Mahjong Strategy: Hand Planning 2 / The situation when semi-bluff works

Mahjong Strategy

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This article describes 1. what is semi-bluff, and 2. when to use semi-bluff.

Before I discuss the topic, I hope every readers are safe against COVID-19. I assume it may take time for our society to get back to normal, but please take care of yourself.

As some of you may know semi-bluff is the term used in Poker. So here I want to define semi-bluff in Mahjong. This is the measure for making opponents fold or slow down and for wining the round.

In poker, bluff is one of the major strategy, but in Mahjong, I don’t recommend bluff basically, because the opponent who has a really high scoring hand usually won’t fold and bluffing creates one on one situation with that opponent. But sometimes there is the situation when semi-bluff works.

I was 4th with large gap at East 4, and definitely wanted to keep this dealer position. Should I call this 4p ?

I called because getting to tenpai without calling seemed difficult and 6m was dora. When you try semi-bluff, that hand must looks like high scoring hand, or Your opponents will ignore you and counterattack easily. If Dora is 3-7 (especially 4-6), there will be more Mangan both with open hands and closed hands without riichi .

After that call, opponents seemed to have taken note of me and discarded safer tiles: 1,2,8,9 and pairs.

And I successfully keep dealer position here. Below is another situation when I tried semi-bluff.

Here Dora is 9s, and this kind of calling works.

1. When you are at 4th (or 3rd), there is a situation you should try semi-bluff.

2. If you try semi-bluff, you should be conscious of Dora, because If your hand doesn’t appear to behigh scoring hand, it will be easily counterattacked.

Hope this article will be of some help to you !