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Mahjong Guide by barticle

Version: 1.13 | Updated: 01/05/2010
Highest Rated Guide

Yakuza 2 Mahjong Guide - Ver. 1.13 - 5 January 2010 - by Barticle at hotmail.com

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01 INTRODUCTION                 d88P  Y88b  888P"   Y8P      888      "Y88P"
02 WHAT THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU... 888    888                   888
03 UNLOCKING THE MINIGAME       888        888  888 888  .d88888  .d88b.
04 LOCATIONS                    888        888  888 888 d88" 888 d8P  Y8b
05 STARTING A GAME              888  88888 888  888 888 888  888 88888888
06 MAHJONG TILES                888    888 Y88b 888 888 Y88b 888 Y8b. 
   o The Set                    Y88b  d88P  "Y88888 888  "Y88888  "Y8888
   o Dots                        "Y8888P 8  
   o Bamboo                                 10 SCORE CALCULATION 
   o Characters                                o Points and Minipoints
   o Winds                                     o Draws and Honba 
   o Dragons                                   o Uma
07 WINDS AND TURN OF PLAY                   11 CONTROLS
08 MAHJONG RULES                            12 DISPLAY 
   o The Basics                                o The Table 
   o Calling Pung and Calling Chow             o The Score-Sheet 
   o Declaring Mahjong: Tsumo and Ron       13 STRATEGY 
   o Declaring Riichi                       14 THE MAHJONG SIDE-MISSION 
   o Scoring Elements and Fan               15 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
   o Limit Hands                            16 GLOSSARY
   o Double Limit Hands                     17 FURTHER READING 
   o Dora Bonuses                           18 CONTACT
09 TABLE RULES                              19 THANKS 

------< INTRODUCTION >-------------------------------------------- [Section 01]

The purpose of this guide is to tell you everything you need to know about the 
traditional tabletop game Mahjong, specifically the modern Japanese rules and
the Mahjong minigame in the 2008 Playstation 2 video-game Yakuza 2 (originally
released as "Ryu ga Gotoku 2" in Japan in late 2006).

I've always had an interest in oriental culture, especially that of Japan, so
I'd seen Mahjong sets before and found them intriguing but until I got Yakuza 2
I had never played Mahjong and had no knowledge of the rules. The game gave me
an opportunity to discover Mahjong for myself and pretty soon I got hooked.

Although the game includes an extensive set of rules for Mahjong, there are
several glaring omissions there so I had to research the subject to gain a full
understanding of the game's complexities and terminology. Having gained this
information I thought I might as well share it with the world so I am writing
this, my first guide for the GameFAQs site. Also since I've been using GameFAQs
for many years I figured it's about time I gave something back!

Mahjong has a lot of rules and specialist vocabulary so it will be difficult to
describe one aspect without making reference to others which I haven't yet
explained but I will do my best to make everything clear. Where a new term is
defined it will be given in CAPS for easy reference. There is also a basic
glossary near the end of the guide (Section 16). 

UPDATE...! Since playing Yakuza 2 I've gone on to import several full Mahjong
games from Japan, taught myself to read the language and learnt a lot about the
terminology of Mahjong. However, since this guide is intended for beginners, I
have decided to retain most of the original text - namely with the majority of
terms given in English (as in the game) - but I have updated and clarified some
of the rules and added translations where they may be of interest.

I have also written a complete guide to the terminology and rules of Japanese
Mahjong which forms a useful and comprehensive reference for further study. It's
available as a 78-page, illustrated, hyperlinked PDF and can be accessed from
the United States Professional Mahjong League (USPML) website here:

  http://www.uspml.com/site/downloads.htm  (Barticle's Japanese Mahjong Guide)

If you want to discuss Japanese Mahjong then join the international community of
enthusiasts on Reach Mahjong's English forums. Hope to see you there. :)


This guide is designed to be viewed using a monospaced (non-proportional or
fixed-width) font, preferably Courier New. Some sections of the document will
display incorrectly if you are using a proportional font like Times New Roman.

------< WHAT THEY DIDN'T TELL YOU... >---------------------------- [Section 02]

The twenty-one pages of Mahjong rules included in the game obviously give a lot
of information but unfortunately they overlook several key aspects of the game.
I picked up enough knowledge from them to be able to play the game happily but
after I'd done some research to fill the gaps I did a lot better. 

If you are already playing Mahjong in Yakuza 2 and have absorbed all the info
from the in-game help pages then you might like to skip forward to the following
sections of this guide which cover the main things they missed.

MAHJONG TILES (Section 06)
- Wind tiles and perhaps the Character and Dragon tiles

- whole section

MAHJONG RULES (Section 08)
- Furiten (needing a tile you've already discarded blocks Ron)
- Riichi (hand must be concealed to call Riichi)
- Pure Double Chow (hand must be concealed to claim Pure Double Chow)
- Dora bonuses

TABLE RULES (Section 09)
- whole section

- whole section

CONTROLS (Section 11)
- functions of the square button

DISPLAY (Section 12)
- the counters in the centre of the screen

- Ryan Shi and Ton-Nan

It's all good though! I like to think it's still worth reading the whole thing.

------< UNLOCKING THE MINIGAME >---------------------------------- [Section 03]

I know that a lot of proper Mahjong video-games (as opposed to tile-matching
games using Mahjong tiles) are unavailable outside Asia so Sega should be
praised for releasing a console game that lets you play the full four-player
game in English on the PS2 console (or suitable backwards-compatible PS3*).

You can't access the Mahjong minigame right from the start though, ohhh no.
Tantalisingly, when you first start exploring either city you'll see that
various streets are blocked and even when you have full access to Kansai the
Mahjong parlour there is still unavailable.

Your first visit to a Mahjong parlour will be in Kansai though, specifically
during Chapter 4 of the story. If you follow the sequence of the main story
missions then you will be guided straight to it. Chapter 5 then finds you back
in Kanto and the Mahjong parlour there will be accessible immediately.

For the record, you can go from the start of a new game to playing Mahjong in
about 70 minutes if you know your way around; don't hang about; skip the many
cut-scenes; don't spend all your money and have a suitable balance of skills,
patience and luck with the UFO Catcher machines. (damn you red Kitty Kats!)

*I've been happily playing Yakuza 2 on my 60-gigabyte UK PS3 console which I 
bought at launch in March 2007. I don't own any other PS3's so I'm afraid I 
can't answer any questions about whether the game works on other versions.

------< LOCATIONS >----------------------------------------------- [Section 04]

Both of the main cities in Yakuza 2 have a Mahjong parlour (or JANSOU). Once a
parlour is accessible to you it will appear in the location list on the map page
and will be marked on the map in blue (like the other minigame "play-spots").

The two main urban map areas in the game are named Kamuro-Cho and Sotenbori,
situated respectively in Kanto and Kansai which are two of the major regions in
Japan, both parts of Honshu which is the largest of the many islands that make
up the country. The Kanto region is in the middle of the island, on the south-
east side and encompasses the capital city, Tokyo; in the game the area known as
"Kamuro-Cho" is based on Tokyo, specifically the entertainment district Kabuki-
Cho in Shinjuku which is home to many bars, restaurants and hostess clubs. The
Kansai region is towards the southern end of Honshu and includes the cities
Osaka and Kyoto; in the game the "Sotenbori" area is based on the Dotonbori
district of Osaka which is a major tourist centre situated beside a canal and
between two bridges, just like in the game; in real life the city of Osaka is
infamous as being the major centre of Yakuza activity in Japan, which obviously
makes it a very appropriate location for this game.

In this guide I'll refer to the two main maps as simply "Kanto" and "Kansai".

In Kanto, the Orchid Palace Mahjong parlour is situated on a narrow alley
running west-east that's located just above the centre of the bottom edge of the
map. It's on the same alley as the pawn-shop which is convenient if (after
reading my guide!) you win loads of points and want to sell your prizes. The
parlour entrance is on the north side of the alley next to a bright green sign.

The original Japanese name of the parlour is given on the sign outside (and on
the upstairs windows, viewable from the inside) with the kanji Roku Ran So which
means "six orchid manor" in English. The banner hanging from the ceiling says
Maajan Taikai which means "mahjong tournament" (and it's also the name of a
long-running video-game series - I've been playing Mahjong Taikai IV).

In Kansai, Reach* Towers Mahjong is positioned on the road that runs north-
south at the west side of the map, specifically it's just south of the C (coin
lockers) and T (taxi) symbols and on the west side of the road. The building
opens as part of a compulsory story mission so you can't miss it - there will 
be a doorman standing outside and a big pink map marker! (on your first visit)

On the three yellow signs around the entrance the two green kanji say Majan
which is the Japanese name for Mahjong and the blue text gives the name of the
parlour in the original Japanese as Riichi Ro. The white sign next to the stairs
says Shoshin-Sha Daikangai Nikai E Douzo which translates as "a warm welcome for
beginners; please go to the second floor".

*The English word "reach" is often used in place of the Japanese Mahjong term
"Riichi" as this is how it's sometimes pronounced. In some contexts the Japanese
version of Mahjong is actually called Riichi Mahjong or just Riichi.

------< STARTING A GAME >----------------------------------------- [Section 05]

The two parlours are very similar in appearance, even to the extent that they 
both have a locker key on the floor!*

Near the entrance is a member of staff behind a counter. When you speak to him 
you are given the following four options:-

Purchase Points - You need to buy points before you can enter a game. You can 
 buy 25 thousand, 50 thousand or 100 thousand points and the "exchange rate" is
 very simple - one point costs one Yen! You need 25,000 points to enter a game.
 (You always start a game with 25,000 pts regardless of how many you've bought!)

Trade Points For Prizes - At any time you can swap your points for one or more
 of a dazzling array of prizes from the list offered! You cannot "cash out" and
 convert your points back into money like you would with chips at an American 
 casino; this is a consequence of the (real) gambling laws in Japan. Instead you
 trade your points for prizes and if you want the money you have to sell them.
 (That's why the pawn-shop is practically next-door to the parlour in Kanto.)

 The exchange rate is the same in the other direction, so the number of points
 you spend to buy a prize will be the same as the number of Yen you get for
 selling it to the pawnbroker. The cheapest prize is the Lacquered Plate which
 costs 1000 points and the most expensive is the Gold Plate which costs 100,000.

Play Mahjong - You'll be told to go to one of the gaming tables.

Hear The Rules - He'll explain that you need 25,000 points to start a game and
 that special rules can be set for each table.

Both parlours have two gaming tables that are available for general play, these
are labelled simply as Mahjong Table 1 and Mahjong Table 2. When you approach a
table and talk to the players there they give you an idea of their skill level
with the following phrases (this is how you select the game difficulty).

 Kanto Table 1 - "we're not much competition" (easiest)
 Kanto Table 2 - "fairly average group" (medium)

Kansai Table 1 - "we're tough" (hardest)
Kansai Table 2 - "fairly average group" (medium)

Each table already has four seated players so you have to assume that one of
them gives up their seat for you! If you don't have the 25,000 points required
to play you'll be told to buy some from the counter.

