Japanese mahjong yaku

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In Japanese mahjong, yaku (Japanese: ) is a condition that determines the value of the player's hand. It is essential to know the yaku for game strategy, since a player must have a minimum of one yaku in their hand in order to legally win a hand. Each yaku has a specific han value. Yaku conditions may be combined to produce hands of greater value. The game also features dora, that allow a hand to add han value, but that cannot count as yaku. Altogether, a hand's points value increases exponentially with every han a hand contains.


Yaku are somewhat similar to poker hands. They fit certain patterns based on the numbers or types of tiles included, as well as the relative value of the tiles. Unlike poker, however, multiple hand types may be combined to produce hands of greater value.

Yaku is divided into three categories:

  • Hands that are mandatory to be closed (menzen-nomi, 門前のみ).
  • Hands that loses one han if the hand is open ("Eat and decrease", a literal translation of kuisagari, 喰い下がり)
  • Hands that can be closed or open and has the same han value.

Calling for another player's discard to make a meld makes the meld and the hand open. When a winning tile of a closed hand is a discard, the meld including that discard is considered open, while the hand is still regarded as closed. If a hand is closed, the situation is called "menzenchin (門前清)" or "menzen (門前)" in Japanese.

The basic concept of a yaku is that it fits into one of three basic criteria:

  • It contains a pattern of some kind
  • It can consistently be formed during a game, although it does not necessarily need to be common
  • It is based on specific game situations, such as discards or actions taken by other players

Finally, when it comes to points scoring, the total number of han in the hand is counted. When the han value is four or less, fu is also counted. The combination of the han value and fu value corresponds to a points table.

List of yaku[edit]

The following is a list of all the yaku, their names in English and Japanese, their han values, and any special conditions related to them. They are listed here in groups according to the underlying patterns that define the yaku. Example hands are given, but they are often not the only possible hands with that yaku. All yaku can be divided into seven basic categories, depending on the dominant feature. The features are as follows: patterns based on sequences, patterns based on triplets and/or quads, consistency of the type and numbers of the tiles, lucky circumstances, and special criteria.

Special criteria[edit]

Name Japanese Han value Remarks
Ready hand rīchi立直, リーチ 1 Closed hands only
This yaku is often called reach because its Japanese name is phonetically similar to the English word. When a player's hand needs only one tile to win (tenpai) and the player has not claimed another players' discards to make open melds, the player can opt to declare rīchi or continue to play with a ready hand without making a declaration.
Conditions after declaration

To make a declaration, the player calls out “rīchi”, discards their tile placing it sideways, and places a 1,000-point stick on the table as a deposit. They must discard any tiles that do not form a winning hand, may not change the content of their hand under any circumstances, with the exception of declaring certain closed quads.

In some rules, a player can declare ready only when there are four or more tiles remaining in the wall, meaning the player is allowed to draw another tile. The player is not penalized if other players make open melds or closed quads after the declaration that prevents the player from drawing another tile.[1]

When all four players declared ready, a hand ends as an abortive draw. Players show their hands to confirm they are tenpai or be penalized with chombo.[2]

Underneath dora

When players declare ready and win, they can have access to underneath dora indicator tiles. This may include tiles underneath the dora indicators revealed by kan calls.

Rīchi deposits

The winner of the hand receives any 1,000-point riichi sticks. In the case of multiple winners, the player closest to the discarding player (moving forward) receives all rīchi deposits. When draws occur after ready hand declarations, any rīchi deposits carry-over and are placed near the counters, with the next winner receiving those rīchi deposits. In most cases, if a draw occur after a ready hand declaration, resulting in ending the game (such as exhaustive draws in the final round with the last dealer not ready to win or exhaustive draws causing one or more players to reach a negative score), the game ends and any rīchi deposits are forfeited.

Claiming a rīchi discard

If another player claims a rīchi discard to make open melds, the player who declared ready discards the next tile sideways. If a rīchi discard is called to win at the time, the declaration is considered incomplete and therefore the rīchi deposit is not forfeited.[1]

Declaring closed quads

A closed quad can be declared after a declaration of ready when the fourth tile of a triplet is drawn. However, the quad must not otherwise change the composition of the hand or its waits.[1][2] For example, when a player has MJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg, they can declare a closed quad when drawing the fourth MJt7-.svg. However, when they have MJt5-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg waiting for MJt4-.svg, MJt7-.svg or MJd1-.svg, they cannot declare a quad when drawing MJt7-.svg because MJt7-.svg and MJd1-.svg would no longer be winning tiles.

