Mahjong Strategy: Hand Reading 3 / Meaning of discarding safe tile from the hand

Mahjong Strategy

Hi all, thank you for checking this website.

I was 2nd at East 3, and got Tenpai hand at 12th turn. Riichi ?

Modern Mahjong theory says we should Riichi with 1 Dora Kanchan Tenpai, if the fastest Tenpai. But I didn’t Riichi here because I didn’t think my hand was the fastest and didn’t want to be pushed back with high value hand especially by the dealer.

One turn passed and I Riichi-ed. What do you think is the reason ?

I Riichi-ed because the dealer discarded Xia from his hand. This strongly indicates that he doesn’t have high value hand, and maybe slow one. If his hand was closed, he might keep safety tile with high value hand to push back, but with open hand most of the players maximize the chance to Tenpai. This time, his had was cheap and slow as below (and I was the fastest, surprisingly) .

I couldn’t win this round, but won 1,500 points and kept 2nd position.

I am not sure this was the best choice, because non dealers might have high value hand. But wanted to mention you can obtain certain amount of info even with one tile. So you should carefully watch Tedashi/Tumo giri of the opponents with open hand.

This is very simple but very powerful rule especially for the intermediate players who has problems in the defense against the open hand.

Hope this article will be of some help to you !