Regardless of which Mahjong table you choose, the names of your three computer-
controlled opponents seem to be selected at random from a list of eight. They
don't have much personality but my favourite is Matsumoto - he's the one that
says "oy oy oy" when another player says "Riichi". :) It's interesting to note
that one player has the nickname "Anko" which means "concealed Pung" (see
Section 08), although spelt another way it could also mean "red bean paste"!

Before the game commences you are given four options. 'Begin Game' and 'Exit 
Mahjong' are self-explanatory. Selecting 'Basic Mahjong Knowledge' displays 
the 21-page in-game guide which is also accessible at any time during play.

The other option is 'Change Rules' which lets you adjust four settings for the
minigame. For more information on these see TABLE RULES (Section 09) below. You
can confidently leave all four options on their default settings when you first
play though and maybe make changes after you've learnt the basics of the game.

*In the Kanto parlour the #1 key is located five floor-tiles in front of the 
counter and in the Kansai one the #13 key is next to the television.

------< MAHJONG TILES >------------------------------------------- [Section 06]

Mahjong is a traditional oriental game of skill and luck using a set of tiles
usually made of bone or plastic and played by four players around a square
table. The game's true origins seem to have been lost in the mists (and indeed
myths) of time but it's safe to say that it originated in China and that it 
dates back to the late nineteenth century. There are numerous variants of the
game but I will obviously be focusing on the modern Japanese version (and
associated language*) that appears in Yakuza 2.

Although the pieces are likely to make you think of dominoes, the tiles have
more in common with a deck of playing cards and the core gameplay is similar to
some card games, most notably Rummy.

*I will include some terminology which is not used in Yakuza 2 which could be
beneficial if you consult other sources of Mahjong information.

= The Set =

A full Mahjong set has 144 tiles. In some versions of Mahjong the four Seasons
tiles and four Flowers tiles - each associated with one of the four Winds - are
used to give bonuses but in the Japanese version of the game (in Yakuza 2) they
are removed from the set so the game is played using the 136 remaining tiles.

Whereas a deck of cards has four suits with thirteen cards in each, a Mahjong
set has three suits - Dots, Bamboo (Bams) and Characters (Craks) - with nine
numbered tiles in each and there are also three Dragon tiles and four Wind
tiles. There are four copies of each of these tiles in the full set.

(3 suits x 9 tiles x 4) + (4 Winds x 4) + (3 Dragons x 4) = 136 tiles in total

The tiles numbered 2 to 8 are called SIMPLES, the ones marked 1 and 9 are called
TERMINALS (end of the line) and the seven different Dragon and Wind tiles are
known collectively as HONOURS.

Sometimes the Terminals and Honours together are called MAJOR TILES, ENDS or
HEADS and the Simples are called MINOR TILES or MIDDLES. Some writers refer to
the Honours as "Characters" which obviously can cause confusion with the suit of
the same name.

= Dots = (also known as Circles, Balls, Coins, Pinzu or Tung) 

The tiles of the DOTS suit are marked simply with blue and red circles denoting
their value, from 1 to 9. The patterns on the first six tiles are similar to the
patterns of dots on dice.

= Bamboo = (also known as BAMS, Sticks, Souzu or Tiao)

Similarly the tiles for values of 2 to 9 in the BAMBOO suit are marked with the
appropriate number of (mostly) green symbols, each shaped a bit like the number
8 on a digital watch and representing a piece of bamboo. The exception is the
1 Bams tile* which is traditionally marked with a bird.

*It is said that the 1 Bams has a picture of a bird because when it was origin-
ally shown as one piece of bamboo some players would cheat by changing it to
look like a different piece from the same suit! I suspect that this is why the
single circle on the 1 Dots tile is so big too.

= Characters = (also known as CRAKS, Manzu or Grands)

The tiles of the CHARACTERS suit are all marked with the same red symbol* plus a
black kanji character above it representing a number 1 to 9. Some real Mahjong
tiles made for western markets are marked with "Arabic" (i.e. English) numerals
in the corner but you're out of luck here! To play the game you will need to 
learn which of each of the nine characters represents each of the nine numbers.

If you press the circle button to access the help pages and go to page 13 you 
can see a full set of Craks tiles listed in the entry for the Full Flush hand. 
The fourteen tiles are shown in the order 11234567888999 so you can use that to
work out which is which. (1-4 are fairly obvious and you should learn to recog-
nise the others after a few games, even when they're sideways and upside-down!)

Alternatively you can search for images of Mahjong tiles on the internet. If
you have an application such as Adobe Acrobat which can view PDF files then I
recommend the following info sheet published by the European Mahjong Association
which not only shows the Craks and Wind tiles but also gives the Wind and Dragon
sequences, Scoring Elements, points tables and basic rules so it's very useful
for reference. (I wish I'd found it before I started playing!)

--> http://www.mahjong-europe.org/rules/downloads/riichisheet_EN.pdf

Finally here's a quick attempt to reproduce the numbers in ASCII art...
             ___     ---     _____    / |_      |      |/            _|_
    -----   _____    ---    |_|_|_|   | |_|_   ---    /|      / \     | |
                    -----                      / \     '--   /   \   /  '-

      1       2       3        4        5       6       7      8       9

*The red symbol on each Craks tile represents 10,000. Originally the circles on
the Dots represented individual coins, the Bams were actually strings of one
hundred coins and the Craks were sets of one hundred strings - hence 10,000.

= Winds =

There are four WINDS tiles, each named after one of the cardinal points of the
compass - North, South, East and West - and therefore sometimes called the
CARDINAL TILES. Each is marked with a single black kanji symbol so again you
will have to learn to recognise them.

The four Wind symbols look (a little!) like this. The relative proportions are a
bit off but hopefully you get the idea!

     East:   |_|_|     South:   _|_      West:   ____     North:      |
             |_|_|             __|__             _||_              _| |_
              /|\             | \ / |           | | \|              | |
             / | \            |  T  |           |____|             _| |_

I think the easiest way to tell them apart is to look for the distinguishing 
feature of each symbol. If the kanji looks like it has three legs (tripod) it's
East - this is the most important one to learn because the player sitting at
East is the Dealer. If it looks like a lower-case letter "t" standing next to
its reflection then it's North. The remaining two are similar in appearance but
if it has a flat horizontal bar on top (detonator plunger!) it's West and if the
bar is crossed like a "+" symbol then it's South.

In Japanese Mahjong the four Winds are named TON (East), NAN (South), SHAA
(West) and PEI (North).

= Dragons =

There are three coloured DRAGONS: red, green and white; the Japanese don't
actually refer to these as Dragons but this is the name by which they are
commonly known internationally and in English texts (and in this game!).

The Red Dragon tile is marked with a simple red kanji character - a box with a
vertical line through it - which means "centre". In Japanese Mahjong it is known
as CHUN.

The Green Dragon has a complicated green character which means "departure" and
is read as HATSU.*

The White Dragon is a plain white tile and is called HAKU. You might like to
think of it as a white dragon on a white background! :) Outside Japan, the White
Dragon tile is often marked with an empty blue rectangular frame but I prefer
the Japanese version.

The Chinese names for these three Dragons are Chung, Fat and Bak respectively so
often Mahjong tiles made for export are marked with C, F or B in the corner.

*It's also the count-word for gunshots and appears in the term Ippatsu which is
literally a "one-shot" win (see list of Scoring Elements in Section 08).

------< WINDS AND TURN OF PLAY >---------------------------------- [Section 07]

In Yakuza 2 a FULL GAME is made up of two ROUNDS, each of which is comprised of
four HANDS (or KYOKU) and therefore eight Hands* in total, while a HALF GAME, as
you might expect, lasts for only one round, or four Hands. However sometimes
additional Hands, which I will refer to as EXTRA HANDS, will be played (see
below); also a game will finish early if the points of one player (hopefully not
you!) drop below zero - this rule is called DOBON.