Seven pairs chītoitsu – 七対子, or chītoi – 七対 2 Closed hands only
MJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt5-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs8-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJs8-.svg
A hand composed of seven pairs is considered a valid hand in Japanese mahjong. The hand is one of the two exceptions to the rule requiring winning hands to have four melds and a pair, the other being thirteen orphans. The hand also has its own special rules for scoring, in which the hand has a fixed fu value of 25. The format of this yaku does not count īpeikō when three pairs are in sequence, but the hand of ryanpeikō does not count as including seven pairs.

In general Japanese rules, all seven pairs must be unique, meaning that the same four tiles may not be split into two pairs. Some rules accept the four same tiles, for instance in the Kansai region.[3]

Nagashi mangan nagashi mangan – 流し満貫 mangan Closed/Open
This yaku is applied to discards, as opposed to the hand value itself. A player's discards are all terminals and honors. A hand must be a draw (abortive draws not applied). The hand is often recognized only if no other player called any discard from the player's discard pile. The player can make open melds depending on the rules.[4] In most cases the value is considered a mangan. As for the payment, the hand is regarded as winning by self-draw. The rule of nō-ten bappu is usually not applied to this case as it is no longer regarded as a draw. In addition, this hand cannot be combined with the other yaku.

Yaku based on luck[edit]

These hands are all worth one han.

Name Japanese Han value Closed/Open
Self-pick menzenchin tsumohō – 門前清自摸和, or shortly tsumo – 自摸, ツモ 1 Closed hand only
When a player has a closed hand and draws a winning tile from the wall or the dead wall, one han is added including when the hand previously had no yaku. Open hands are not counted
One-shot ippatsu – 一発 1 Requires Ready/Double Ready
A han is added when the player completes their hand (either as a discard or a self-drawn tile) within one go-around of play, without any open-meld declarations or forming a closed quad.
Last tile from the wall haitei raoyue – 海底撈月, or haitei – 海底 1 Closed/Open
A player completes the hand via the last tile before the dead wall. Haitei raoyue roughly translates as "to scoop up the reflected moon from the seabed."[5]
Last discard hōtei raoyui – 河底撈魚, or houtei – 河底 1 Closed/Open
A player completes the hand via the last discarded tile from the opponent who drew the last tile from the wall. Hōtei raoyui roughly translates as "to scoop up a swimming fish from the riverbed."[5]
Dead wall draw rinshan kaihō – 嶺上開花, or rinshan – 嶺上 1 Closed/Open
A player wins the hand via drawing a supplemental tile from the dead wall to keep the number of tiles in the hand consistent, which is done after declaring a quad. Rinshan kaihō means "a flower blooms on a ridge".

Sometimes the pao (包) rule is applied to this yaku, that is, if a player claims a discard to make an open quad and then completes their hand with a tile drawn from the dead wall, the player who discarded the tile is responsible for paying the entire amount for the hand.

Robbing a quad chankan – 搶槓, 槍槓 1 Closed/Open
A player wins the hand from an opponent who declares a quad of said winning tile, as long as the winning player did not previously discard the tile from the open triplet due to a sacred discard (furiten) Player A has three 6's of dots in an open triplet and draws the fourth 6, and added it to the triplet for a quad. If player B waits to win by having a 4-5 of dots left, they can win on that 6. Player A then has to pay the full value of the hand.

Robbing a closed quad for thirteen orphans

Sometimes, a "closed" quad can be robbed to complete the thirteen orphans hand. For example, if player A makes a closed quad out of four west tiles, and player B is only waiting for a west to complete their thirteen orphans, player B can win on the west tile. However, this yaku is not counted since thirteen orphans is a Yakuman hand.

Double-ready daburu rīchi – ダブルリーチ, or daburii – ダブリー 2 Closed hand only
A player declares a ready hand within the first go-around of a hand. All other conditions are the same as declaring a normal ready.

Yaku based on sequences[edit]

Name Japanese Han value Closed/Open
No-points hand pinfu – 平和 1 Closed hand only
MJw1-.svgMJw2-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs5-.svgMJs6-.svg MJt2-.svg
A no-points hand is just that—a hand with no additional fu-points whatsoever. The hand must contain entirely sequences without triplets/quads, and the pair must not be a dragon tile or the wind that matches either the player or the current round.

