Mahjong Musings


Disclaimer: This is totally unplanned for and I decided to do this on a whim, it might not be related to anime or D3 but I do hope it makes for an interesting read. I’m also taking this opportunity to test out the WordPress app on my iPhone to see if mobile blogging is feasible in the future or not. Actual content after the break.

The background story you didn’t know:
Due to real life commitments, I have been reaching home physically and mentally exhausted as of the recent 2 weeks or so (hence the delay in updating). Since I finally have some unhindered free time during the weekend I pretty much want to get all my backlogs done, until I received a call from my friend who wants to play mahjong. After 5+ minutes of decision making I decided to go along with it at the expense of getting another post out today.

Why the sudden post though?:
While I do play mahjong rarely, the recent Saki anime has once again perked my interest in both Japanese mahjong and local (Singapore) mahjong. Recently I have been playing some online Japanese mahjong with a couple of some RC irc regulars as well as getting smashed real badly in real life and I have been analyzing the differences between the both of them. Since I decided to go ahead and play anyways I thought I might as well try and get something done here as well.

My thoughts on the two different styles:
Honestly I prefer playing the Japanese style more simply because it isn’t as luck-based compared to the local style. Another key feature is being able to see your opponent’s discards as well as the furiten rule, that being your opponents cannot win with the tiles that they discarded. What the above means is that it is much easier to read the current situation, what tiles are safe to throw and who is going for what kind of hand.

The local style is by far more luck based since drawing certain flower and animal tiles satisfies the criteria for having a hand that is of value. Tiles are discarded into the middle of the table which means that remembering who has thrown what is generally impossible unless one has eidetic memory.

The only downside I feel to Japanese mahjong is the scoring system when it comes down to counting the han and fu values since it has such a complex ruleset. Thankfully in online mahjong the scoring is automatically calculated.

Closing thoughts:
The reason why mahjong appeals to me is not because I like to gamble but rather it is a game that requires not just luck but a certain degree of understanding/skill. Luck is needed for the sake of randomness and skill determines how much one is able to make out of luck. All in all it makes for a very dynamic gameplay and I certainly would recommend others to learn how to play mahjong, not for the sake of gambling but rather for a simple emotion known as fun.

Battle report:
As expected, after 3 full rounds (north south east west), I ended up being the biggest loser (not by much) although ironically the final standings seemed the same as what I watched in Saki with only 1 player with an immense lead and the remaining 3 others who are merely food. It still boils down to luck eventually despite the decision making part of the game, that was an expensive lesson to learn. Highlights of the night for me was doing a “saki” (winning with a kong/kan) twice and also losing to hand that had such a ridiculous odd of winning. Basically I followed my opponents discard one turn after because it was a 99.9% safe tile and I lost because my other opponent just drew the same tile and the tile that I discarded was also the last remaining winning tile for them.

Disclaimer 2:
The author is just an average player who has horrible luck and dislikes shuffling/”washing” the tiles.


About LordLightnDark

Professional troll by day. Enigmatic soul by night. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Light. やりたい事とやるべき事が一致する時、世界の声が聞こえる
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