Strategy Archive

22 Jul 2017

Puyo’s Guide to Calling Tiles – Part 1

We'll be translating a number of articles from Puyo's blog archive into English. The first set of articles we'll be translating focuses on when to call or not to call in riichi mahjong.

In part 1 we cover the basic pros and cons of calling tiles.

9 Jul 2017

Application of Block Theory – Part 2

So you've got five blocks now, the right number of blocks to form a winning hand, but you're still not tenpai yet. What do you do? Does it even matter? It certainly does - read on to find out more.

1 Jul 2017

Application of Block Theory – Part 1

By now I'm sure you've learnt about five block theory and how it works, but how do you actually apply the theory to determine what's the best tile to discard? How do you make your decisions systematically and consistently?

Today's lesson is taken from Hirasawa Genki's よくわかる麻雀の勝ち方 (Yoku Wakaru Maajan no Kachikata).

25 Feb 2017

Defense in Depth – Part Two

It's time to dig deeper! This article presumes you're familiar with the concepts of suji and kabe and the tile safety table found here.

8 Feb 2017

Defense in Depth – Part One

In this series we'll present a number of advanced tips and tricks for defending, for when simple suji and kabe aren't enough. Today's material is taken from chapter four of Hirasawa Genki's 絶対にラスを引かない麻雀 (Zettai ni Rasu wo Hikanai Maajan).

3 Feb 2017

Haipai Efficiency – Part Two

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.
31 Jan 2017

Haipai Efficiency – Part One

Given the same starting hand, an expert and a beginner might discard the same tiles, but what sets them apart is the order in which they discard them. Tiles that seem equally useless at first glance may actually be quite different in value. If you can identify these differences and accurately compare the usefulness of tiles right from the beginning of a round, you can speed up your hand progression in every hand you play.
25 Jan 2017

Push/Fold Judgment

Lately I've been reading Makoto Fukuchi's latest mahjong strategy book, 押し引きの教科書 (Oshihiki no Kyoukasho) which, as the title suggests, is a textbook on pushing forward and pulling back. As Fukuchi says in the afterword, it's the book that he most wanted to write, and with good reason - according to the foreword, push/fold judgment makes up less than 20% of mahjong strategy, yet it decides whether you win or lose in over 80% of games. Despite being such a crucial element of the game, until now there has been very little teaching material on the subject, in both English and Japanese. With that in mind I've decided to pick out a few key points that I feel would be particularly helpful to English-speaking players.