What a Bit of Game Theory Can Teach Us by Paul Lederer

Saw this post on the Chicago Mahjong Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/chicagomahjong/ and thought this would be of interest to some — Frenetic

Today I would like to talk about choices and options. Mahjong is a game, and like most games it has options for you to consider and choices that you as the player must make–choices like what to discard, or if you should call or if you should declare riichi.

Now I am not a very experienced Mahjong player, but I am a very experienced game player and what I have learned from basic game theory has let me pretend to know what I am doing in Mahjong to the point where I have people fooled that I’m actually good, and in most games there is one theme that prevails: the player with the most options is highly favored to win. Choices are also what separates a good player from a bad one, as good players make more good choices and bad players make more bad choices. Chess and Go are both zero sum games of open information, and in both games the goal is to remove all options from your opponent. Mahjong is not zero sum, and also it isn’t open information. There is also a decent amount of random chance involved. However, I feel that maximizing your options is key to every good Mahjong player’s strategy(interesting note: Two player zero sum games are more about removing your opponent’s options, while 4 player free for all games are more about maximizing your own options).


The Mahjong Meetup episode #7 broadcasts tomorrow

Tuesday, August 23rd, at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time The Mahjong Meetup will return.

Dasuke will recap his mahjong travels in Japan. I’ll talk about running a live tile in person mahjong meetup and further refinements teaching riichi mahjong method.

M-san rejoins us from The Los Angeles Pride of Mahjong dojo.


Please join us!


The Mahjong Meetup Episode #3

Is up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmrcV3ep4Bg

If you have any suggestions for topics, if you’d like to be a guest (and what you would like to talk about), and questions/comments in general please go to this Google form. Thank you!

Also, you can download MP3s of the episodes for your listening pleasure here:

The Mahjong Meetup #1: https://goo.gl/GNbMiU

The Mahjong Meetup #2: https://goo.gl/B2FT1U

The Mahjong Meetup #3: https://goo.gl/8EZSS9

Thank you,


The Mahjong Meetup returns tonight!

Sorry for the short notice but tonight Monday, May 2nd, at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time The Mahjong Meetup will return. Dasuke and I have been busy with our day jobs and other commitments, so we’re trying to broadcast when we have openings in our schedules. All apologies.

Also, unfortunately due to me forgetting to click on the archive settings on Twitch, the first episode did not record. I’ve double checked the settings so we will have the episode up on our YouTube channel.

Dasuke will recap PAX and talk about recently formed NARMA (North American Riichi Mahjong Association) and if we have time, a general call in show where you can talk about your first encounter with riichi mahjong so get your microphones ready.


Please join us!


The Mahjong Meetup on Twitch.tv

The first episode of The Mahjong Meetup will air this Friday April 15th, 3:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Dasuke and I will talk about our experiences at one of the few jansous outside of Japan, the recently formed NARMA, and a general call in show where you can talk about your first encounter with riichi mahjong.


Please join us!