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.