Objective of the Game

The objective of the game is to collect tiles to form a Mahjong hand. Players take turns picking one tile from the wall and discarding one tile. When a player picks up a tile that gives a valid Mahjong hand, the player wins.

Tiles

A full Mahjong tile set contains 144 tiles. There are three suits: Bamboo, Characters and Dots. Each suit has tiles numbered one to nine. There is four of each tile. There are also honour tiles: dragons and winds. The dragons are named Red, White and Green. The winds are East, South, West and North. There is four of each dragon type and four of each wind in the tile set.In many rule sets there are also four season tiles and four flower tiles.

The Game Flow

Players start with 13 tiles each. Each player is assigned a wind (East-South-West-North). East starts the game by picking a tile from the wall. Players then take counter-clockwise turns picking a tile from the wall and then discarding one tile from the hand. It is also possible to claim a tile discarded by another player under certain circumstances. In such cases, the player to the right of the claiming player becomes next in turn so some players may lose their turn in a go-around. Players shall always have a total of 13 tiles in hand and/or declared, until Mahjong is declared. (A Mahjong hand contains 14 tiles.)In games that consist of several hands, the concept of prevalent wind is used. The game will then consist of one to four rounds, each with a prevalent wind (starting with east). In a round, players switch winds after each hand (with some exceptions in some rule sets), i.e. the player who was east becomes south, south becomes west and so on until all players have played as east. When the round is finished, the prevalent wind is changed (from east to west, west to south, south to north) and a new round starts. The prevalent wind is shown in the middle of the table.

Claiming Tiles

  • A player may claim a discarded tile from the player to his left (i.e. if the claiming player is next in turn) to declare a chow (a three-tile same-suit straight).
  • A player may claim a discarded tile from any other player to declare a kong (four-of-a-kind) or pong (three-of-a-kind).
  • A player may claim a discarded tile from any other player to declare Mahjong.

In case several players want to claim the same discard, the following priority list is used:

  • Mahjong
  • Kong
  • Pong
  • Chow

If two players want to claim a tile for the same reason, the player who is closest to being next in turn gets the tile.Note that it is not always wise to claim discarded tiles. For example, sets that have not been declared are worth more than declared sets when going Mahjong.

Mahjong Hands

A Mahjong hand normally consists of four sets of three or four tiles and one pair. A set is a same-suit triplet (pong), a same-suit quadruplet (kong) or a same-suit straight (chow). Each rule set also has a number of special hands that allow Mahjong or score better than usual. Also, many rule sets have additional requirements for actually going Mahjong (see below).

Scoring

The score for a hand is calculated in two steps. First, the sets and the pair give minipoints. Going Mahjong also usually gives minipoints. The amount of points and which sets and pairs that give minipoints vary with the game rules.Second, the hand is analysed for patterns that depend on the game rules. Fans (also called funs, or yakus) are awarded for the different patterns. Each fan doubles the minipoints once. The resulting score is the hand score.In some rule sets, the hand score is irrelevant and only the number of fans is counted.

Tournament Scoring
Table points are awarded according to the players’ score after each tournament round. The player with the highest score gets four table points, the runner-up gets two table points and the player that is second to last gets one table point.

Settlement

When a game is over, the money entered into the game is divided amongst the participants. The settlement type for a specific table is shown in the table information box in the game. The following settlement types are used:

Winner Takes All
In some games, the player with the highest score takes the entire pot. The pot is the sum of the buy-ins from all participants. A feeding penalty may also be present, which means that a player that discards the winning tile pays extra (the feeding penalty) and the players who did not discard the winning tile pays less (the feeding penalty divided by the number of non-feeding players).

Riichi House Rules
In games that use Riichi House Rules, the players split the pot proportionally to the number of hand points they have at the end of the game. So, if the winning player has 70.000 points at the end of the game and the three other players have 10.000 points each, the winner will get 70% of the pot and the other players will get 10% each. In addition, there is a placement bonus, where the player with the least points pays a specific amount of money to the winner, and the player ranked third pays a smaller amount of money to the runner-up.

Tournament
In tournaments, the pot (and any money added by the game operators) is divided amongst participants according to the table points accumulated by players and the payout structure defined for the tournament. The payout structure is usually dependent on the number of participants and is described in the tournament information box.

