How To Play (Part 2/2)

Additional Yaku in Riichi Mahjong

The below yakus are not present in Singapore Mahjong. While it is important to know them, there is no rush to memorise them for learners because the majority of them are rather uncommon and are not advised to incorporate into your plays as the focus of the game.

Winning Patterns (Yaku) Concealed Melded
Pure Double Chow [一盃口] (Iipeikou) 1 0
Mixed Triple Chow [三色同順] (San Shoku Doujun) 2 1
Triple Pung [三色同刻] (San Shoku Doukou) 2 2
Pure Straight [一気通貫] (Ikkitsuukan) 2 1
7 Pairs [七対子] (Chiitoitsu) 2
3 Concealed Pungs  [三暗刻] (San An Kou) 2
3 Kongs [三槓子] (San Kantsu) 2 2
Mixed Outside Hand [全帯么] (Chanta) 2 1
Pure Outside Hand [純全帯] (Junchan) 3 2
Twice Pure Double Chow [二盃口] (Ryanpeikou) 3 0

    tile refers to any set of chow/pong or pairs

Pure Double Chow [一盃口] (Iipeikou)

A 6 tiles pattern of having two identical chow.


Concealed only: 1 Han


Mixed Triple Chow [三色同順] (San Shoku Doujun)

3 different suits of the same numerical chow pattern.


Concealed: 2 Han | Meld: 1 Han


Triple Pung [三色同刻] (San Shoku Doukou)

Three pungs of the same name from the 3 suits and is usually combined with Toi Toi (all pungs)


Concealed/Meld: 2 Han


Pure Straight [一気通貫] (Ikkitsuukan)

A suit of numerical order of 1 to 9.


Concealed: 2 Han | Meld: 1 Han


7 Pairs [七対子] (Chiitoitsu)


Concealed only: 2 Han


3 Concealed Pungs  [三暗刻] (San An Kou)


Concealed/Meld: 2 Han


3 Kongs [三槓子] (San Kantsu)



Concealed/Meld: 2 Han


Mixed Outside Hand [全帯么] (Chanta)

Each set consists of a terminal tile (1 or 9) or honours. 


Concealed/Meld: 2 Han


Pure Outside Hand [純全帯] (Junchan)

Junchan is the same as Chanta except that there are no honours.


Concealed/Meld: 3 Han

Although it is only of 1 han difference, its difficulty is a lot higher than Chanta because Junchan can be easily combined with San Sho ku giving a total of 5 han.


Twice Pure Double Chow [二盃口] (Ryanpeikou)

This is essentially 7 pairs but seen in a Chow-based pattern instead of pairs. 


Concealed only: 3 Han

This cannot be counted together with 7 pairs but can be counted with Tanyao and Pinfu, if any.


Additional Yaku (Part 2)

Daburi Riichi (Double Reach)
Treated as Riichi except that this has to be done on your 1st turn.
Worth 2 Han.

Houtei Raoyu [河底撈魚] (Last-Tile Win by Discard)
There is no need to discard any tiles after the last tile drawn in Singapore Mahjong. However in Riichi Mahjong, the player who draws the last tile from wall will have to discard a tile (any tile) before the game is concluded to be a Draw. This is a yaku that is worth 1 Han. Due to this, one can win off via this yaku alone.

Scoring in Riichi Mahjong

The winning points for Singapore Mahjong scoring is calculated in exponential relationship. If one wins a 13 orphans via self drawn which awards 13 fan, by payment of $1 per fan, the winner will receive 2 x 2^13 x $1 x 3 = $ 16,384 x 3 = $49,152. Due to such an unrealistic figure, hardly any Singapore Mahjong players play without a fan limit. With an imposition of fan limit (commonly at 5), many high valued patterns lose much of its significance and become less useful. Scoring in Riichi Mahjong is designed such that such high valued hands still hold its value of 13 Han.

Main points in scoring in Riichi Mahjong

  • Each player starts with 25,000
  • Counting of Han and Fu before deriving the actual scoring
  • Winning a hand when you are a dealer, earns you 1.5 times more points than when you are not a dealer
  • The person who deals the winning deal pays for all. (Known as “Shooter” in Singapore mahjong)
  • Score is increased by 300 points for each honba (Explained under overview of gameplay)

Score Table Chart

As you can see from the table below, upon totaling the Han and Fu of your winning hand, match with the corresponding score from the chart. More will be explained below.