Furthermore, the hand must be waiting for multiple winning tiles that can make a sequence,[6] such as having number 2 and 3 and waiting for 1 or 4. The hand must not be a closed, edge or pair wait (which awards points).

When the hand is won by drawing from the wall, as an exception, in most rules the two fu for the self-drawing are not awarded.

Combination of no-points hand and self-pick

In some rules, when a hand has the two yaku of no-points hand and self-pick (menzenchin tsumohou), the no-points hand is not counted and instead two fu of self-drawing are awarded. The value of the hand becomes one han with 22 fu (rounded up to 30 fu), with some other yaku available. The rule is called "pinfu–tsumo nashi" (平和自摸無し or 平和ツモなし, pinfu–tsumo invalid), sometimes contracted to "pinzumo nashi" (ピンヅモなし). If they can be combined, the rule is called "pinfu–tsumo ari" (平和自摸有り or 平和ツモあり, pinfu–tsumo valid).[7]

One set of identical sequences īpeikō – 一盃口 1 Closed hands only
MJw2-.svgMJw4-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svg MJw3-.svg
One set of two sequences of the same numbers in the same suit.
Three colour straights sanshoku doujun – 三色同順, or sanshoku – 三色 2 (1 if open) Closed/Open
MJw2-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw4-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs4-.svgMJf2-.svg MJf2-.svg
Three sequences of the same numbers in all three suits.
Straight ikkitsuukan – 一気通貫, or ittsuu – 一通 2 (1 if open) Closed/Open
MJw9-.svgMJw9-.svgMJw9-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs5-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs9-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svg MJs1b-.svg
A straight from number 1 through 9 of one suit, namely, three sequences of 1-2-3, 4-5-6 and 7-8-9.
Two sets of identical sequences ryanpeikō – 二盃口 3 Closed hand only
MJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt4-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw7-.svgMJw7-.svgMJw8-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svg MJw8-.svg
Two independent sets of identical sequences. Some rules may not allow the two sets to be the same using four identical sequences. This yaku does not count seven pairs as the tiles are based on sequential melds and not pairs.

Yaku based on triplets and/or quads[edit]

When the following hands involve triplets, quads are also acceptable, while if they require quads, triplets do not count. Each yaku is worth two han, regardless of whether the hand is closed or open.

Name Japanese Han value Closed/Open
All triplets toitoihō – 対々和, or toitoi – 対々 2 Closed/open
MJw8-.svgMJw8-.svgMJw8-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs7-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svg MJs7-.svg
The hand consists of all triplets or quads and no sequences. A hand can also be closed but can be won via a discard, but if the winning tile is a self-pick, the hand becomes Four concealed triplets and is awarded Yakuman instead.
Three concealed triplets sanankō – 三暗刻 2 Closed/open
MJw1-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs2-.svg MJw1-.svg
Three sets of triplets or quads formed without calling on any tiles. The tiles for the three triplets or quads must all be self-drawn in order to count. The fourth set can be an open triplet or quad, or a sequence.
Three colour triplets sanshoku doukō – 三色同刻 2 Closed/Open
MJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svg MJw3-.svg
Three triplets consisting of the same numbers in all three suits.
Three kans sankantsu – 三槓子 2 Closed/Open
Three quads in one hand, which can be open or closed.

Yaku based on terminal or honor tiles[edit]

These hands involve terminals and/or honors, or lack thereof, such as tan'yao and yakuhai due to their simplicity.