  Seat Winds   At the start of a game the console will select a player to be
  ~~~~~~~~~~   East and therefore the first DEALER (or OYA). The player to the
     West      left of the Dealer is North, opposite is West and to their right
 N .------. S  is South (NB this is the opposite of a western compass layout).
 o |      | o  This is each player's SEAT WIND (or OWN WIND or JIKAZE) and these
 r |      | u  will change as the game progresses, moving counterclockwise
 t |      | t  around the table at the start of each normal Hand. Each player's
 h '------' h  Seat Wind is shown on screen next to their name, using the same
     East      kanji as the Wind tiles.

Each time the Seat Winds move, the player at East becomes the new Dealer. It is
important to know which player is the Dealer in each Hand because the current
Dealer pays and receives double points.

In every Hand of the game there is also a PREVALENT WIND (in the sense of a
"prevailing wind") also called the BAKAZE or the ROUND WIND because it changes
at the end of a round. This is shown with a Wind symbol near the centre of the
screen and always starts as East in the first round and then, in a full game,
changes to South in the second.

Unhelpfully the symbols used in Yakuza 2 for the Wind tiles, Seat Winds and 
Prevalent Wind all look slightly different! However if you use my notes in the 
MAHJONG TILES section above you should be able to tell them apart quite easily.

The following table shows how the Seat Winds rotate during the course of play
for the four players (labelled A-D working counterclockwise around the table).

             |          First Round          |         Second Round
             |    (Prevalent Wind = East)    |    (Prevalent Wind = South)
        Hand |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4
    Player A |  East | North |  West | South |  East | North |  West | South
    Player B | South |  East | North |  West | South |  East | North |  West
    Player C |  West | South |  East | North |  West | South |  East | North
    Player D | North |  West | South |  East | North |  West | South |  East

             |<--------- Half Game --------->|

             |<------------------------- Full Game ------------------------->|

The turn of play is complicated by the fact that it depends on whether a Hand is
won by the Dealer, won by another player or drawn (and how). If a Hand is won by
a non-dealer then the Seat Winds move one place to the right so South becomes
East (and therefore the new Dealer) and the next Hand played is a "normal" one
which is counted as one of the four per round.

However if a Hand is either won by the Dealer or it's a draw and the Dealer is
only one tile away from having a complete hand, i.e. the Dealer is TENPAI, then
the Seat Winds don't move and an extra Hand is played; this is a CONTINUANCE.
(A player that is Tenpai is sometimes described as WAITING, CALLING or FISHING
or as having a READY hand.)

If the Hand was a draw but the Dealer was not Tenpai then the Seat Winds move
and the next Hand is a normal one, not an extra Hand, although it's still
counted as a draw in terms of points (see Section 10).

There is one final complication as the game uses an optional rule (AGARI YAME)
whereby the player who's the Dealer in the final normal Hand of the game has the
option to end the game early if they win that Hand and are leading on points;
this gives them the opportunity to ensure their victory (and pick up the very
generous Uma - see Section 10) rather than risk losing their lead in an extra
Hand. If one of the computer players wins the final Hand as East then they'll
sensibly always choose to end the game and if you win as East you are given the
option to quit or continue with a pop-up box.

For other topics relating to extra Hands please refer to "Two Fan Minimum" in
TABLE RULES (Section 09), "Draws and Honba" in SCORE CALCULATION (Section 10)
and the bit about the table's Honba counter under DISPLAY (Section 12).

*The term "hand" is used to describe both your allocated tiles, like a hand of
cards, which I will write in lower-case, and the basic unit of gameplay that
makes up a round, which I'll write capitalised as Hand for the sake of clarity.

------< MAHJONG RULES >------------------------------------------- [Section 08]

= The Basics =

At the start of each Hand of the game, each player draws four tiles, then four
more, then another four and finally one more unless they are the Dealer in which
case they get two (this is how the tiles are issued in the real game*). The
Dealer chooses one tile to discard, then the next player to the right takes a
tile and discards one, then the next player to their right and so on, with play
proceeding in a counterclockwise direction around the table.

The basic aim of the game is to form a complete hand of usually fourteen tiles
which consists of four sets of three tiles each (called Pungs or Chows) and one
matching pair (also called the HEAD, EYES or ATAMA), although there are a couple
of exceptions to this basic pattern which are listed later in this section (7
Pairs and 13 Orphans) and you can also have sets made of four tiles (Kongs).

A valid set of three tiles can either be a PUNG (also TRIPLE or KOUTSU in
Japanese) which is a triplet of three identical tiles or a CHOW (also SEQUENCE,
STRAIGHT, RUN or SHUNTSU in Japanese) which is a set of three tiles with
consecutive values from the same suit (I like to think of it as a mini version
of a straight flush in Poker) for example 2 Dots, 3 Dots and 4 Dots. Since they
lack numerical values you cannot make a Chow of either Wind or Dragon tiles
(they can only form Pungs, Kongs and pairs).

It is also possible to form a set called a KONG (also QUAD, FOUR or KANTSU in
Japanese) which is like a Pung but it includes all four of the same tile. This
is counted as one of the four sets required to make a valid hand but it would
of course leave you a tile short overall so when you declare a Kong you receive
an extra tile, sometimes called a LOOSE or SUPPLEMENT TILE. (The three different
ways to make a Kong are discussed in the next subsection.)

Through the rest of this guide I will use the word SET to refer generally to
Chows, Pungs and Kongs.

You'll notice during play that when a player calls for a discarded tile (see
below) they use special terms, CHII for a Chow, PON for a Pung or KAN for a Kong
- these are the original Chinese names for the three types of set transcribed
phonetically into Japanese.

*In real life the tiles are taken from the four-sided WALL (or YAMA) but this is
not depicted in Yakuza 2 apart from the part of it known as the DEAD WALL (also
called the WANPAI). The Dead Wall is made up of seven stacks of two tiles each -
the first two stacks are used as supplement tiles after a Kong is declared and
the other five are used as Dora indicators (see Dora Bonuses later in this
section). These five stacks are shown in the centre of the screen.

In Japanese Mahjong the Dead Wall is replenished, in other words it must always
have fourteen tiles and therefore for each supplement tile taken there will be
one less tile available from the Wall at the end of the Hand.

= Calling Pung and Calling Chow =

If any other player discards a tile which you can use to form a Pung (triplet)
with two tiles you already hold then you can do what is known as CALLING PUNG.
You can take the tile you need but the Pung will then be displayed face up on
the virtual tabletop. Such a Pung is said to be EXPOSED (or OPEN or MELDED) and
your hand is therefore no longer fully CONCEALED (or CLOSED) which restricts
your options and scoring possibilities.

Similarly if the player to your left (and only that player) discards a tile 
which you can use to form a Chow (sequence) with two tiles you're holding then
you can take it; as you might've guessed, this is referred to as CALLING CHOW.
Again the set will be exposed and the hand is no longer concealed. If there is
more than one option then you can choose which two tiles from your hand to use.

Exposed sets are shown to the right of your hand. The captured tile is laid
perpendicularly to the other two and positioned to indicate which player it was
taken from: on the left if taken from the player to your left, on the right if
it came from the player to the right and, yes, in the middle of the set if it
came from the player seated opposite you. (This is necessary when playing a real
game as you need to be able to monitor all your discards to check if you are
Furiten - see next subsection.)

After calling Pung/Chow the player has fourteen tiles and must make a discard as
if it is their turn and play then continues from the player to their right. So
the turn of play is interrupted - the normal sequence is East, South, West,
North, but if then West calls Pung the next turn will go to North, then East.

Any Pungs and Chows that are exposed (also called MELDS) are locked - the tiles
cannot be discarded and the sets cannot be changed, except to turn an exposed
Pung into an exposed Kong (quad); if you already have an exposed Pung you can
only upgrade it to a Kong with a SELF-DRAWN tile, i.e. one that you were dealt.
Alternatively if you have a concealed Pung in your hand then you can call Kong
on another player's discard which also makes an exposed Kong. If, on the other
hand, you have four of the same tile concealed in your hand you can choose when
to declare it as a Kong - at this point you draw your replacement tile and the
Kong is laid on the table with two tiles facing upwards and two downwards; such
a set is still counted as concealed.

Claims on discards to make a Pung or Kong take precedence over claims to make a
Chow. The game will process this automatically, so occasionally you might be
offered the chance to call Pung, reject this and then see the player to the
discarder's right take the same tile to make an exposed Chow.

= Declaring Mahjong: Tsumo and Ron =

When you choose to announce that you have a complete and valid hand you declare
MAHJONG (and therefore win the Hand), this is also called GOING OUT. If you
complete your hand using a self-drawn tile (one you were dealt) this is called
TSUMO. If on the other hand you complete your hand by picking up a discard tile
from another player this is called RON.

Crucially you *must* have at least one of the Scoring Elements or Limit Hands
(see below) to be able to declare Mahjong.

Whereas you can usually call Chow only from the player to your left, you can
call Ron from any player and make a Chow, Pung or pair to finish your hand; it
doesn't cause the hand to become exposed either.

If you are Tenpai (i.e. one tile away from a complete hand) and any of the tiles
among your own discards would complete your hand then you are FURITEN and cannot
claim another player's tile to win (Ron). When you are Furiten you can still win
with a self-drawn tile (Tsumo). The game doesn't tell you when you're Furiten so
this is something that you have to watch out for.

There is also a second type of Furiten which is known as TEMPORARY FURITEN. This
occurs if you have a Tenpai hand and (either by choice or accident) don't claim
a Ron win on a discarded tile that would complete it. In this case you only stay
Furiten until your next turn.

The two different ways of winning a Hand, by Tsumo or by Ron, have consequences
on the way points are distributed - with a Tsumo win the three losing players
all pay the winner but with Ron the player who discarded the winning tile has to
pay it all - see SCORE CALCULATION (Section 10) for more information on this.

Some versions of the rules allow Double Ron which is when two players go out by
Ron on the same discarded tile (so they both win points from the hapless
discarder!) but I've not seen it happen in Yakuza 2 so I'm pretty sure it's not
allowed. In this case, the ATAMA HANE (literally "head bump") order is applied
and, when two players claim the same discard for a win, it is the one that is
closest to the discarder's right that gets the win, and the points!

= Declaring Riichi =

If you are only one tile away from completing a concealed hand (and there are at
least four tiles still to be dealt in the Hand) you can pay 1000 points to
declare RIICHI (ready). This is a gamble - essentially you're betting that you
will win the Hand. If you do win, you'll get your 1000-point stake back, the
Riichi will improve your score and you might get further benefits from Ippatsu
and Underside Dora (these are explained in the "Scoring Elements and Fan" and
"Dora Bonuses" subsections below respectively).

When you (or another player) declare Riichi, a scoring stick (like a casino
chip) is placed above the discard tiles - you are literally putting your 1000
points on the table - and the first tile to be discarded is placed at right
angles to the others as a record of when it happened (this is used to check for
Ippatsu (see next subsection) and it also enables other players to see which
tiles you discarded before and at the declaration of Riichi). The 1000-point
stake/s from any Riichi are claimed by the next player to win a Hand, i.e. if a
Hand results in a draw then any stakes carry over into the next one.

Once you've called Riichi your hand is frozen and play proceeds automatically
