Replay Review #2

Since publishing our first replay review, we’ve received lots of requests for more! We’re really glad to see people jumping on board. However, in order to avoid cluttering up the front page of the site with nothing but replay reviews, future reviews will be published here so watch that space for updates. In the meantime, please feel free to keep requesting reviews through the request form – players of all levels are welcome!

With that out of the way, our second replay review will examine a replay from jonathanasdf, who was 4d R1720 at the time. This review was brought to you by Benawii (Tenhou 7d). You can view the replay yourself here.

The following review was written with the opponents’ hands closed.


We do have a lot of tiles for souzu honitsu here, but we are currently 4 shanten from it, and the shapes are terrible. Chanta and yakuhai are also possible yaku. Considering two tiles are already discarded, keeping doesn’t help that much. Compare that to , which can accept many tiles and helps with speed, which we need here. Right now the hand is cheap, but that may change if we draw some dora or a red five. Also, if the right player also discards and the round is aborted, that is a good thing for us.

At this point honitsu is the only way to go. We still need one more block. is useless and dangerous. All honor tiles we have are useful and serve as a decent safe tile, which we are likely to need soon. Better to not play fancy by trying to camouflage your honitsu when you are not ready for it.

Calling is fine, to break ippatsu and potentially mawashi into a yakuless tenpai. Discarding here, however, is not okay. is very dangerous against the riichi, and we have a 1-shanten hand with bad shape worth only 2600. I’d chii then discard .


This is a pretty nice starting hand. We have two dora and potential yakuhai. If we pon the this would be a 5200 hand. If we manage to get another yakuhai, this will become a mangan, not to mention honitsu and toitoi become a possibility. After the lone honor tiles, and are the least helpful tiles. Considering this is the first turn and we have not seen two players discarded yet, I feel it is better to discard either or now and keep the lone honors for a bit longer. I cannot say which is better between and .

The hand is 1-shanten for 5200 points. We have the fourth which we could kan or keep for now. Many beginners make the mistake of keeping the option to kan when they are tenpai, because of the chance for rinshan kaihou. This is a bad idea. When we are at 1-shanten, we have to either draw a tile that advances our hand ourselves, or call a tile in the case of open hand like this. In this case of chii, we can only call from the left player, so our options are a bit restricted compared to when we are tenpai, where we can win off anyone’s discard. So here it’s better to kan and get an extra draw now rather than when you are tenpai.


The hand is currently 3-shanten but the shape isn’t too great. Tanyao is a possibility but there is no need to restrict ourselves to it this early. Discarding here is a mistake. We can view the shape as and . If we draw it will become a good shape. If we discard , the shape becomes , which is still in a bad shape after drawing/calling , in part because is our third pair. is the best discard here.

678 sanshoku is a possibility here. In addition to extra han it may let us open the hand later if we need to (for example if we draw and and need the speed). Also, the shape benefits slightly from having the by adding as two draws that will turn it into two sets, so going for 678 sanshoku doesn’t necessarily require discarding the . is useful for accepting the dora together with . It’s best to keep all options open and discard the here.

We are 1-shanten for chiitoitsu and 2-shanten for a regular hand. If we want to go full chiitoitsu, we need to discard . If we want to go full regular hand, we actually have many comparable options: , , , , , and . There are small differences between the options, but fortunately, discarding allows us to keep both options with little disadvantages, so this is the way to go.

There are 6 tiles left in the wall. Trying to get tenpai at this point is good, but only if the risk is small. The risk of the dealing in is small, but if we are to get to tenpai, we need to discard either or , both of which are dangerous against the riichi. With this few draws remaining, it is better to not risk dealing the , and just discard safe tiles like and instead.


Honitsu is a bit far here compared to a normal hand. I’d go with for now and see what we draw, because one copy was already discarded.

Right now our four sets are most likely to come from (1 set), (2 sets), and (1 set), with being the pair. shape is a great shape that can accept and may give iipeikou. We need to discard one of the honors here.


