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).