(therefore quite quickly) until either you or another player wins; you won't
have to do anything except choose to accept Tsumo/Ron or continue (or rarely to
form a Kong*). If there is more than one tile that would complete your hand you
might pass up a Tsumo/Ron opportunity in the hope of making a better hand,
although if you pass a Tsumo win this would leave you Furiten and only able to
win by Tsumo.

The option to declare Riichi appears at the bottom-right of the screen, although
you have to press the square button to make it pop-up!

If a game ends with Riichi stakes still on the table (i.e. if the final normal
Hand results in a draw where the Dealer is not Tenpai) then the Riichi points
are paid to the player in first place, added to their Uma (see Section 10).

*If you are given the opportunity to declare a Kong after calling Riichi you
should check first that this won't spoil your hand. On one occasion I'd declared
Riichi with a hand including 56777 Craks (which I was counting as a 567 Chow and
a 77 pair) and an incomplete Chow of Bams. I was offered a Kong on the sevens
and I accepted without thinking, leaving me with two incomplete sets. At the end
of the Hand I was penalised 8000 points for "Illegal Riichi". Ouch! 

(For the record, the Dealer got 4000 points and the other two players got 2000
each. The penalty points due to a foul are called CHOMBO and are the same as the
number of points awarded for Mangan - see SCORE CALCULATION (Section 10).)

= Scoring Elements and Fan =

Unlike Poker where you can only ever have one type of hand (a full house is not
also a pair and three of a kind), in Mahjong you can have a number of patterns
and conditions - referred to as SCORING ELEMENTS or YAKU - in a single hand (I
think the most I've seen is six). Each Scoring Element present in a hand is
awarded a specified number of FAN (also known as HAN or HAND POINTS) and each
Fan will *double* your score for the hand.

(Any hand with Scoring Elements and Dora bonus tiles worth thirteen or more Fan
in total is counted as a Limit Hand and always scores the limit; Dora tiles and
Limit Hands are covered later in this section. Also note that for any Scoring
Elements that require Pungs you can always use one or more Kongs instead.)

The various Scoring Elements are listed here with the Fan score followed by the
element name used in Yakuza 2 and a description. Those marked with an asterisk
score one less Fan if the hand is not concealed (i.e. if it has exposed sets).

[1] PINFU - a concealed hand composed of four Chows and a pair; the hand must
            also be on a TWO-SIDED WAIT, e.g. if you have an incomplete Chow of
            7 and 8 which is completed with either a 6 or 9; also the pair
            cannot be made from Dragon, Seat Wind or Prevalent Wind tiles

(Pinfu is known as a NO-POINTS HAND because it lacks the Pungs/Kongs, the "one
chance" Wait and the special pair which would give it extra minipoints on top of
the basic 20 or 30 for going out. It is still possible to make a good score with
Pinfu though if combined with other Scoring Elements such as Riichi, All Simples
and Fully Concealed Hand and with Dora bonuses. Waits, minipoints and Dora are
all explained later in the guide. Pinfu is also sometimes called PEACE.)

[1] ALL SIMPLES - a hand consisting of only suit tiles with numbers between 2
                  and 8 inclusive; also known as TANYAO or an INSIDE or END-LESS
                  HAND; if the Kuitan rule is off the hand must be concealed -
                  see TABLE RULES (Section 09)

[1] PURE DOUBLE CHOW - awarded for two identical Chows (same numbers and same
                       suit) in a concealed hand; also called a DOUBLE RUN

(The suit tiles are always displayed in numerical order so this will look like
three consecutive pairs, 223344, rather than two Chows, 234234. That's quite
simple though, compared to working out your sets and Waits on a Full Flush!)

[1] DRAGON PUNG - a Pung or Kong of Dragons; on the score-sheet this is listed 
                  simply as "Green", "Red" or "White"

[1] PREVALENT/SEAT WIND - a Pung or Kong of either the Prevalent Wind or your 
                          current Seat Wind; this is listed on the score-sheet 
                          simply as "East" for example; you can claim both
                          together for two Fan (see Double Wind below)

(Since you can score a Fan (which doubles your score) with sets consisting of
Dragons, Prevalent Wind or your Seat Wind, these tiles are known collectively as
the DOUBLING HONOURS, VALUE TILES or LUCKY TILES. They are also the only tiles
that give minipoints if they form your pair - see Section 10 below.)

[1] FULLY CONCEALED HAND - a hand with no exposed sets, i.e. all the tiles must
                           be self-drawn *including* the tile that completes
                           your hand; also known as MENZEN TSUMO and CONCEALED
                           SELF-DRAW (or CSD for short)

(The combination of Fully Concealed Hand, All Simples and Pinfu is quite a
common one so Japanese players have an abbreviated name for it: "Mentanpin".
This is a contraction of Menzen Tsumo, Tanyao and Pinfu.)

[1] RIICHI - awarded if you declared Riichi (see above)

[1] IPPATSU - awarded if you call Mahjong within four dealt tiles (one cycle of
              play) after calling Riichi; Ippatsu is interrupted by any player
              calling Pung or Chow or making a Kong; this is sometimes called a
              ONE-SHOT WIN

[1] LAST TILE TSUMO - calling Tsumo on the last tile to be dealt in the Hand

[1] LAST TILE RON - yup, this is the same as above but with Ron

[1] ROBBING THE KONG - calling Ron on a tile that another player had used to 
                       convert an exposed Pung into an exposed Kong

(There is one exception to this rule which is that you are also allowed to "rob"
a *concealed* Kong when declared if you are using it to complete the Limit Hand
known as Thirteen Orphans - scroll down a little for the Limit Hand list.)

[1] AFTER A KONG - calling Tsumo on a replacement tile that you picked up after
                   declaring a Kong yourself; also KING'S TILE DRAW

(Those last four Scoring Elements occur far less often than the ones above them,
especially Robbing The Kong! I have got it a couple of times though.)

[2] ALL PUNGS - a hand with four Pungs or Kongs (plus a pair obviously); this
                could also be described as a NO CHOWS or FOUR TRIPLETS hand

[2*] MIXED OUTSIDE HAND - all sets must include a Terminal or Honour

[2*] PURE STRAIGHT - 123456789 tiles in the same suit (i.e. three Chows: 123,
                     456 and 789); also called THREE CONSECUTIVE SEQUENCES

[2] SEVEN PAIRS - this is one of the two exceptions to the usual hand format -
                  the name speaks for itself; you can't use a Kong as two pairs;
                  since there are no Pungs or Chows it will always be concealed

[2*] MIXED TRIPLE CHOW - three Chows with the same numbers but each in a 
                         different suit, e.g. 234 Bams + 234 Craks + 234 Dots

[2] DOUBLE WIND - a Pung or Kong of the Prevalent Wind when this is the same 
                  as your Seat Wind; this is listed as "Double East" for example

[2] THREE CONCEALED PUNGS - exposed Pungs don't count, although the hand can 
                            also include an exposed set; all the tiles in the
                            three concealed Pungs must be self-drawn, so if you
                            complete one by Ron you cannot claim this

(There is no Scoring Element of "Pure Triple Chow" here but instead it would be
counted as Three Concealed Pungs that just happen to be in the same suit. Some
versions of Japanese Mahjong do recognise it as a Scoring Element called SAN
REN KOU, also known as PURE SHIFTED PUNGS in the new Chinese Official rules.)

[2] ALL TERMINALS AND HONOURS - a hand with no 2-8 numbered tiles; if you claim
                                this you cannot also claim Mixed Outside Hand

(Obviously this will have no Chows; it will either be made with Pungs - in which
case you also get two Fan for All Pungs and one each for any Pungs of Dragons,
Seat Wind or Prevalent Wind - or it might be made with Seven Pairs for two Fan.
You could also be able to get a Half Flush, which is listed below.)

[2] LITTLE THREE DRAGONS - two Pungs of Dragons plus a pair of Dragons; you get
                           one Fan each for the two Dragon Pungs too

[2] TRIPLE PUNG - three Pungs of the same number; this is a rare one

[2] THREE KONGS - can be concealed or exposed; this is a very rare one!

[2] DOUBLE RIICHI - when Riichi is declared on the player's first discard

[3*] PURE OUTSIDE HAND - all sets include a Terminal (1 or 9); also known as
                         TERMINALS IN ALL SETS (in which case the Mixed Outside
                         Hand above is just called an Outside Hand); you have a
                         good chance of getting Mixed Triple Chow with this too

[3*] HALF FLUSH - a hand containing only one suit and Honours; also known as a
                  SEMI-PURE HAND

[3] TWICE PURE DOUBLE CHOW - a concealed hand with two Pure Double Chow in it; 
                             you cannot claim this with Seven Pairs 

[5] TERMINAL & HONOUR DISCARD - when a Hand ends in a draw with no Simples (2 to
                                8) in the player's discard pile and none of his
                                discards have been claimed by other players

(This is a hand which you would attempt only very rarely. It can only be claimed
by a player when a Hand ends in an exhaustive draw, i.e. when the supply of
seventy tiles is exhausted, so you would usually need to have around 17 or 18
Terminal and Honour tiles to be able to do this. If you start a Hand with a lot
of these tiles then you'd probably go for Thirteen Orphans, All Terminals and
Honours, or something like that, so the only situation where you'd normally go
for this hand would be one where you discard your initial T&H tiles to try for
an All Simples hand but find that you keep on drawing more T&H from the Wall and
keep discarding them. Remember you will need a lot of them to get this!

Yakuza 2 lists this as a four-Fan Scoring Element but in fact the player should
receive points equal to the bottom limit, i.e. 12,000 points for the Dealer or
8,000 pts for a non-dealer, which you would normally get for a five-Fan hand.)

[6*] FULL FLUSH - all the tiles in the hand are from the same suit; a Half or
                  Full Flush hand is sometimes referred to as CLEAN or CLEARED

(Of the above Scoring Elements, Triple Pung, Three Kongs, Twice Pure Double Chow
and Terminal & Honour Discard are easily the least common.)

Examples of the various Scoring Elements are illustrated on pages 5 to 13 of the
in-game help pages.

It should be noted that the sets in the winning hand can only be counted one way
so if, for example, you're counting all the sets as Pungs (to get All Pungs)
then you can't claim any Scoring Elements involving Chows or if you have a hand
including tiles of 22334455 you can count this as two 234 Chows and pair of 5's
(and get Pure Double Chow if the hand is concealed) but you cannot also claim it
as a pair of 2's and two 345 Chows to get Pure Double Chow again.

*These Scoring Elements are worth one Fan less if the hand is not concealed;
this property is known as KUI-SAGARI.

= Limit Hands = 

LIMIT HANDS, also known as YAKUMAN, automatically score the maximum (i.e. limit)
points regardless of their Scoring Elements. You should be aware that Limit
Hands are very rare, i.e. you might have to play Mahjong for literally dozens of
hours before you see one!

ALL GREEN* - a hand containing only purely green tiles, i.e. only Green Dragons 
             and 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 Bams are permitted

ALL HONOURS - only Dragon and Wind tiles; also called ALL SYMBOLS

ALL TERMINALS - only suit tiles with values 1 and 9; also called HEADS & TAILS

FOUR CONCEALED PUNGS - obviously you need four non-exposed Pungs and, as with
                       Three Concealed Pungs above, all four Pungs must be self-
                       drawn (you cannot complete one with a discard by Ron)

FOUR KONGS - I hope you can work that one out for yourself!

THIRTEEN ORPHANS - this is the other exception to the normal hand structure,
                   one of each Terminal and Honour tile (thirteen in total)
                   plus one duplicate; also known as THIRTEEN UNIQUE WONDERS

BIG THREE DRAGONS - three Pungs of Dragons; also known as THREE GREAT SCHOLARS

LITTLE FOUR WINDS - three Pungs of Winds plus one pair of Winds

BIG WHEELS - Seven Pairs but specifically with 22334455667788 in the Dots suit

(Some versions of Mahjong allow this Limit Hand in any suit but in Yakuza 2 only
Dots are permitted. Other versions don't count it as a Limit Hand although you
will always get Twice Pure Double Chow, Full Flush, All Simples and Pinfu so
there's a good chance of getting the 13 Fan for Counted Yakuman (see below).)

NINE GATES - a concealed Full Flush with specifically 1112345678999 in the same