We have a quick 1-shanten hand with good value. doesn’t help with hand speed but it is the dora and we kind of need 1 han from it. Either or (but not both) can be discarded as they don’t really help much. If we discard , we can accept , and vice versa (and we can discard ). The difference is that one of the remaining is a red dora, and having the third dora will help with this hand. So should be discarded here.


This hand is in a pretty bad shape. Getting yakuhai would help. Other than that, 789 sanshoku is a distant possibility. I’d start by discarding . is likely to follow, as it’s hard to use when you already have a .

This is tempting. We reached tenpai but we have to discard the dora. Because only 5 ryanmen waits are possible, it’s better to fold. I’d do that with .


With this score we need a hand with good value. So far our options are junchan, ittsuu, and 123 sanshoku. We are 3-shanten from all three. It’s possible to get junchan and sanshoku together. For all three options, we don’t need , so that’s what we should discard.

Here the should be discarded first, because chanta is cheaper than junchan, and still helps with sanshoku.

Calling here is good if we still want to push this hand, because otherwise we need to get the last to complete our hand. However, the hand is rather cheap after calling. Junchan is only 1-shanten while ittsuu is 2-shanten. Since ittsuu is even cheaper and further away, we should keep the dora for a chance to increase the hand value further. We don’t need for junchan so that’s what we should discard.


Our starting hand is already 2-shanten for chiitoitsu, and the shape is terrible for a regular hand. For this kind of situation, we want to advance the hand toward chiitoitsu while not completely disregarding regular hand if possible. Here, and don’t help with regular hand much, but honors make a great wait for chiitoitsu, so we should discard for now.

At this point, we are still 2-shanten for chiitoitsu but the shape for regular hand improved and we’re at 2-shanten for it also. Having 3 pairs isn’t great but we do have tanyao plus two dora, so we can pon all three pairs to advance the hand. doesn’t really help with anything. has a small chance to help, but the right player looks like they might be going for pinzu honitsu/chinitsu. Before becomes dangerous (right now it’s not too dangerous yet), we should discard it. However, if the right player calls , the dora will become too dangerous to discard, and in that case we’d need to switch back to chiitoitsu instead. Folding should not be considered yet, because we are quite a bit behind in last place with a decent hand, and such opportunities do not come often.


Here , , and are hard to use. We don’t have enough blocks yet, and having another dora in the hand would help. Because of that should be kept. Either or can be discarded here.


This hand’s shape is not so good. Player across already called a pon of dora. Not dealing into that hand takes priority over trying to complete this hand. That said, we cannot afford to deal only safe tiles starting now, because right now the chance that the hand is already tenpai is low. On the other hand, after several turns, that chance would climb rapidly. The fastest way to complete this hand would be either 789 sanshoku or tanyao. We definitely want to keep and for now as they are our only safe tiles. What we should do is quickly discard dangerous middle tiles that do not help much. Personally I prefer going for sanshoku, so I’d quickly discard , , , and . If going for tanyao, and should be quickly discarded.


This is a nice hand for junchan no matter how you look at it. Junchan dora is at least 5800 points. If we manage to get sanshoku on top it’d be a mangan. There is no point going for other hands, except maybe ittsuu if we get the right draws. I’d start by discarding .

There are two riichi. We need to defend here. The only acceptable discards are and , because dealing into a riichi ippatsu would be really bad, and our hand is in a terrible shape. Our best bet is to hope the left player doesn’t win, or win with a cheap hand.


This is the last round and we are in last by 400 points, so we need to go full speed ahead. Since we don’t have a pair yet, we need to keep to potentially get a pair. It’s a bad idea to get fixated on tanyao. is useless here to discard it first.

We got to tenpai. We can discard either or but discarding gives better wait. We already have a yaku and enough points to escape last place. We need to prioritize winning chance, and to do that we need to dama here.

Overall comments

  1. The biggest area of improvement would be your push/fold judgment. You push against riichi too much. I suggest reviewing push/fold strategy guides (here on or elsewhere).
  2. I feel you try to decide on a particular hand a bit too early. You usually want to keep options open in the first 5-6 turns, especially if we are willing to sacrifice value or some risks for speed.

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