Buy-in

The buy-in is composed of a fee and a beet. The fee goes to the house while the bet is put into a pot that is won by the participants of the game. Usually, only tournaments have a fee.Buy-in to tables is shown as "buy-in"/"maximum loss". The maximum loss is also equal to the greatest possible winnings and is the amount that is reserved from a player’s account when entering the game. In many cases the maximum amount is not lost. In particular, it is very rare to lose the maximum amount in Riichi east only and full games.In single hand games, the buy-in plus the feeding penalty is reserved from the player’s account when entering a game. Only if the player discards the winning tile will the full reserved amount be lost.In games using House Settlement Rules, the buy-in plus the maximum placement bonus (if applicable) is reserved. The full reserved sum can only be lost by the player who finishes last in the game and not even that player will always lose the full reserve.Tournaments have a buy-in equal to the bet plus the fee. Fees are much more common in tournaments than in other game types.

Terms

Draw Drawing a tile from the wall.
Discard Discarding a tile from ones hand, either the tile just draw or a tile that was already in the hand.
Claim To take a tile discarded by somebody else. A player can claim a tile discarded by any other player if it completes a pong or allows the player to go Mahjong. A tile that completes a chow can only be claimed if discarded by the player to the left.
Declare/Meld If a player claims a tile he/she must declare the resulting meld, i.e. show the tiles face-up on the table. The same applies if the player has a kong in his hand and wants to use it as such.
Concealed A hand or set that has not been declared.
Hand The tiles that a user has.
Pong/Pung Three-of-a-kind.
Kong/Kaan Four-of-a-kind.
Chow/Chii A three tile straight. All tiles in a chow must be of the same suit (Bamboo, Characters or Dots).
Fan/Fun/Yaku A combination (pattern) of tiles that is special in some way. Many rule sets require a winning hand to have at least one such combination. Each fan also doubles the player’s score in many rule sets.
Minipoint The collected point value of all sets and pairs in a hand.
Hand point The final point value of a hand, after Fans have been applied.
Wall Where tiles that have yet not been picked are.
Furiten A player is Furiten when he or she has previously discarded the tile that he or she needs to go Mahjong. Applies to Riichi Mahjong only.
Riichi When a player is one tile away from declaring Mahjong with a concealed hand, he or she can declare Riichi. Riichi is worth one yaku, so the player declaring Riichi must put 1000 extra points into the pot. The game plays itself for players who have declare Riichi until somebody wins or there is a draw. Applies to Riichi Mahjong only.
Tenpai A player is Tenpai is he is one tile away from having a valid Mahjong hand (four sets and a pair; this must not necessarily be a hand the player can declare Mahjong with). Applies to Riichi Mahjong only.


Riichi

Basic Premises

  • Flower and season tiles are not used.
  • Wind rotation after each hand except if East wins or is Tenpai.
  • It is possible to declare Riichi on any hidden hand that only needs one more tile to be a winning hand. 1000 points will be placed, as an extra bet by the player declaring Riichi and the game will play itself until somebody wins or there is a draw. The player who has declared Riichi may expand a pong to a kong if the right tile is drawn. If a player who has declared Riichi declines to go mahjong on a tile is still Riichi, but may then only declare Mahjong on a drawn (not discarded) tile.
  • The winner of the hand takes the extra 1000 points. In case of a draw, the points will be transferred to the next hand.
  • A player will become Furiten if he or she needs a tile that he or she has already discarded to go Mahjong. A player who is Furiten may only declare Mahjong on a self-drawn tile. A player will stop being Furiten if he or she discards tile(s) so that the tile needed for Mahjong is no longer one that he or she has already discarded.
  • The game ends if a player goes below 0 points.
  • A player will be Tenpai if nobody wins and the player is only one tile away from a Mahjong hand.
  • Dora, Kan Dora and Ura Dora are used (see the Special Hands section for details).
  • Washout happens if:
    • There are no tiles left in the live wall;
    • All players discard the same wind in the first go-around;
    • Four kongs are declared and nobody robs the last kong and the kongs are not declared by the same player;
    • All players declare Riichi (but see Kansai below).

Variations

We offer Japanese Riichi, EMA Riichi and Kansai style Riichi. EMA and Kansai differ from the standard Riichi rule set as per below.

EMA Riichi

  • All Simples (Tanyao) hand must be closed (i.e. a concealed hand).
  • Blessing of Man (going Mahjong on a discard in the first round) is allowed and is a yakuman.
  • Multiple Ron is allowed.

Kansai Style Three Player Riichi

  • Players are East, South, West – never North.
  • Tiles 2-8 in the characters suit are not in the tile set.
  • A pong of North scores 1 yaku, open or concealed.
  • Players are not allowed to claim discarded tiles to complete a chow, except when going Mahjong.
  • Some yakus, such as Mixed Triple Chow cannot be achieved due to the lack of Character tiles.
  • All Riichi washout is not used – the game continues even if all players have declared Riichi.
  • In the case of a self-drawn win, the points that would be paid by the missing player are omitted. For example, if a non-dealer self-drew a 2000/4000 hand, he would only get 6000 points in total.