             suit plus one extra tile from the same suit; also NINE LANTERNS

(If you consider the thirteen tiles of the flush you'll see that the pattern of
numbers is such that when you add one further tile from the same suit, regard-
less of which it is, you will always end up with four complete sets and a pair.
The hand therefore has nine ways of going out, hence the name Nine Gates!)

HEAVENLY HAND - the Dealer is dealt a complete hand at the start of the Hand

EARTHLY HAND - as above but for a non-dealer winning on their first drawn tile;
               these two are also known as INSTANT WIN

NATURAL LIMIT - it's not quite as cool as getting one of the named Limit Hands
                above but if you win with a hand containing various Scoring
                Elements worth thirteen Fan or more in total then you get the
                same number of points as a Limit Hand (Yakuman); this is also
                called COUNTED YAKUMAN or KAZOE YAKUMAN

Examples of the various Limit Hands are illustrated on pages 14 to 17 of the
in-game help pages.

*Be careful not to confuse All Green with American soul singer Al Green! ;)

= Double Limit Hands = 

The DOUBLE LIMIT HANDS are specific, even rarer, versions of four of the Limit
Hands above. They're worth twice as many points as a Limit Hand, hence the name!

PURE THIRTEEN ORPHANS - as Thirteen Orphans but the pair must be completed last

FOUR CONCEALED PUNGS WITH SINGLE WAIT - again the pair must be completed last;
                                        as usual you can have Pungs or Kongs

BIG FOUR WINDS - four Pungs of Winds

PURE NINE GATES - as Nine Gates above but it must be finished with the one extra
                  tile (the hand is on what is known as a NINE-SIDED WAIT)

Examples of the four Double Limit Hands are illustrated on pages 18 and 19 of
the in-game help pages.

Although I'm yet to see it happen in Yakuza 2, a special rule called either PAO
or SEKININ HARAI (literally "liability payment") applies to certain Limit Hands,
usually Big Three Dragons and Big Four Winds. If a player has two exposed Pungs
of Dragon tiles and another player discards the tile that lets them make a third
for Big Three Dragons, or if a player has three Pungs of Wind tiles exposed and
someone discards the tile that lets them complete the fourth Pung for Big Four
Winds, then the discarding player has to pay. If the hand is won by Tsumo the
discarding player pays the full amount (Yakuman!) or if the hand is won by Ron
from a third player then the discarder has to pay half.

= Dora Bonuses =

During play you should make a mental note of the exposed tile/s on the Dead Wall
of tiles in the middle of the screen. At the start of a Hand only one tile is
exposed - this denotes that the next sequential tile is the DORA bonus tile. 
For example if 3 Bams is showing then the Dora is 4 Bams and you will score an 
additional Fan for every 4 Bams in your hand, i.e. a Pung of 4 Bams would score 
you an extra three Fan!

If a 9 tile is showing then the numbers wrap and the Dora is the 1 tile of the 
same suit. Obviously the Dragons and Winds don't have numbers so instead they
are assigned the sequences Red-White-Green and East-South-West-North (this is
the order of the Seat Winds working counterclockwise around the table) and again
these wrap so a Green Dragon showing would make the Dora tile Red Dragon.

Each time a Kong is formed, a replacement tile is taken from the Dead Wall and
one more tile is flipped to give another Dora (technically a KAN DORA). Also
if the winner of a Hand declared Riichi then there will also be an UNDERSIDE
DORA (or URA DORA) tile revealed at the end of the Hand. There will also be an
Underside Dora for each of any Kan Dora (these are called KAN URA DORA). So as
an example if a Hand saw one Kong being made and the winner calling Riichi there
will be a total of four bonus tiles (the Dora and a Kan Dora and for each of
these one Underside Dora) and these will all be shown on the score-sheet.

The Dora are different to the Red Dora which are explained in the next section.

Although each Dora (and Red Dora) tile in a hand is worth one Fan apiece*, you
still need to have at least one Scoring Element in your hand to declare Mahjong.

Dora are also known as LUCKY TILES or LUCKY DRAGONS.

*If the same tile appears twice amongst the Dora and Underside Dora then it is
counted twice and each occurrence is worth two Fan. It's also possible for a Red
Dora tile to also be a Dora tile.

------< TABLE RULES >--------------------------------------------- [Section 09]

The following four options can be set on the menu that's displayed when you 
first join a table to play.

Half game / full game - Basically you should select "half game" if you want the
game to last half as long! ;) A full game will last for two rounds, i.e. at
least eight Hands, a half game will only run for one round, or at least four
Hands. With either choice, extra Hands may be played so it's only possible to
state the minimum number.

(In most countries' versions of Mahjong a game is played over four rounds - one
for each of the four Winds - but in the Japanese version a so-called "Full Game"
is played over only two, with Prevalent Winds of East and South respectively;
this is called a HANCHAN or TONNANSEN (literally an East South match). A Half
Game, played with only an East round, is called TONPUUSEN (East wind match).)

Kuitan on/off* - Setting the KUITAN rule to "on" allows the Scoring Element of
All Simples to be claimed on an exposed hand instead of it only being allowed on
a concealed hand.

Two Fan Minimum on/off - When the TWO FAN MINIMUM rule is set to "on" a minimum
score requirement of two Fan is imposed after four extra Hands have been played
i.e. when five Hands have passed without a non-dealer win and the Honba counter
(see Section 12) is showing five or more. This rule limits the extent to which
the Dealer can take advantage of the Honba bonus points that are paid when they
win consecutive extra Hands (see Section 10).

Red Dora on/off - With the RED DORA option (also called AKAPAI or simply RED
FIVES) turned "on" four of the number five tiles from the suits will be marked
in red ink instead of the usual colours. Each such Red Dora tile in your hand
gives you one additional Fan for your score (and this is on top of the standard
Dora bonuses) so you should turn this rule on if you want higher scores (for
both you and your opponents!) and more to think about.

The game follows a traditional distribution of Red Dora tiles: one 5 Craks, one
5 Bams and two 5 Dots. I think the reason for having four in total is that the
extra optional Red Dora tiles fit neatly into a case designed to hold Mahjong
tiles in rows of four. The standard number five tiles all include some red bits
in their designs but the Red Dora have exclusively red markings.

The default settings for the four table rules are: full game, Kuitan on, Two Fan
Minimum on and Red Dora off.

If you would like to read more about the other optional rules that are used in
Japanese Mahjong then check Section 12 of my Mahjong Taikai IV game guide.

--> http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps3/file/930074/57143

*In real Mahjong the term ARI is used to denote a rule that is being used and
NASHI denotes one that is not. For example you might say that you are playing a
game "Kuitan ari" if the Kuitan rule is in use. It's a bit like specifying "aces
wild" in some western card games.

------< SCORE CALCULATION >--------------------------------------- [Section 10]

Luckily the game does this for you!

= Points and Minipoints =

As you can see from the last two pages of the in-game help, the points score for
a winning hand is calculated using both the total number of Fan and the total
number of MINIPOINTS (also known as FU). Minipoints are awarded for the compo-
nents and features of the hand. 

An exposed Pung of Simples is worth 2 minipoints but with Terminal or Honour
tiles it's worth twice that and if concealed it's worth two times more as well.
A Kong is worth four times as many minipoints as the equivalent Pung, so a con-
cealed Kong of Terminals or Honours will get you 32. Since they are easier to
make, no minipoints are given for a Chow. A pair of Dragons, Prevalent Wind or
Seat Wind is worth 2 minipoints, or 4 for a pair in Double Wind.

You also get minipoints for certain types of WAIT - a Wait is an incomplete set
or hand (which is completed when you declare Mahjong). It's easiest to explain
the different types with examples: an EDGE WAIT is a 1 and 2 waiting on a 3, a
CLOSED WAIT is a 4 and 6 waiting on a 5, a TWO-SIDED WAIT or OPEN-ENDED WAIT is
a 5 and 6 waiting on a 4 or a 7 and a SINGLE WAIT or PAIR WAIT is one tile
waiting to become part of a pair. Only an Edge Wait, Closed Wait or Single Wait
is awarded 2 minipoints, i.e. when you win with a "one chance" ready set - one
which was waiting on only one specific tile.

You get 20 minipoints simply for winning the Hand plus a further 10 for a win
with a concealed hand by Ron or 2 for a win by Tsumo. If your hand qualifies for
Pinfu and you win by Tsumo then the 2 minipoints are waived and you take the one
Fan (double) for Pinfu instead. Exceptionally if you win by Ron with an open
hand which otherwise meets the requirements of Pinfu (four Chows, a non-scoring
pair and won on a two-sided wait) then you get 2 minipoints too although, since
the hand is not closed, you cannot actually claim Pinfu on an "open Pinfu" hand!

The total of the minipoints is rounded up to the nearest ten and is usually
shown on the score-sheet. The Seven Pairs hand is a special case and always gets
exactly 25 minipoints with no additions and no rounding up.

Fan are awarded for the Scoring Elements present in the hand (see Section 08)
and for any Dora and Red Dora tiles (see Sections 08 and 09).

The BASE POINTS for a hand are calculated from the number of Fan and the total
of the minipoints using the following formula, although to save time Mahjong
players use look-up tables; this is what the last two pages of help show. 

             Base Points (BP) = minipoints x ( 2 ^ ( 2 + Fan ) )

This is an exponential function in powers of two - in other words it involves
doubling the minipoints. They always get doubled twice and then they're doubled
a further number of times equal to the number of Fan (this is why Scoring
Elements are sometimes referred to as DOUBLES). The player who won the Hand is
then paid points by the other players as shown in the following table.

                     |    Player wins by Tsumo   |      Player wins by Ron
    Dealer wins Hand | All three losing players  | The player who discarded 
                     | pay 2 x BP each*          | the winning tile pays 6 x BP
Non-dealer wins Hand | Dealer pays 2 x BP* and   | The player who discarded 
                     | other two pay 1 x BP each | the winning tile pays 4 x BP

In every case the points paid are always rounded up to the next multiple of 100
and consequently, for any given combination of Fan and minipoints, the sum of
points received for a Tsumo (self-draw) win do not always exactly equal the
points for a Ron (stolen discard) win, but it will be close.

Japanese Mahjong is played with a tiered system of LIMITS which apply to the
points you can win off a hand. The bottom Limit is called Mangan and applies to
any hand where the Base Points exceed 2000, i.e. one with five Fan, or four Fan
with 40 or more minipoints, or three Fan with 70 or more minipoints. If you get
six of more Fan then higher Limits apply - see table below.

In such a case, the Limit will be shown on the score-sheet instead of the mini-
points total; if you won the Hand then Kiryu will announce the Limit after
stating all the Scoring Elements present in your winning hand. (The Japanese
names for all the Scoring Elements are now listed in Section 12)

The table below shows the five different Limits and the Fan (and in some cases
minipoints, MP) needed to achieve for them. Each Limit is always worth the same
specified number of points, for example a Dealer with Mangan always gets 12,000
points. A Limit Hand always gives you Yakuman which is worth the maximum
possible points: a jaw-dropping 48,000 pts on a Dealer win (and a Double Limit
Hand gets twice that!).

              |                |   Points for   | Points for |   Mangan
              | Awarded for... | non-dealer win | Dealer win | equivalence
              | 3 Fan & 70+ MP |                |            |
       Mangan | 4 Fan & 40+ MP |      8,000     |   12,000   |   1 x Mangan
              | 5 Fan          |                |            |
      Haneman | 6 or 7 Fan     |     12,000     |   18,000   | 1.5 x Mangan
       Baiman | 8, 9 or 10 Fan |     16,000     |   24,000   |   2 x Mangan
    Sanbaiman | 11 or 12 Fan   |     24,000     |   36,000   |   3 x Mangan
      Yakuman | 13 or more Fan |     32,000     |   48,000   |   4 x Mangan

Although Yakuman scores the maximum Limit points, if you're lucky enough to get
this you will receive any Riichi stakes and Honba points (see below) as usual on
top of the Yakuman points.

*The standard payment for each player is 1 x Base Points but the Dealer always
pays and receives double.

= Draws and Honba =

