Identifying Dangerous Suji

Suji are a popular defense strategy; so popular, in fact, that suji traps are an effective anti-defense. We would like to increase the yomi level and create an anti-anti-defense by identifying when suji traps are likely. Are there situations in which suji are more dangerous? Are they really traps, or are they just incidental discards?

Prominent authors actually disagree on this. Some claim that suji discarded after riichi are more dangerous, while others claim that suji discarded before riichi are more dangerous. The general agreement is that the tile discarded immediately upon declaring riichi is dangerous.

Who’s right? Do you think there’s a difference? Using the Tenhou game logs database, we can examine riichi hands and their discards to finally answer this question.


I told you not to go for Kokushi

We’ve all been there: you’re dealt a hand with a lot of yaochuu tiles — ones, nines, and characters — and you find yourself asking, “Do I go for the stupid thing?”

Despite being one of the most common yakuman, Kokushi Musou still boasts a wide arsenal of ways to betray you. Those last few tiles never seem to come; your discards give away your strategy; you have no real defense; and if the other players discard all four of a tile you need, you can’t easily switch to something else.

So when do you go for it? An advanced player might say that you can do it when you start with 11 different yaochuu tiles, but if you’re playing a 3-player game on Tenhou, you can do it with 8. Aside from that, are there any situations in which it’s worth being more aggressive? Are there any strategic uses for the forced redeal (kyuushukyuuhai)? In this post, I will look at the strategies employed by players when they had the chance to go for Kokushi. What choice did they make? Were they successful? What situational information influences the decision to be more or less aggressive?


Actual Mahjong News Post 6-10-2010

Woa, I intended to make this post ages ago. Unfortunately my computer broke and then I got lazy. But yeah, we do plan to continue this feature at somewhat regular intervals.

And in case you’re wondering, this is exactly the kind of valueless content a previous post was criticizing. The distinction here is that this material is screened to be “valueless but amusing”. I mean, are there a lot of people who want to hear a report of a suicide in China where it’s mentioned the guy had a family member who played Mahjong? Probably not. Would people get a kick out of hearing someone made a body pillow designed after former Ukrainian PM Julia Timoshenko’s appearance in Mudazumo? You bet!

Yeah, we sure are classy. :V


This Week in Mahjong News 22-7-2010

This blog might not have tons of updates, but that doesn’t mean the editors aren’t out keeping tabs on the Mahjong world. There are plenty of items that are of minor interest, but nobody feels the need to take the time to write an entire post about them. I thought I’d start collecting them so that you too can keep up with all the LATEST HAPPENINGS in Mahjong. Or maybe it’ll just provide some brief amusement when you’re bored and looking for a distraction.

* These items won’t always be “news” as you might have known about them for a while now.

* These updates aren’t guaranteed to be on a weekly basis.


[FotM] Civ 4 (Just… one… more… turn…)

So we recently managed to get a relatively large game of Civ 4 together. As it turns out, it’s extremely hard to find a time when everyone is available to play, especially since a good game can take 8+ hours to finish. We did get a couple hours in before people had to leave, so we ended right around the time we were researching Astronomy and Gunpowder (to attack each other, of course). Since it’s near impossible to get the same people together for a decent length of time, and because more people want to get in this, we’ll probably abandon this game and start a new one within the next week or so.


Yaku defense guide: Toitoi and Yakuhai

Well hello there. It seems that some strategy for defending against specific yaku is in order here! Today, I shall discuss some ways to fight back against THEM TOITOIS, as well as those “yakuhai + rage” hands people complain about.

If you’ve been playing Mahjong for a while then you probably know of some environments where these yaku feature very prominently in the play style. Are you frustrated? This post will be intended to help people, not to criticise them, so we won’t be complaining about this or that ruleset, environment, or whatever. Rather, we’ll come up with ways to counterattack the people who take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the rules to cheapen the game.

Also, you might have heard some yaku counterattack strategy already, but only in cases where it is treated very briefly. Thanks to our extensive statistical research tools, I hope we will be able to go a bit more in-depth when looking at what our opponents are doing, and see how this compares with theories we have heard.


Some information on Open Riichi

This is a public service post to increase awareness of one of the most exciting things you can add to your Mahjong game: Open Riichi. Open Riichi is a nonstandard or “local” yaku which means you won’t find too many places that allow it. There also isn’t a lot of software that contains it; we got our hopes up when Toupaiou advertised it and even included graphics for it in the client, but they never implemented it. However, if you are part of a friendly Mahjong group or club, you can probably add this to your house rules.

Since it’s not a standard yaku, there are many variations on how Open Riichi works. Here I’ll try to explain the variants I know. Feel free to post any others you know about as well as how you’ve been playing it!