top 10 hands you should re-memorize if you ever lose your memory

Just a basic hand chart. Seriously. There is nothing else to see.

Actually it’s rather misleading calling mahjong yaku ‘hands’, since most of them are just certain restrictions or conditions checked for in your complete hand. The only time entire complete hands have to be assembled tile for tile is if you are going for a yakuman…

No. Wait.

If you are the kind of person who calls them ‘hands’ you definitely need to read this.

1. Yakuhai + anything

Yakuhai are pons of the round wind, your seat wind, and the colored honors chun, haku and hatsu. The rest of the hand can be anything.

yakuhai+ rage

2. Riichi + anything


3. Inside and outside – tan yao / chanta

Tan yao is when your entire hand is made from the suited tiles 2-8. That means no 1s, no 9s, no honors. That’s it.


Chanta is sort of the opposite, when all your melds, including the pair, contains at least one 1 or 9 or honor.


Never even try to make this hand. Ever.

4. Funny patterns – Sanshoku / Itsu

Sanshoku is when you have the same sequence through all three suits in your hand.

sanshoku etc

Itsu is the entire 1-9 sequence from a single suit


They are worth 1 less han when open, but can be used open in a pinch to supply a yaku if you need a fast win condition.

In a similar vein iipeiko is the same sequence repeated in a closed hand

5. Single-suit hands

Hon itsu – single suit + Honors


Chin itsu – everything is in the one suit


6. Pairs and sets

Chitoitsu – 7 pairs


Toi-toi – all sets


7. Pinfu

Pinfu, like many of the above hands, is just a restriction placed on your hand :

All sequences (no sets), any 2 tiles except value honors (yakuhai – Haku, East in east round, etc) as the pair, and you must have a two-sided wait while in tenpai.

[Slightly edited thanks to linger]


in tenpai, waiting for 25s , and West is not a yakuhai – it is not the west round and you are not west.

Although it sounds more complicated than most, this is a very common yaku.

  1. Ah who am I kidding, if you don’t know these by now you’re just a lazy fuck. The rest are unimportant anyway.