If no-one has won after the final tile is dealt (and final discard made) then
the Hand is a draw*, specifically an EXHAUSTIVE DRAW (the supply of tiles is
depleted/exhausted). In this event the game checks to see if any players are one
tile short of a complete hand, i.e. they are Tenpai (if you see one or more
players reveal their tiles on a draw it's because they are Tenpai). There are
3000 points available in a drawn Hand and these are awarded to the player or
players that are Tenpai and deducted from the ones that are not (NO-TEN). The
points paid out on a draw are called NO-TEN BAPPU. 

If one player is Tenpai they get 3000 pts and the other three pay 1000 pts.

If two players are Tenpai they get 1500 pts and the other two pay 1500 pts.

If three players are Tenpai they get 1000 pts and the other one pays 3000 pts.

If all or none of the players are Tenpai then it's a complete draw and no-one 
gets or loses any points.

When a Hand ends in either a draw or a Dealer win, the HONBA counter is used
(this is displayed under the number of tiles remaining). This is normally set to
zero but when a Hand is either a win by the Dealer or a draw (regardless of
whether or not the Dealer is Tenpai) it moves up to one; if it happens again it
moves up to two, etc. It keeps incrementing like that until a non-dealer wins a
Hand and at this point the Honba number is set back to zero again.

This affects the scores because whenever someone wins a Hand they receive an
additional number of points equal to the Honba number multiplied by 300. For a
win by Ron these points are taken from the player who discarded the winning tile
and for Tsumo each of the three losing players pays an equal share. (Unlike the
Riichi stakes, these points are not left "on the table", instead they are just
counted there and then paid when required.) 

So not only does the Dealer get six times the Base Points for a win instead of
the usual four, he can also get these extra points for as long as he "stays on"
as Dealer - 300 points for a win in the first extra Hand, 600 for a win in the
second, 900 in the third, etc. The Two Fan Minimum rule (see Section 09 above)
restricts the extent to which this can be exploited; under this rule a player
needs a hand worth at least two Fan to win the Hand when the Honba counter
reaches five so it's no longer possible to go out quickly with a "cheap" hand.

The following table summarises the consequences of different outcomes in a Hand.
(The "Hand counter" is the number displayed next to the Prevalent Wind symbol
that counts the normal Hands played in each round, from 1 to 4.) Any increase
in the Honba number takes effect from the next Hand, so for example if the
Dealer wins their first (normal) Hand they don't get any Honba points but the
counter goes up to 1 and 300 points are paid for a win in the next (extra) Hand.

                  | Seat Winds |   Hand    |   Honba   |
                  | move round |  counter  |  counter  |
   Hand is won by |    yes     |    +1     |  reset to | winner gets Honba pts
     a non-dealer |            |           |    zero   | (if any)
   Hand is won by |     no     | no change |     +1    | winner gets Honba pts,
       the Dealer |            |           |           | next Hand is extra Hand
   Hand is drawn, |     no     | no change |     +1    | next Hand is extra Hand
 Dealer is Tenpai |            |           |           |
   Hand is drawn, |    yes     |    +1     |     +1    |
Dealer not Tenpai |            |           |           |

If the final normal Hand of a game results in a draw where the Dealer is not
Tenpai then the game ends (because otherwise the move of the Seat Winds would
constitute the start of a new round). Any Riichi stakes left go to the winner.

If the Dealer wins the final normal Hand and they are currently in first place
then they have the option to either end the game early or to play an extra Hand;
this rule is usually known as AGARI YAME.

*Some versions of the Japanese rules state that an ABORTIVE DRAW occurs in any
of the following situations:-

o all four players call Riichi in the same Hand

o two or more players declare four Kongs in total in one Hand

o three players simultaneously declare a Ron win on the same discard tile

o all four players discard the same Wind tile on their first turn in a Hand

o a player has nine or more different Terminal and Honour tiles after drawing
  their first tile (and they choose to accept a re-deal)

I have seen the first situation occur once in Yakuza 2 (it was called a "Four
Riichi Draw") but I don't know if any of the other types are recognised. I would
guess that the last two are not allowed as I would expect to have seen them
happen by now.

= Uma =

At the end of a game the player with the most points is the winner, regardless
of how many Hands they won (perhaps only one!), and you are shown who has come
first, second, third and fourth. One final exchange of points, called the UMA,
is then applied. The player in first is given an extra 25,000 points. These are
taken from the players in third and fourth who pay 10,000 and 15,000 points
respectively.* There is no change to the points of the player in second place.

In the event of two players having the same number of points at the end of the
game the priority goes to the player who started the game as East (i.e. South in
the final Hand), then to the player that was East next, etc. So if for example
the players at South and West in the final Hand were tied for second place, the
priority goes to South (who gets second place and zero Uma) and not West (who
ends up in third with minus 10,000 points from the Uma).

Say you win a game by a 25,000-point margin; after you get the Uma you'll have
tripled your starting points. After a couple of games like that you'll have won
enough points for a Gold Plate which you can sell for 100,000 Yen. Ker-ching!
The same quantities of Uma points are shared in either a full game or a half
game which makes half games the quicker way to rack up big points.

Your overall points total is carried over between games and can be checked by
going to your items inventory, pressing R1 to view the "valuables" and selecting
the "points sticks" item; you are also shown your total in the top-right corner
of the screen at the start and end of each Mahjong game. If your total drops
below 25,000 points you will need to buy more before you can play again. After a
heavy loss (especially with Uma) you might end up with a negative score for a
game; this will be deducted from your overall points but your total will never
drop into negative figures.

It's a pity that no other stats are available but you can view your highest game
score by going to Completion \ Minigames \ Mahjong on the pause menu - but note
that this is your score from the end of the final Hand of the game *before* the
Uma is applied. Your high score is shown in red if it beats the 50,000 points
target. It appears that the game logs your high score with any combination of
table rules so if you prefer to play a half game (less chances for other players
to score points off you!) or with Red Dora you can still set a personal best.

*The +25/0/-10/-15 Uma here is unusually large (not to mention asymmetrical!)
compared to that found in other Mahjong video-games. For example the default Uma
settings in Mahjong Taikai IV and Mahjong Fight Club (PS3) are +10/+5/-5/-10 and
+5/0/0/-5 respectively, although they both have options for much larger amounts.

------< CONTROLS >------------------------------------------------ [Section 11]

    start button - displays list of controls for minigame

   select button - gives option to quit minigame (and forfeit your points!)

   d-pad up/down - navigates initial menu
                 - selects function of cross button when necessary

d-pad left/right - selects tile to discard (or tiles to meld into)
 (or left stick)

   circle button - displays rules, Scoring Elements and points look-up tables

 triangle button - rejects action listed on screen, e.g. (calling) Pung

    cross button - discards selected tile
                 - accepts action listed on screen

   square button - hides score-sheet at end of Hand (to see table underneath)
                 - gives option to declare Riichi
                 - gives option to declare a Kong

Although it's not made very clear in the game, when you are in a position to
call Riichi* or to make a Kong you can press the square button and you will
then be given the option to perform the relevant action.

*If you're lazy you can use this as a "Riichi detector"! You just tap the square
button and if your concealed hand is Riichi-able you'll be given the option of
Riichi. If you do not want to declare Riichi you can still press X to select it
to see which tile/s you can safely discard without losing your Tenpai status and
then press triangle or square to cancel Riichi and discard as normal.

------< DISPLAY >------------------------------------------------- [Section 12]

= The Table =

A lot of information is presented to you on the virtual tabletop.

Your hand is shown at the bottom of the screen while your three opponents' tiles
are at the right, top and left. Your tiles are shown in this order: Craks, Bams,
Dots, Winds and Dragons, and in sequential order within each of those. When you
are dealt a new tile it appears at the right end of your current tiles and any
exposed sets are shown beyond that (e.g. Player 2 in the illustration below).
Your currently selected tile in your hand is shown in a raised position.

Each player's name is shown along with their current points score and a small
green box showing the symbol of their Seat Wind for the current Hand.

Tiles discarded by players are shown in front of their hand in rows of six. When
a discard is claimed by another player it is still displayed for reference but
it appears darkened.

A small box at the bottom-right of the screen shows the options available to you
and the button press required to do them.

           |                   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _           |
           |   _              |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|          |
           |  |_|             '-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'      _   |
           |  |_|                          _ _    Player 3    |_|  |
           |  |_| Player 4         _ _ _ _|_|_|   # +26500    |_|  |
           |  |_| & +23500        |_|_|_|_|_|_|               |_|  |
           |  |_|    _ _ _        |_|_|_|_|_|_|               '-'  |
           |  |_|   |_|_|_|       '-'-'-'-'-'-'     _ _        _   |
           |  |_|   |_|_|_|        #-4  []13       |_|_|      |_|  |
           |  |_|   '-|_|_|      === 0  === 0      |_|_|      |_|  |
           |  |_|     |_|_|       _ _ _ _ _        |_|_|_     |_|  |
           |  |_|     |_|_|      |_|_|_|_|_|       |_|_|_|    |_|  |
           |  |_|     |_|_|      '-'-'-'-'-'       |_|_|_|    |_|  |
           |  |_|     '-'-'    _ _ _ _ _ _         |_|_|_|    |_|  |
           |  |_|             |_|_|_|_|_|_|        '-'-'-'    |_|  |
           |  '-'             |_|_|_|_|_|_|          Player 2 |_|  |
           |            Kiryu |_|_|_|-'-'-'          $ +17400 |_|  |
           |         @ +32600 '-'-'-'                         |_|  |
           |          _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _               '-'  |
           |         |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|        >< Chow    |
           |         '-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'        /\ Cancel  |

The block of tiles in the centre of the screen is the Dead Wall. At the start of
each Hand one tile is exposed (face up) here, this is the Dora bonus indicator.
Each time a Kong is formed another bonus indicator tile will be revealed.

There are also four numbers shown in the centre of the screen. The one at the 
top-right is the easiest to understand (and explain!) - it simply shows the 
number of tiles remaining to be dealt in the current Hand. The counter starts 
at 70 and goes down until it reaches zero or someone wins.

The number at the top-left is related to the Prevalent Wind which is represented
by the kanji symbol next to it. This is used to count the number of ordinary
Hands played with a given Prevalent Wind so it counts from 1 to 4 (with East)
for a half game and then from 1 to 4 again (this time with South) for a full
game. Extra Hands are not counted here.

The two numbers below these are both shown next to a scoring stick (these are
also called BONES, COUNTERS or TENBOU and are used like casino chips). The
bottom-right number is the Honba counter which counts the number of consecutive
preceding Hands where either the Dealer won or it was a draw. On every won Hand
the winner receives an additional payment equal to 300 multiplied by the Honba.
When a non-dealer finally wins a Hand the counter is reset to zero.

The bottom-left number counts any unclaimed 1000-point Riichi stakes from
previous drawn Hands. When a Hand is next won, an additional 1000 points multi-
plied by this counter are added to the winner's points along with any Riichi
stakes from the current Hand. You'll notice that the scoring stick next to this