Name Japanese Han value Closed/Open
All simples tan'yaochū – 断么九, or tan'yao – 断么 1 Closed/Open
MJw2-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw4-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJs5-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svg MJs5-.svg
Tan'yaochū literally means "no 1's or 9's". Only numbered tiles from 2 through 8 are used eliminating terminals or honors. If the hand is open, it is called "kuitan" (喰い断), which means tan'yao made by "eating" discards. As there are varieties of rules, this hand can be closed only. The rule that does not allow kuitan is called "kuitan nashi" (喰い断無し; no kuitan, or kuitan invalid).
Honor tiles yakuhai – 役牌, or huanpai/fanpai – 飜牌 1 per each triples Closed/Open
MJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs8-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd1-.svg
Any triplets or quads of dragons, the player's wind and the prevailing wind. If a wind is both the player's wind and the prevailing wind, it is worth two han per group.
Terminal or honor in each set honchantai yaochu – 混全帯么九, or chanta – チャンタ 2 (1 if open) Closed/Open
MJw7-.svgMJw8-.svgMJw9-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svg MJt9-.svg
The sequences and triples in the hand must consist of 1's, 9's and honor tiles. The hand contains at least one sequence of 1-2-3 or 7-8-9.
Terminal in each set junchantai yaochu – 純全帯么九, or junchan – 純チャン 3 (2 if open) Closed/Open
MJw1-.svgMJw2-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw9-.svgMJw9-.svgMJw9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs9-.svg MJs3-.svg
The sequences and triples in the hand must consist of 1's and 9's, but no honors tiles The hand contains at least one sequence of 1-2-3 or 7-8-9. The jun in junchan literally means "pure."
All terminals and honors honrōtō – 混老頭, or honrō – 混老 2 (4 †) Closed/Open
(all triplets)

MJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svg MJs1b-.svg

(seven pairs)

MJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJf1-.svg

The hand consists of entirely terminals and honors.

† The yaku separately counts the two han of an all triplet hand or seven pairs and therefore always has four han.

Little three dragons shōsangen – 小三元 2 (4 †) Closed/Open
MJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd3e-.svg
Two triplets or quads of dragons, plus a pair of the third.

† The hand consequently has four han since the two han for honor tiles from the two sets of dragons are added separately.

Yaku based on suits[edit]

The following two yaku are related to a single suit. They both lose one han when they are open.

Name Japanese Han value Closed/Open
Half-flush hon'īsō – 混一色, or hon'itsu – 混一 3 (2 if open) Closed/Open
MJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJt9-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svg MJt5-.svg
The hand contains tiles from one suit and honors. The honors can be two or more sets. The hand can be seven pairs.
Flush chin'īsō – 清一色, or chin'itsu – 清一 6 (5 if open) Closed/Open
MJs1b-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs5-.svgMJs5-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs9-.svg MJs2-.svg
All tiles in the hand are exclusively of one suit with no honor tiles.

Yakuman hands[edit]

There is a special set of hands so difficult to attain that they are worth the limit of points just for having them. The limit value, along with the hands themselves, are called yakuman (役満, or yaku-mangan 役満貫).[8] All yakuman hands override all other han values, while some hands can themselves be combined to form multiple yakuman. Some conditions on the limit hands can render themselves double the value, or called daburu yakuman (ダブル役満).

Yaku can also be formed into a yakuman, otherwise known as kazoe-yakuman (数え役満), or counted yakuman, which consist of yaku hands and dora tiles that adds up to a minimum 13 han.

The thirteen orphans, four closed triplets and big three dragons are considered relatively easy to complete among yakuman hands and are collectively called "the three big families of yakuman" (Japanese: 役満御三家).[8]

Some of yakuman hands may have respective names in some regions. The names used here mostly come from American publications, which are based on Chinese translations.

Name Japanese Value Closed/Open
Thirteen orphans kokushi musō/kokushi musō jūsan menmachi – 国士無双 / 国士無双13面待ち (13 wait) Limit / Double limit (13 wait) Closed hand only
MJw1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs9-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJw9-.svg
MJw1-.svgMJw9-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs9-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJf2-.svg
Along with seven pairs (Chītoitsu), this is the second hand that contradicts the requirement for a hand to have four melds and a pair, which is formed by acquiring all the terminal and honor tiles of one kind, and a pair formed from one of any 13 tiles. In most rules, if a player wins in a 13-way wait for the pair, the hand value doubles.

The Japanese name of the yaku, kokushi musō, means "a peerless distinguished person in a country."[9] Other names for this yaku are shīsan yaochū (十三么九) which means "thirteen of smallest numbers and 9's [and honors]," or its abbreviation shīsan yao (十三么).