Riichi scoring

Total the number of Han with respect to the yaku you have won. For example: (Chinitsu + Pinfu = 7 Han) As seen from the chart, there is no involvement of fu once a hand reaches a value of 4 Han 40fu and above.  The score will be fixed at 8,000 / 12,000 / 16,000 / 24,000 / 32,000.  Each of these score has its own name; for example a score of 8,000 is called Mangan. It takes at least a difference of 2 Han before there is a score difference of at least 4,000. This means a hand value of 6 Han is the same as that of 7 Han and likewise to those hand with Han value stated in the range shown in the chart above.

Counting Fu
Fu is a form of accurate assessment of your hand value based on the kind of waits you have or the kind of pung sets you have. A hand should definitely be worth more when you have concealed pung or Kan At the same time, it does not garner so much as if it is a Han value. Around 20-30 fu constitutes 1 Han.

Steps in counting fu

  1. A winning hand has a base fu of 20 fu.
  2. Claiming a winning the tile other player with a concealed gives 10 fu.
  3. Add fu of your sets (concealed and/or melds) [See list below]
  4. Add fu according to the kind of wait you have had [See list below]
  5. If you win by self drawn, add 2 fu.
  6. Round up to the nearest 10 (30, 40, 50, 60, 70 etc)
  7. *If you win a Chitoitsu (7 pairs) the fu is fixed at 25.
  8. *Exception: If you win with self drawn pinfu, it will always be 20 fu.
  9. *Exception: If you win a melded Tanyao with all chows and your waits do not garner any fu, it will be considered as 30 fu
Type of sets Non-terminal or
Non-honor tiles

Terminal or
Honor tiles

minkō (明刻)
[open same three tiles meld, an open triplet]
2 fu 4 fu
ankō (暗刻)
[closed same three tiles meld, a closed triplet]
4 fu 8 fu
minkan (明槓)
[open same four tiles meld, an open kan]
8 fu 16 fu
ankan (暗槓)
[closed same four tiles meld, a closed kan]
16 fu 32 fu
shuntsu (順子)
[sequential meld, a run]
0 fu
toitsu (対子)
(two tiles group, the pair)
2 fu for seat wind tiles, prevailing wind tiles or dragon tiles. 4 fu (or 2 fu in some rules) when the seat wind and prevailing wind match.
0 fu for other tiles


Kind of waits No. of Fu
Ryanmen-machi (両門待ち)
[sequential tile waits for both sides]
0 fu
kanchan-machi (嵌張待ち)
[sequential single tile waits for a middle tile]
2 fu
penchan-machi (辺張待ち)
[sequential single tile waits for a right or left side (number 3 or 7)]
2 fu
tanki-machi (単騎待ち)
(single tile waits for a pair)
2 fu
shanpon-machi (双碰待ち)
(waits for either of melds of same three tiles)
0 fu
However, a triplet is made, so 2, 4, or 8 fu of melds is added

Example 1:

Round: East | Seat: South



  • Winning hand = 20 fu
  • Concealed pung of 9 = 8 fu
  • Concealed pung of 5 = 4 fu
  • Concealed Kan of Hatsu = 32 fu
  • Single wait to form a pair = 2 fu
  • Prevailing wind pair = 2 fu
  • Self draw = 2 fu
  • Total fu = 20 + 8 + 4 + 32 + 2 + 2 = 70.

(Note that even if fu is 68, it will be round up to 70. Fu will always be in 10s)

Han : San Ankou (2 Han) + Yakuhai (1 Han) + Menzen Tsumo (1 Han) = 4 Han

Hence, Hand value is 4 Han 70 fu which awards Mangan scoring of 8,000 points.

Many Riichi Mahjong players take quite a few months before many being able to memorise the score chart so there is no worry if you think it is too scary to learn. We always refer to the score chart for confirmation. Some players who are able to count fu do not mind counting for you if you can’t do so as well. Most importantly you have to know your hand’s Han value as not knowing will greatly affect your gameplay.

Ryuukyoku [流局](DRAW)

Singapore Mahjong only has 1 scenerio of a Draw game and that is when nobody wins upon the drawing of last tile from wall. On the other hand, Riichi mahjong has a few scenarios for Ryuukyoku (Draw) and these scenarios change the game dynamic quite a lot. There are two kinds of Ryuukyoku. One that happens at the end of game and one that happens in the middle of the game. Every Ryuukyoku increases the Honba counter.

End of Game Ryuukyoku

When a game ends in Ryuukyoku, there is still payment involved. Players who are in Tenpai (To avoid confusion with english meaning of “waiting” a waiting hand is known as Tenpai) will receive payment from those who are not. Players in Tenpai will reveal their hand while those who are not, will not reveal their hand. Depending on the number of players who are in Tenpai, the payment will be in 1,000 / 1,500 / 3,000 points.