number is one marked with a single dot, the same type that a player lays down
when declaring Riichi.

= The Score-Sheet = 

The layout of the score-sheet shown at the end of each Hand is fairly
straightforward but I can't pass up the opportunity to do some more ASCII-art!

The winning hand is displayed at the top of the larger upper section of the
sheet with the winning tile at the right end of the unexposed tiles so the type
of Wait can be determined. Any Dora bonus tiles are shown on the left* (in this
example one player declared a Kong so there are two Dora and the winner called
Riichi so there are two Underside Dora). The Scoring Elements present are listed
on the right with the number of Fan awarded for each. Any Dora bonus tiles in
the winning hand are listed after the Scoring Elements; regardless of the
combination of Dora, Underside Dora and Red Dora, these are all listed on one
line as "Dora (bonus tile)".

At the bottom of this section the number of minipoints (or the Limit) and the
total number of Fan is shown. The final row gives the number of points awarded
for the winning hand, calculated from the minipoints and number of Fan.

           |            _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                |
           |           |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|               |
           |                                                       |
           | Dora                 Riichi                     1 Fan |
           |  _ _                                                  |
           | |_|_|                Ippatsu                    1 Fan |
           |                                                       |
           | Underside Dora       Pinfu                      1 Fan |
           |  _ _                                                  |
           | |_|_|                Dora (bonus tile)          1 Fan |
           |                                                       |
           |                                                       |
           | 30 Minipoints                                   4 Fan |
           |                                           7700 Points |
           | Kiryu     |@| Player 2  |$| Player 3  |#| Player 4  |&|
           |             |             |       -7700 |       +8700 |
           |      +32600 |      +17400 |      +26500 |      +23500 |

The lower section of the sheet has three rows. The first row shows the players'
names and current Seat Winds, the second shows the points won or lost in the
last Hand (including any 1000-point Riichi stakes and 300-point Honba rollovers
as appropriate) and the third shows the players' previous points totals. Since
points are transferred between players, the scores on the third row will always
add up to 100,000 (i.e. 4 x 25,000) unless there are unclaimed Riichi bets left
on the table following a drawn Hand.

At the press of a button (X) the points from the Hand are incorporated into the
player totals. In the event of a drawn Hand, the Scoring Elements are not
considered and therefore only this lower section of the score-sheet is shown.

NB: You can hold the square button to hide the score-sheet and see the table
underneath (although the counters above the Dead Wall are removed).

When you win a hand, Kiryu will read aloud the names of the Scoring Elements
present; of course - like the rest of the in-game speech - this will be in
Japanese so for reference I've added below a list of all the Scoring Elements
and Limit Hand names in both Japanese and English.

     Scoring Elements

  1. Riichi
  2. Daburu Riichi (Double Riichi)
      [note: in Yakuza 2, Kiryu says something more like "nizu Reach" I think]
  3. Menzen Tsumo (Fully Concealed Hand or Concealed Self-Draw)
      [note: in Yakuza 2, Kiryu just says "Tsumo"]
  4. Ippatsu
  5. Pinfu
  6. Tanyao (All Simples)
  7. Yakuhai (Dragon Pung)
  8. Kazehai (Prevalent/Seat Wind Pung)
  9. Itsuu (Pure Straight)
 10. Rinshan Kaihou (After a Kong)
 11. Chankan (Robbing the Kong)
 12. Haitei (Last-Tile Tsumo)
 13. Houtei (Last-Tile Ron)
 14. Iipeikou (Pure Double Chow)
 15. Ryanpeikou (Twice Pure Double Chow)
 16. Chanta (Mixed Outside Hand)
 17. Junchan (Pure Outside Hand)
 18. San Shoku Doujun (Mixed Triple Chow)
 19. San Shoku Doukou (Triple Pung)
 20. Chii-Toitsu (Seven Pairs)
 21. Toi-Toi Hou (All Pungs)
      [note: in Yakuza 2, Kiryu just says "Toi-Toi"]
 22. San An Kou (Three Concealed Pungs)
 23. San Kantsu (Three Kongs)
 24. Honitsu (Half-Flush)
 25. Chinitsu (Full Flush)
 26. Honroutou (All Terminals & Honours)
 27. Shou San Gen (Little Three Dragons)
 28. Nagashi Mangan (All Terminals & Honours Discards)

     Limit Hands

  1. Chinroutou (All Terminals)
  2. Shou Suu Shii (Little Four Winds)
  3. Suu An Kou (Four Concealed Pungs)
  4. Ryuuiisou (All Green)
  5. Kokushi Musou (Thirteen Orphans)
  6. Tenhou (Heavenly Hand)
  7. Dai San Gen (Big Three Dragons)
  8. Dai Suu Shii (Big Four Winds)
  9. Suu Kantsu (Four Kongs)
 10. Tsuuiisou (All Honours)
 11. Chuuren Poutou (Nine Gates)
 12. Chiihou (Earthly Hand)
 13. Dai Sharin (Big Wheels)
 14. Kazoe Yakuman (Natural Limit or Counted Yakuman)

I've adapted these lists from my new guide to the PS3 version of Mahjong Fight
Club, which is highly recommended ...both the game and my guide, that is! ;)

*The score-sheet shows the actual Dora tile/s as opposed to the Dora indicator/s
which are seen on the table, so for example if the Dora is 8 Bams you will see
this on the score-sheet but the indicator 7 Bams would've been on the Dead Wall.

------< STRATEGY >------------------------------------------------ [Section 13]

As I said in the introduction, I'm new to Mahjong and pretty far from being an
expert. I can't offer in-depth analysis so instead I'll just give a few thoughts
and general guidance.

Mahjong is a complex game so it's obviously advantageous to have a good working
knowledge of all the rules and Scoring Elements and an awareness of the points
system. I hope that the other sections of this guide cover everything you need
to know; even if you already know enough to play the game I think it's worth
reading through the whole thing to pick up on anything you missed.

Don't forget that you can choose your difficulty level by selecting which
parlour and table you play at - see STARTING A GAME (Section 05). I've been
playing for a while now and I'm quite happy staying on the "easy" table!

At the start of a Hand I'd survey my tiles quickly to see if they lend them-
selves to any particular Scoring Element. If there's a fair chance of obtaining
it I'd work towards that goal but you have to be flexible - you might need to
change your plans later in the Hand based on the tiles you're dealt.

Then I'd look at any Honours (Winds or Dragons) in the hand. If you have a pair
of Dragons, Prevalent Wind or your Seat Wind then it's definitely worth keeping
them; if nothing else you can use them as your pair (that's worth a couple of
minipoints too) but in my experience you are very likely to get the opportunity
to pick up a third by calling Pung (since other players will discard them) which
will score you one Fan and give you the Scoring Element you need to declare
Mahjong (your hand will no longer be concealed though). If you have Double Wind
(i.e. your Seat Wind matches the Prevalent Wind) then the pair or Pung is worth
double; because of the way the Seat Winds move, each player will be in Double
Wind for at least one Hand per round.

If you find yourself with an individual Dragon or Prevalent/Seat Wind tile then
it's tempting to hang onto it - there are only thirty-four different tiles in
the game so there's a chance you'll be dealt another to make a pair and then you
can steal a discard to make a Pung - but I think it's probably best to ditch
them quite early (so that you don't miss any opportunities to start building
sets with the other tiles) and you'll notice that the other players do the same.
The only solo Honour tile you might want to keep is your Seat Wind, especially
when it is a Double Wind, as this is usually of no use to your opponents and
therefore a more likely discard.

(Keep an eye out for hands where the majority of the tiles are Honours (in pairs
or Pungs) and suit tiles from a single suit as this will give you a good chance
of getting a Half Flush hand. In this case any Winds are useful - they don't
have to be the Prevalent Wind or your Seat Wind, although they are better.)

Although Honours can be used to make scoring sets they are not very flexible as
they cannot be used in Chows, only Pungs (or Kongs). Terminals (1's and 9's) are
slightly more useful because they can be used in Pungs or one Chow (e.g. 111 or
123) and tiles marked 2 or 8 are better still because they can make a Pung or
two different Chows (e.g. 222, 123 or 234). The suit tiles marked 3 to 7 are the
most useful as they can make a Pung or three possible Chows. This analysis not
only shows which tiles are generally the most helpful to retain in your hand but
also which are the better Waits to aim for. Given a choice of two options it's
better, for example, to make a ready hand needing a 1 rather than a 4 because a
1 is less useful and is therefore more likely to be discarded by another player.

If you can see two of a given Honour tile on the table there's no chance of
making a Pung from your single or pair of the same and equally you can safely
discard one without someone calling Pung on it (although they could still claim
it by Ron to make a pair and go out). However if it's late in a Hand and you can
only see one (or none) of a certain Honour tile then it's likely that another
player is sitting on a pair and it will be risky to discard one.

Next I'd discard any stray tiles that look less useful. If I only have one Craks
tile for example I'd ditch it. If I have 1, 4, 5, 7 and 9 Bams then the 4 and 5
could form a Chow and so could the 7 and 9 but I'd usually get rid of the 1 that
doesn't have any near neighbours. Any suit tile with a number more than two
away from the others you're holding can't make an easy Chow so is a likely

You should keep probabilities in your mind when building your hand. From the
earlier example, if I have 7 and 9 then I could make a Chow with an 8 of the
same suit but if I have 4 and 5 then either a 3 or a 6 would do it - so speaking
generally I'm twice as likely to draw a tile I need in the second case.

If I have 6, 7 and 9 Dots then I'm waiting on a 5 or 8 Dots to make a Chow with
the 6 and 7 but also waiting on an 8 again to make a Chow with the 7 and 9. In
this case I might discard the 9. You need to govern your hand with a view to
maximising your chances of each drawn tile helping you complete a set.

(You should learn to recognise patterns of tiles that give you multiple winning
options and try to steer your hand towards these. For example if you have 6667
you can take a 5 to make a 567 Chow and a 66 pair, or a 7 to make a 666 Pung and
a 77 pair or an 8 to make a 66 pair and a 678 Chow. If you have 2345 you can
make a Chow and a pair with either a 2 or a 5. You'll also come to instantly
recognise complete sets that overlap, for example 455667 is two Chows - 456 and
567 - and 12223 is a 123 Chow and a pair.)

Of course there are other factors to consider when thinking of probabilities.
You should check the discards, the Dora indicator/s and any exposed sets to see
if the tile/s you need are inaccessible. Also remember that the tiles you want
might be in the concealed section of another player's hand or among the tiles in
the Dead Wall which will not enter play.

If I've got two 3 Bams in my hand then I can use that as my pair. I might be
able to make a Pung with another 3 Bams but there are only four 3 Bams tiles in
the whole game and I've already got two of them! Even if none have been
discarded, the chances of that aren't so good, although of course you can call
Pung on any player's discard whereas you can only call Chow from the player to
your left. Pungs can give you a better hand too, with better Scoring Elements
and minipoints to be had, but generally it's preferable to go for Chows.

You should also think about all the possible Scoring Elements, especially the
one-Fan patterns which are easiest to achieve. Calling Pung and calling Chow
(picking up discards from other players) makes it a lot easier to complete sets
in your hand but this will make your hand exposed which rules out some elements
like Pinfu, Riichi and obviously Fully Concealed Hand! You might want to con-
sider ditching all the Terminals and Honours from your hand to get All Simples
or conversely you might keep them for All Terminals And Honours or Mixed Outside
Hand. You might keep Terminals as part of a Pure Straight or Honours to help
with a Half Flush.

Don't forget that you need a pair in your hand so if you only have one pair
think twice before you call Pung on it. It can be quite hard to make a new pair.

Speaking of pairs, if you have a hand with several (five maybe?) then you could
try aiming for the Seven Pairs hand but this doesn't give a great score and can
be hard to complete. A better option is to go for All Pungs which gives two Fan,