Four concealed triplets sūankō – 四暗刻 / sūankō tankimachi - 四暗刻単騎待ち (single wait) Limit / Double limit (single wait) Closed hand only
MJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw8-.svgMJw8-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs2-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svg MJw8-.svg
MJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svgMJd2v1-.svg MJd2v1-.svg
A hand that has four closed triplets/quads. Only a tile drawn off the wall can be won via waiting for two pairs, but single-tile waiting (which doubles the value in most rules) for the pair can be won by either a self-drawn tile or from another player's discard.
Big three dragons daisangen – 大三元 Limit Closed/Open
MJw5-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw7-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs4-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd2v1-.svg
A triplet or quad of each type of dragon tile.
Little four winds shōsūshī – 小四喜 Limit Closed/Open
MJs6-.svgMJs7-.svgMJs8-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svg MJf3-.svg
A hand consisting of three triplets/quads of winds and a pair of the fourth wind.
Big four winds daisūshī – 大四喜 Double limit Closed/Open
MJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svg MJf4-.svg
A hand consisting of four triplets/quads of winds. It can be worth one or two yakuman in some rules. Little four winds (shōsūshī) and this yaku are kinds of shōsūshīhoō (四喜和).[10]
All honors tsūīsō – 字一色 Limit Closed/Open
MJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svg MJf1-.svg
A hand composed exclusively of wind and dragon tiles.
All terminals chinrōtō – 清老頭 Limit Closed/Open
MJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svgMJs9-.svg MJw1-.svg
A hand containing only 1's and 9's (terminals).
All green ryūīsō – 緑一色 Limit Closed/Open

MJs2-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs4-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs8-.svgMJs8-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svg MJs6-.svg

A hand containing only green tiles (2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 bamboo, and green dragon). Many of the Japanese sets exclusively color those tiles as green only (other bamboo tiles of 1, 5, 7, and 9 have red paint on them, thereby not making them all green). A green dragon pair/triplet is not necessarily required to complete a hand.
Nine gates chūren pōtō – 九蓮宝燈 / junsei chūren pōtō - 純正九蓮宝燈 (nine wait) Limit / Double limit (nine wait) Closed hand only
MJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJw1-.svgMJw2-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw7-.svgMJw9-.svgMJw9-.svgMJw9-.svg MJw8-.svg
MJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svgMJt9-.svg MJt1-.svg
A hand composed of 1-1-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-9-9 of one suit, plus any other tile of the same suit. In most rules, if the hand waits for all nine tiles (with the tiles sequence of 1-1-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-9-9), the limit value is doubled. Regardless of the value of the extra tile, this is always a standard mahjong hand of four melds and a pair, as shown in the animation below.


Four kans sūkantsu – 四槓子 Limit Closed/Open
A hand consist of four quads, either closed or hands. Normally, a hand is declared drawn when four quads are called by multiple players, instead, the play continues until the player wins a hand or a fifth quad is called by another player.

Yakuman on opening hands[edit]

The following are yakuman hands completed on the first go-around.

Name Japanese Value Closed/Open
Heavenly hand tenhhō – 天和 Limit Closed hand only, dealer only
A hand is won by the dealer on the very first draw, regardless of its contents. Because the hand is closed and the winning tile is considered as a drawn tile, it fulfills the yaku criteria.
Hand of earth chīhō – 地和 Limit Closed hand only, non-dealer only
A hand is won by any non-dealer on the very first round of play, regardless of its contents, and without declaring any open-meld, including closed quads. [11] Like Heavenly hand, Hand of earth fulfills the yaku criteria of a closed-hand self-drawn tile.
Hand of man renhō – 人和 Limit Closed only, non-dealer only
In general rules, the yaku is achieved if a non-dealer completes a hand with a discard before the first self-drawing when no one has declared open melds. Depending on rules, the hand needs or does not need other yaku, and its value can be counted as either yakuman, baiman or mangan. Some rules mention that players can win on other players' first discard and thus some players can go out after the first draw or that if the player wins on the dealer's first discard. The hand is sometimes optional.[12]

Ancient or local yaku[edit]

The following table details yaku and yakuman hands that are usually not recognized as valid but may appear in house rules.