There are only 4 situations:

  1. No payment as all 4 players are in Tenpai or are not in Tenpai
  2. If only 1 player is in Tenpai, the player will receive 1,000 points from each player resulting into a total of 3,000 points
  3. If 2 Players are in Tenpai will take 1,500 from one player who is not in Tenpai
  4. If 3 Players are in Tenpai, they will each receive 1,000 points from the one who is not in Tenpai

Below is a picture that illustrates situation 3. You can also tell who is in Tenpai based on the players who revealed their hand.


If you are the dealer, you get to remain as one if you are in Tenpai upon Ryuukyoku. In real life Riichi Mahjong, it is up to your discretion to declare that you are not in Tenpai even though you are in enpai. This strategy is mainly used for players who have reached the top position and has little incentive to continue to remain as a dealer, giving other players especially the one at 2nd position to catch up. It is best to end the game as fast as possible when you have a big lead. Unfortunately, this cannot be done on any online game.

Mid-game Ryuukyoku

  • Kyuushuukyuha [九種九牌] – A player who after his first draw in the uninterrupted first set of turns has at least nine different terminals and honours may declare an abortive draw.
  • Suu Kai Kan [四開槓] – No-one wins after the discard after the fourth kong, and the four kongs do not belong to the same player.
  • Suu Fon Renda [四風連打] – All players discard the same wind in the first uninterrupted set of turns.
  • Suu Cha Riichi [四家立直] – All four players have declared Riichi, and no one declares a win on the discard on which the fourth player declares Riichi. All players are obliged to show their Tenpai hands.

List of Yakuman [役満]

Yakuman refers to maximum fan limit awarded from a yaku. All Yakuman awards the fan limit of 13. Both Riichi Mahjong and Singapore Mahjong share the same kinds of yakuman except with slight difference in terms of rules and Riichi Mahjong has an additional 2 yakuman.

Yakuman Names
*Big Three Dragons [大三元] (Dai San Gen)
*Big Four Winds [大四喜] (Dai Suu Shii)
*Four Concealed Pungs [四暗刻] (Suu Ankou)
*Earthly Win [地和] (Chiihou)
Heavenly Win [天和] (Tenhou)
Thirteen Orphans [一三么] (Kokushimusou)
All Honours [字一色] (Tsuuiisou)
Little Four Winds [小四喜] (Shou Suu Shii)
All Terminals [清老頭] (Chinroutou)
Four Kongs [四槓子] (Suu Kantsu)
Nine Gates [九蓮宝燈] (Chuurenpoutou)
All Green [緑一色] (Ryuuiisou)

* – Slight difference

*Big Three Dragons [大三元] (Dai San Gen) / Big Four Winds [大四喜] (Dai Suu Shii)




Singapore Mahjong: Show the pung of 3 Dragons / 4 Winds and the hand is automatically considered a win.

Riichi Mahjong: According to the above illustration, the player will only be considered winning this yakuman upon completing the above hand.


*Four Concealed Pungs [四暗刻] (Suu Ankou)


Singapore Mahjong: Can only win by self draw with no exception

Riichi Mahjong: If the four concealed pung has already been formed as illustrated above, the player can win from other players via a single wait for its pair formation.


*Earthly Win [地和] (Chiihou)

Singapore Mahjong: Wins on the 1st discard from Dealer

Riichi Mahjong: Wins on your 1st draw without interruptions


Nine Gates [九蓮宝燈] (Chuurenpoutou)

Must be concealed. It does not have to be in 9-sided waits as above.



All Green [緑一色] (Ryuuiisou)

A complete hand using tiles that only consists of green. Does not have to be concealed.



The responsible one pays for all [包] (Japanese Term: Pao)

Typically, only Big Three Dragons [大三元] (Dai San Gen) and Big Four Winds [大四喜] (Dai Suu Shii) garners a Pao. As Riichi Mahjong still requires you to complete your hand in order to win, the Pao rule becomes more complicated than that of Singapore Mahjong as the player who deals into the yakuman may not be the one who discards a risky tile. This creates two situations – Fully Pao and Half-Pao.

Both of these situations set in when the player who discards the risky tile that result into formation of the last set (3rd set of Dai San Gen or 4th set of Dai Suu Shii).

Lets take Dai San Gen as an example.


The player on your left (Let’s call this Player A) who discarded a Chun which led to formation of Dai San Gen will fully pao or half-pao the 32,000 payment if you happen to win. This depends on your win.

1. By Tsumo (Self Draw): Player A will pay full 32,000 to you

2. By winning from Player B/C: Player A will pay 16,000 while Player B or C will pay the remaining 16,000 as they are the ones who dealt the winning tile to you.

Author: Tham Hin (Feng)
Vetter: Edwin Phua
Mahjong Tiles: Martin Persson
Score Sheet Design: CRiX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.