We continue our series with a look at terminals. Unlike honors tiles, terminals don’t intrinsically differ in value. Instead, what sets them apart from each other is the rest of your hand.
Let’s suppose you had the following starting hand. Setting aside ittsuu or junchan, what would you discard first?
Before we reveal the correct answer, let’s first establish a few basic rules that you can use to compare terminals against each other.
- Terminals for which you hold the middle suji decrease in value compared to an isolated 1 or 9. If you have 69 and you discard the 9, you can still make use of 7 or 8 if you draw them.
- When you have a 5 in that suit, terminals increase in value compared to an isolated 1 or 9. For example, the 9 in 59 is more valuable. This is because drawing 7 gives you a ryankan shape waiting on two tiles.
- Terminals that are next to a taatsu such as the 1 in 124 or 134 either increase or decrease in value depending on whether or not you already have a pair or another shape that can easily produce a pair. If you do, such terminals decrease in value; if not, they increase in value. This is because drawing either 3 or 2 respectively creates a nobetan wait.
With this in mind, let’s compare the terminals in the hand above. Making use of these three rules gives us the following ranking:
The correct discard is therefore .
Practice time! Take a look at the following hands and see if you can identify the most useless terminal tile in each one.
Feel free to post your answers in the comments!