beginner Archive

11 May 2018

Mahjong Fundamentals 7: When to Defend

In this article we'll continue our focus on mahjong defence, and look at the basics of when to push dangerous tiles, and when we should fold and play defensively.

4 Feb 2018

Mahjong Fundamentals 6: How to Defend

Defence is a key aspect of riichi mahjong, as discarding someone's winning tile means you pay for all of their winnings. In this article we'll cover some of the basic theories around defence, and how to try and avoid dealing into people's hands when you don't have any completely safe tiles.

28 Jan 2018

Mahjong Fundamentals 5: Riichi

In this article we’ll look at riichi, the most important and special yaku in riichi mahjong. We'll consider the upsides and downsides to calling riichi, and discuss when it's a good idea to call riichi, and when we're better off not doing so.

13 Jan 2018

Mahjong Fundamentals 4: Yaku and Value

Tile efficiency is important for winning hands, but for most mahjong players what they really want to do is to win games. To win a hand, you just need to be the fastest person to complete your hand, but for winning games, the value of the hands you win starts to matter.

In this article we go through the most common yaku, discussing the pros and cons of them, and which are the most important to bear in mind when building our hand

6 Jan 2018

Mahjong Fundamentals 3: Basic Tile Efficiency

In this article we’ll cover some of the basics of tile efficiency, how best to group our hand into blocks, and what we should do depending on the number of blocks in our hand.

29 Dec 2017

Mahjong Fundamentals 2: Starting Hands & Five Block Theory

In Part 2 of the Mahjong Fundamentals series, we look at some of the basics to analyse our starting hand - identifying where we have isolated tiles, and which ones we should discard first.
29 Dec 2017

Mahjong Fundamentals 1: Introduction

This is an article series aimed at people who are just starting out with learning to play riichi mahjong and are working on how to become strong players - people who have got the hang of the basic rules and the different yaku, and are wondering where to go next to improve.

In later articles we’ll cover some of the fundamental aspects of mahjong strategy such as building yaku, tile-efficiency, push/fold judgement and the basics of defending, but for this first article I’ll cover some of the more general themes for how to consider mahjong strategy, and how to work on developing your own skill at the game.