Going Mahjong

At least one yaku (fan) is required to go mahjong. See Special Hands below.Note that losses are limited; a player cannot go below 0 points.

Special Hands

The following special hands score one or more yakus.

Yaku Patterns

Name Open Conc Description
Riichi - 1 Going out with mahjong after having declared Riichi. One extra yaku is awarded if you go out within the next uninterrupted go-around, inluding your next draw from the wall (Ippatsu). One extra yaku is awarded if riichi was declared in the very first uninterrupted go-around (Daburu riichi).
Fully Concealed Hand (Menzen Tsumo) - 1 Going out on self-draw with a concealed hand.
All simples (Tanyaou Chuu) 1 2 A concealed hand consisting only of suit tiles 2-8. (Scores -/1 in EMA Riichi)
Pinfu - 1 A hand that gives no minipoints beside those awarded for going out. The hand must consist of four chiis and a pair which is not in dragons, seat wind or prevalent wind, and the hand must be won on a two-sided wait.
Pure Double Chii (Iipeikou) - 1 Two chiis of the same value and suit.
Mixed Triple Chii (San Shoku Doujun) 1 2 Three chiis of the same value, with one in each suit.
Pure Straight (Itsu) 1 2 Three consecutive chiis (1-9) in the same suit.
Dragon Pon (Fanpai/Yakuhai) 1 1 A pon or kan in dragons
Seat Wind (Fanpai/Yakuhai) 1 1 A pon or kan in the players wind.
Prevalent Wind (Fanpai/Yakuhai) 1 1 A pon or kan in the prevalent wind.
Outside Hand (Chanta) 1 2 A hand where all sets contain a terminal or honor tile, and at least one of the sets is a chii.
After a Kan (Rinchan Kaihou) 1 1 Going out on a replacement tile for a kan.
Robbing a Kan (Chan Kan) 1 1 Going out by robbing a kan (see ????)
Bottom of the Sea (Haitei) 1 1 Going out on the last tile of the live wall, or the discard thereafter.
Seven Pairs (Chii Toitsu) - 2 A hand consisting of seven pairs. Note, that this is one of the two special hands that don’t follow the standard 4 sets plus 1 pair formula. It is also special in that you are awarded 25 points for going mahjong with a seven-pairs hand.
Triple Pon (San Shoku Dokou) 2 2 One pon or kan in each of the three suits, all having the same number.
Three Concealed Pons (San Ankou) 2 2 Three concealed pons or kans.
All Pons (Toi-toi hou) 2 2 A hand with four pons/kans and one pair.
Half Flush (Honitsu) 2 3 A hand with tiles from only one suit plus honor tiles.
Little Three Dragons (Shou Sangen) 4 4 Two pons/kans of dragons plus one pair of dragons. (No extra yakus are scored for the dragon pons individually.)
All Terminals and Honors (Honroutou) 2 2 A hand consisting of only terminals and honors.
Terminals in All Sets (Junchan Taiyai) 2 3 A hand with atleast one chii and where all sets contains terminals.
Twice Pure Double Chiis (Ryan Peikou) - 3 Two pair of chiis, where each pair consists of two identical chiis.
Full flush (Chinitsu) 5 6 A hand with tile from only one suit and no honor tiles.

Yakuman Patterns

Yakuman hands are all treated as 13+ yakus in terms of scoring.

Pattern Description
Thirteen Orphans (Koku Shimusou) One of each honor tile and terminal plus a fourteenth tile forming a pair with one of thos
Nine Gates (Chuuren Pooto) A hand consisting of the tiles 1112345678999 in one suit plus one extra tile in the same
Blessing of Heaven (Tenho) East wins on the initial hand.
Blessing of Earth (Chiho) A hand won on self draw in the first go-around.
Blessing of Man (Renho) A hand won on discard in the first go-around. Only possible in EMA Riichi.
Four Concealed Pungs (Suu Ankou) Four concealed pons or kans.
Four Kans (Suu Kan Tsu) Four kans.
All Green (Ryuu Iisou) A hand consisting of only green tiles, i.e., green dragons and bamboo 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8.
All Terminals (Chinrouto) A hand consisting of only terminal tiles.
All Honors (Tsuu Iisou) A hand consisting of only honor tiles.
Big Three Dragons (Dai Sangen) A pon or kan in each of the three dragons.
Little Four Winds (Shou Suushi) A pon or kan in three of the winds and a pair in the fourth wind.
Big Four Winds (Dai Suushii) A pon or kan in each of the four winds.

