
There are 34 kinds of unique tiles and four of each of the tiles;
So complete set consists of 136 tiles.

Note: four red tiles, one 5 character, one 5 bamboo and TWO 5 dots(circles)
may be found as a dora, for the replacement of normal four tiles.

Samples of fanzines as well as pictures and drawings by amature


If you are interested in this site, I recommend you to register and
you may display larger pictures by clicking thumbnails.

The page for register
Type your e-mail address and click the yellow button.
And you will find another screen with two buttons below your address: click the RIGHT button.
You will receive the URL mailed by pixiv to click so as to complete your entry.

Click to submit

Sunday, June 6, 2010

*Free Riichi-mahjong game site

While there is a East-wind-round-only game site which I introduce here,
*Try riichi-mahjong! It's totally FREE! (introduction)

this IS the site for the person who wish to play riichi-mahjong yet is not familiar with Kanji-characters!
Simple tutorial goes with the initial page which you will find with scrolling the page.

I have some to add...

You can call "Ron" only when you have at least one "yaku".
In other words, even if you have four sets and a pair, you cannot call "Ron" if you have no yaku.
For example, the yaku of the hand above is Tan-yao, All Simples, having no terminal or honor in each set.

More than thirty yaku exist but you do not have to memorize all when trying riichi-mahjong.

The easiest way to secure one yaku is as follows:

  1. Make your hand self-drawn:
      DO NOT USE chii(chow), pon(pung) or kan(kong)
  2. Declare riichi by pressing the riichi button
      which will appear automatically when you are ready to go out.

Your yaku is riichi. 1 fan.

Even if you follow my advice you may experience that you cannot call "Ron."
I guess you have already discarded the tile(s) related to your winning.
Note: you cannot call "Ron" if you have already discarded the tile related to your waiting ones.
For example, according to the picture above, if you have discarded not only 8 bamboo but 5 bamboo, you cannot call "Ron".

This is one of the toughest rule to master, self-sacred rule, or "furiten."
I will follow articles related to furiten in another page(s).

Still you can go out, calling "Tsumo" by drawing the tile you need. Good Luck!

PS: you may try your score plus minus zero and realize that Saki is not a human being but a monster \(^o^)/

Monday, May 31, 2010

Diagram of hands or "yaku" (right)

© Ryumon Juzo 2010    riichiryumon–

Diagram of hands or "yaku" (left)


Too big to show the entire picture so that I have to add another page which has the right part of this diagram.
If I hit upon a better idea to show you the picture, I will upgrade the page.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Official Site of Anime Saki

咲-Saki- アニメスペシャルサイト
Sorry, no English version is available.
Still you can feel the atmosphere of the site.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Original Comics of Saki

Saki comics

Anime Saki is based on comic series of Saki authored by Ritz Kobayashi on the Young GANGAN magazine published by SQUARE-ENIX, famous for the maker of the game soft "Dragon Quest" and "Final Fantasy".

Although TV series is terminated, the story of Saki on the magazine continues.

You can enjoy the comics even if you are not familiar with Japanese or/and mahjong because you have already watched the story on TV.
The latter half of comic #7 may be hard to read becaused the part of the comic is not televised yet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

*Try riichi-mahjong! It's totally FREE! (introduction)

Click OK to begin.

*Experience riichi-mahjong, like Saki plays!...maybe you will find a lot to demand but you know it's just FREE :P
*You play as "Saki": Your score is on the box located leftest: 21100
*You are a non-dealer: COM1 is the dealer, gaining one and half times higher score than non-dealer's when winning.
*The tile you draw is shown on the rightest.: 9 character.
*Discard what you don't need by clicking the tile.
-You can declair riichi by clicking the button next to the icon of the speaker which is the switch of the sound.
-You can make kong within your hand ('ankan' or concealed kong) anytime by clicking the button below the riichi button.
-Or you click the rightest button just for going forward without bothering kong.

This game is "tonpu-sen", east round only: you may remember what Kataoka "Tacos" Yuuki explains in Saki episode 1.

CONGRATS ! Press YES to go out: You can press NO if you need to.

Note: the tile indicated in the center of the field is dora, a bonus tile.
 If you have one dora, your yaku will step up one.
 And if you have two doras, your yaku will step up two.
In this game, the dora is the identical tile indicated in the center of the field. 4 Character is the dora now.
CAUTION: Today the dora is usually defined as THE NEXT TILE OF THE INDICATER.
 In this case, the dora is considered not as 4 Character but as 5 Character.
You will find further explanation including dora on this blog with "sakigame" label.