Mahjong Strategy: Relative Speed

Mahjong Strategy

This article covers the timing where we should give up Menzen/Riichi and call. Also you will learn how to calculate required turns for Tenpai.

Hi all, thank you for checking this website! I was dealer, 2nd place at East 3, and had to make choice here to Chii or not to Chii.

Yes, this hand is good in shape and can expect Mangan (12,000 for dealer) if you Riichi. But… it is already 8th turn and you have to see the player on my right did 2 Fuuro (pong and chii). How should we evaluate this hand ?

Good way to evaluate this hand is to calculate average required turns for Tenpai (1 tile to win). Now we have 4 effective tiles (58p and 47s), and as you know, there is 34 kinds of tile in Mahjong (9 characters, 9 circles, 9 bamboos, 4 winds, and 3 dragons). So 34/4=8.5 is average required turns for Tenpai. I assume it is longer than you feel.

This is very rough calculation, but works. Now you see how long will it take, and willing to Chii this 7s. Actually the player on my right got Tenpai, and player across got 1 shanten (2 tiles to win).

At first we should evaluate our own hand, but it is also important to check relative speed.

And when we should check relative speed ? Well, roughly from 4th turn or when 1st Fuuro is done, I start to estimate the other player’s speed and try to deal with it.

If you think there is fast player, you should increase the frequency of Fuuro or keep safety tiles.


In every article, I express 1 circle as 1p, 1 banboo as 1s, and 1character as 1m.


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