Dora, Kan Dora and Ura Dora

The face-up tile in the wall is the Dora indicator. The next tile in sequence is the Dora. So if the Dora indicator is Bamboo 2, the Dora is Bamboo 3, if the indicator is Character 9, the Dora is Character 1. If the Dora indicator is a dragon or a wind, the following sequences are used: the dragon sequence is Red, White, Green; the wind sequence is East, South, West, North.

For each Dora tile a player has in a winning hand, one additional yaku is awarded. Only having a Dora tile in ones hand does not make the hand qualify for Mahjong, however. If a Kan is declared, another tile is turned face up, indicating another Dora tile (a Kan Dora). If a player has declared Riichi and goes Mahjong, the tile beneath each Dora indicator is exposed. The newly exposed tile(s) indicate Ura Dora(s) which work just like Dora tiles.

Scoring

The final score of a hand is complicated to calculate by hand, so it is presented in the form of tables here. If the winner has less than 5 yaku, minipoints need to be calculated first.

Combination Minpoints if open Minipoints if concealed
Pong of simples 2 4
Pong of terminals/honors 4 8
Kon of simples 8 16
Kon of terminals/honours 16 32
Combination Minpoints
Pair of dragons 2
Pair of seat wind 2
Pair of prevalent wind 2
Edge wait, closed wait or pair wait 2
Self-draw except with pinfu hand 2
Open pinfu 2
Wining with concealed hand 30
Seven pairs (not cumulative) 25
Open hand/self draw 20

Based on the number of minipoints and yakus in the player’s hand, losers shall pay the points to the winner according to the below tables:

Winner is East and wins on self draw (Tsumo)
Minipoints 1yaku 2yaku 3yaku 4yaku
20 - 700 1300 2600
25 - - 1600 3200
30 500 1000 2000 3900
40 700 1300 2600 4000
50 800 1600 3200 4000
60 1000 2000 3900 4000
70 1200 2300 4000 4000
80 1300 2600 4000 4000
90 1500 2900 4000 4000
100 1600 3200 4000 4000
Winner is East and wins on discard (Ron)
Minipoints 1yaku 2yaku 3yaku 4yaku
25 - 2400 4800 9600
30 1500 2900 5800 11600
40 2000 3900 7700 12000
50 2400 4800 9600 12000
60 2900 5800 11600 12000
70 3400 6800 12000 12000
80 3900 7700 12000 12000
90 4400 8700 12000 12000
100 4800 9600 12000 12000
Winner is any wind except East and wins on self draw (S,W,N/East) (Tsumo)
Minipoints 1yaku 2yaku 3yaku 4yaku
20 - 400/700 700/1300 1300/2600
25 - - 800/1600 1600/3200
30 300/500 500/1000 1000/2000 2000/3900
40 400/700 700/1300 1300/2600 2000/4000
50 400/800 800/1600 1600/3200 2000/4000
60 500/1000 1000/2000 2000/3900 2000/4000
70 600/1200 1200/2300 2000/4000 2000/4000
80 700/1300 1300/2600 2000/4000 2000/4000
90 800/1500 1500/2900 2000/4000 2000/4000
100 800/1600 1600/3200 2000/4000 2000/4000
Winner is any wind except East and wins on discard (Ron)
Minipoints 1yaku 2yaku 3yaku 4yaku
25 - 1600 3200 6400
30 1000 2000 3900 7700
40 1300 2600 5200 8000
50 1600 3200 6400 8000
60 2000 3900 7700 8000
70 2300 4500 8000 8000
80 2600 5200 8000 8000
90 2900 5800 8000 8000
100 3200 6400 8000 8000

If the winner has more than 5 yaku, losers pay as follows:

Limit hands (Tsumo)
Hand Yaku East Wins Other Wind Wins (S,W,N/East)
Mangan 5 4000 2000/4000
Haneman 6-7 6000 3000/6000
Baiman 8-10 8000 4000/8000
Sanbaiman 11-12 12000 6000/12000
Yakuman 13+ 16000 8000/16000
Limit hands (Ron)
Hand Yaku East Wins Other Wind Wins (S,W,N/East)
Mangan 5 12000 8000
Haneman 6-7 18000 12000
Baiman 8-10 24000 16000
Sanbaiman 11-12 36000 24000
Yakuman 13+ 48000 32000