Name Japanese Value Closed/Open
Three chained triplets sanrenkō – 三連刻 2 Closed/Open
MJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs3-.svgMJs4-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd1-.svg
A hand with three number triplets or quads in one suit with successive numbers. This hand is a local rule and not an officially recognized rule for Japanese mahjong.[13]
Four chained triplets sūrenkō – 四連刻 Limit Closed/Open
MJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw3-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw4-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw5-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw6-.svgMJw6-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd1-.svg
A hand with four number triplets or quads in one suit with successive numbers. This hand is a local rule and not an officially recognized rule for Japanese mahjong.[14]
Chariot Suit specific names (see below) Limit Closed only
MJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt5-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt7-.svgMJt8-.svgMJt8-.svg MJt4-.svg
A hand composed of 2-2-3-3-4-4-5-5-6-6-7-7-8-8 of one suit. This hand is a local rule and not an officially recognized rule for Japanese mahjong.[15]

Each of the numbered suits may also use special names for this hand:

Pinzu (circles), daisharin – 大車輪 or big wheels
Sōzu (bamboo), daichikurin – 大竹林 or bamboo forest
Manzu (characters), daisūrin – 大数隣 or numerous neighbours
Big seven stars daichisei – 大七星 Double limit Closed hand only
MJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJf4-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd2v1-.svgMJd1-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd3e-.svg
This is the seven pair variation to all honors. which increments the yakuman value towards all honors. It is very unusual to play with rules that will allow it.
Thirteen unconnected tiles shīsanpūtā / shīsanbudō - 十三不塔 Limit Closed only
MJw2-.svgMJw6-.svgMJt1-.svgMJt4-.svgMJt8-.svgMJs2-.svgMJs6-.svgMJs9-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd1-.svg MJw9-.svg
The hand contains thirteen tiles such that there are no pairs and no number tiles closer than three apart from one another, plus an additional one of any of the tiles in the hand. Can only be claimed by a player on their first draw.
Fourteen unconnected tiles shīsūpūtā - 十四不塔 Limit Closed only
MJw1-.svgMJw5-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt6-.svgMJt9-.svgMJs1b-.svgMJs8-.svgMJf1-.svgMJf2-.svgMJf3-.svgMJf4-.svgMJd3e-.svgMJd1-.svg MJd2v1-.svg
The hand contains fourteen tiles so that there are no pairs and no number tiles closer than three apart from one another. Can only be claimed by a player on their first draw.
Eight consecutive wins pārenchan – 八連荘 Limit Dealer only
A player wins eight times consecutively. The conditions of the hand depend on rules, which can be triggered by achieving either the ninth consecutive win onwards, or per every eight wins. It has nothing to do with the number of counters because the number increases when a hand is a draw. In some rules, no other yaku is necessary in the eighth winning. Some say the player must be a dealer from the first time. The player is always a dealer when the hand is accomplished. The hand is often optional.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Wikipedia contributors, "立直," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, August 30, 2011, 02:45 UTC.
  2. ^ a b EMA's Japanese/riichi revised ruleset, effective as of March 01, 2012, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-07-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "七対子," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, September 23, 2011, 12:27 UTC.
  4. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "流し満貫," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, March 10, 2011, 11:40 UTC, retrieved June 16, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Wikipedia contributors, "海底 (麻雀) ," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, July 10, 2011, 08:52 UTC, retrieved October 7, 2011.
  6. ^ When a player has MJt2-.svgMJt2-.svgMJt3-.svgMJt4-.svg and wins by MJt2-.svg, the winning MJt2-.svg is considered to have made a sequence, not a pair, when the player applies the yaku. Players can choose the composition so that the value of the hand becomes the highest. See the following reference: Wikipedia contributors, "平和 (麻雀)," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, August 16, 2011, 06:14 UTC.
  7. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "平和 (麻雀)," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, June 16, 2011, 13:02 UTC, retrieved July 17, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Wikipedia contributors, "役満貫," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, December 24, 2011, 08:40 UTC.
  9. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "国士無双," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, September 23, 2011, 14:17 UTC, retrieved October 7, 2011.
  10. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "四喜和," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, June 18, 2011, 03:46 UTC, retrieved September 1, 2011.
  11. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "地和," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, October 12, 2011, 12:36 UTC.
  12. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "人和," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, February 28, 2012, 15:37 UTC.
  13. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "三連刻", Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, April 12, 2011 01:09, UTC, retrieved April 16, 2013.
  14. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "四連刻", Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, July 2, 2012, 00:48 UTC, retrieved April 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "大車輪 (麻雀)", Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, April 4, 2013 18:39, UTC, retrieved April 16, 2013.
  16. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "八連荘," Wikipedia: Japanese-language version, November 20, 2010, 18:09 UTC, retrieved June 17, 2011.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]