good minipoints for Pungs and opportunities to make Kongs. If you can complete
three of the Pungs with self-drawn tiles you can claim a further two Fan for
Three Concealed Pungs and if you make all four by self-draw you've got yourself
a Limit Hand!

If you find yourself with four of the same suit tile in your hand it might be
best to wait before declaring a Kong - this gives you the flexibility to use the
tiles as a Pung and part of a Chow. Also if you hold off on declaring the Kong
until you are Tenpai (i.e. one tile short of a complete hand) then there's a
chance that you'll score one extra Fan for "After a Kong" if you complete your
hand. If one or more of your opponents has called Riichi then it's better not to
make a Kong as this will give them potentially two extra Dora if they win.

If you have some exposed Pungs remember which tiles are there. You might be
dealt the fourth you need to make one into a Kong which will boost your score.

Declaring Riichi can be a good way to make points - you can score Fan for Riichi
itself plus Ippatsu and Underside Dora bonuses - but if you call Riichi late in
a Hand you won't have many opportunities to get the tile/s you need. It is also
better to call Riichi when there are several possible tiles that could complete
your hand, for example if you are holding 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Craks you could form
two Chows with either 1 Craks, 4 Craks or 7 Craks. Again you should check the
discard piles to see if some of the tiles you need have gone as this will shift
the odds against you. Don't forget that taking Riichi costs 1000 pts so if your
chances aren't so good it may be better not to risk it.

If you have a choice of several discards when "reaching" (declaring Riichi) you
should carefully compare the different options. How many of the tile/s you need
are still in play? Will your choice affect your Scoring Elements (for example
All Simples)? Will it make you Furiten? Will it get you more or less Dora tiles?
Would it be better to hold off until you're waiting on more/different tiles? You
should also think about whether your opponents are close to winning because you
won't have any control over your discards and therefore can't play defence.

Keep in mind that you need a hand worth at least one Fan (not counting Dora
bonuses) to be able to declare Mahjong; you can't just have four complete sets
and a pair. This is one reason to avoid calling Pung/Chow at every offered
opportunity - you can get an ill-formed and worthless (and exposed) hand.

You should also remember to check the exposed tile on the Dead Wall for the Dora
bonus as this might affect your decisions. A pair or Pung of Dora tiles will
give you two or three extra doubles to your score so you'll want to keep them.
If you only have a single Dora in your hand then it's worth hanging onto for a
while - you might at least be able to make a pair with it - but if you don't get
the tiles you need to make a set with it then you should let it go. The same
goes for the Red Dora bonus tiles if you have that rule/option turned on.

Being the Dealer (i.e. in a Hand where your Seat Wind is East) is a bit of a
double-edged sword. If you're an optimist then you'll relish the opportunity to
score extra points on a win and then "stay on" as Dealer to do it again but if
you're a pessimist you might be worried about facing a bigger loss of points if
you lose. It might be better not to risk going for a higher-scoring hand and
instead to go out on the first available possibility.

If you are doing well in a Hand then you might want to stop and count how many
Fan your hand is worth. If it's currently worth 4 or 6 Fan then it's not worth
taking a gamble on getting one more Fan since a 6 Fan hand scores the same as a
7 Fan hand and a 4 Fan hand (with 40+ minipoints) scores the same as 5 Fan.

As you get better at Mahjong you will start to think more about defensive play.
The essence of defence is to avoid discarding tiles which help your opponents,
especially ones they can claim by Ron to win the hand; they might still win with
a self-drawn tile or with someone else's discard but at least you won't have to
pay all the points. Since the discarder pays all the points for a win by Ron,
feeding a player the tile they need to win could easily cost you as much as
12,000 points if they're the Dealer!

You should be cautious of any player who has called Riichi because they must
have a Tenpai hand and are therefore in a position to claim Ron on a discard.
However you should also keep in mind that a player might be Tenpai but not call
Riichi because either their hand is not concealed or they have a poor Wait (i.e.
their chance of getting the tile/s they need is not high enough to risk the 1000
points for Riichi). This is called "SILENT TENPAI" or DAMA TEN.

Remember that the other players can also claim discards to make sets which will
put them closer to a winning hand. It's particularly important to watch the
player to your right as they can call Chows from you as well as Pungs.

The key to defence is to read your opponent's discards to try to work out what
tile/s they need. Mahjong experts have written on this topic at length but I'll
just give a few simple points here. At the most basic level, you can sometimes
get an overall impression of their discards/hand, for example if one suit is
missing from their discards then they could be making a Flush or Half Flush hand
and you should avoid discarding tiles of that suit, or if they've discarded a
lot of Honours and Terminals they are probably trying to get All Simples.

In general play it is usually safe to discard a tile that someone has discarded
recently because if someone needed it they'd have taken it! Also when a player
is Tenpai you are safe to discard any tile which they have discarded because of
the Furiten rule - they cannot call Ron on any tile they've discarded. Although
it's less certain, you might also choose to assume that a Tenpai player has made
the most effective sort of Wait, the serial pair, for example a 4 and a 5
waiting on a 3 or 6 to become a Chow, but they are unlikely to have made a Wait
where they are Furiten on one of the two winning tiles, so you can reason that
if they discard a 3 for example then they probably don't have a 3/6 wait and the
6 tile of the same suit could also be safe (you will learn the tiles that go
together, i.e. 1-4-7, 2-5-8 and 3-6-9). This works best with "middle" discards
because, as an example, a 4 discard means that 1 and 7 could be safe but a 1
discard only says that 4 might be safe and not 7.

In an extreme case, if at any stage you think you're unlikely to win (i.e. your
hand is far from complete) then you should start to play defensively. You might
even choose to break up non-exposed sets in your hand in order to be able to
discard tiles that are safer and prevent another player from winning. Breaking
a Pung is especially useful because if no one claims the first discard then you
have two more of the same tile to discard on your next two turns!

When heading for a draw you might also call Pung/Chow on tiles that you wouldn't
normally take in an effort to get your hand into a Tenpai state and therefore
fair better when the points are shared out. A Tenpai hand is any that is only
one tile away from being complete, regardless of it being concealed or exposed
or being a "good" (Pungs of Honours) or "bad" (Chows of Simples) hand. If you're
the only player that's Tenpai in a draw you get a very handy 3000 points which
is more than you get for winning with a low-value hand!

Don't lose heart in a game if you've been stuck in fourth place for ages. One
high-scoring hand can win you the game or at least put you in second place where
you won't get stung by the Uma.

Finally a practical note. After playing for a few hours I noticed that outlines
of the tiles had been burnt into the screen of my LCD television! Fortunately I
knew from past experience that this is a temporary effect but it's something you
might want to watch out for. A continuous unchanging image on a TV screen could
cause permanent damage (this is why we have screensavers) so take a break to
rack up some wins at the Coliseum tournaments or give the girls at the Marietta
a pep-talk (or a Pepsi!). You could also think about turning the contrast and
brightness settings down on your screen before a long Mahjong session.

------< THE MAHJONG SIDE-MISSION >-------------------------------- [Section 14]

At some stage in the main game you might find yourself triggering a side-
mission, named simply "Mahjong", which involves you playing the Mahjong minigame
against a thug at the parlour in Kanto. This is just like playing the game
normally except you start with 10,000 points while the other three players begin
with the usual 25,000 so basically you're stuck with a 15,000 point handicap.

The thug explains that they are using the rules Ton-Nan, Kuitan, Ryan Shi and
Red Dora which is likely to confuse the heck out of you if you're new to the
game but I believe he is basically just confirming the four rules selected for
play. RYAN SHI is a shortened form of RYAN HAN SHIBARI which is the formal name
for the Two Fan Minimum rule. The words Ton and Nan are the Japanese terms for
East and South (specifically in Mahjong!) so TON-NAN means that they're playing
a full game of two rounds with the Prevalent Wind as East and then South. All
four rule options are explained under TABLE RULES above (Section 09).

Since you're required to win the game to pass the mission it's effectively the
same as playing a normal game and having to win with a 15,000+ point margin. If
you lose and want to try again the thug demands two Silver Plates - you can go
to the counter, buy points if required and then exchange the points for the
plates*. Remember to take advantage of the Red Dora bonus whereby every red five
tile in a winning hand is worth an extra Fan when your score is reckoned.

*Of course if you're not adverse to a little light cheating you should save the
game before your first attempt and if you fail keep reloading the save until you
win the game! ;)

------< FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS >------------------------------ [Section 15]

Q. How do I "complete" Mahjong on the completion checklist?

A. You need to win a game with a score of at least 50,000 points *before* the
   25,000-point Uma bonus (see Section 10) is paid at the end.

   I would suggest playing a full game which gives you two stints as Dealer -
   which you should milk for as long as possible! Always try to go out with the
   simplest possible hand so you can stay on as Dealer - don't be tempted to go
   for a hand worth more points but with worse odds. If you're not heading for a
   win then try at least to get Tenpai so again you stay on as Dealer.

   Don't be deterred from going for a big hand occasionally though - you'll
   probably need one or two to break the target.

   As for the other table rules (see Section 09) you could set Kuitan to on, Two
   Fan Minimum to off and Red Dora to on. These will all make it easier to rack
   up points but remember that the other three players get the same advantage...

   To get higher scores you should strive to combine as many Scoring Elements
   and Dora as possible in your hands while also balancing this against making
   choices that give you a better chance of completing the hand. Using Riichi is
   also a great way to bump up your score. (see Section 08)

Q. I made four sets and a pair, why didn't I win the Hand?

A. Your complete hand has to have at least one Scoring Element or, if you're
   very lucky, a Limit Hand (see Section 08 for lists of both) before you can
   declare Mahjong (Tsumo or Ron) and win the Hand.

   If you're playing the Two Fan Minimum rule and the Honba counter (the bottom-
   right number in the middle of the screen) is showing 5+ then your hand must
   be worth at least two Fan (not counting Dora bonuses) before you can go out.

Q. I'm one tile away from a complete hand, why can't I do the Riichi thing?

A. Firstly the game won't show you the option for Riichi, you have to press the
   square button first.

   Secondly you need to fulfil the following criteria to declare Riichi:-

   o you must have a "ready hand" that's one tile away from completion, although
     two or more different tiles could complete it

   o your hand must be concealed (with no exposed sets made with discards)

   o your tiles must have the potential to form a hand worth at least one Fan
     (although this is a given since your hand must be concealed so it will
     always have the potential to get Fully Concealed Hand by Tsumo)

   o there must be at least four tiles remaining to be dealt in the Hand

   o you need the 1000 points to pay the stake

Q. I had four identical tiles in a hand, shouldn't I have been able to announce
   a Kong?

A. Yes, but this is another situation where you need to press the square button
   to get the option to pop up.

Q. I was one tile away from winning and one of the other players discarded a
   tile I needed to win but I couldn't claim it (Ron), why was that?

A. If you had already called Riichi then you were probably Furiten - this is the
   situation when any of the tiles you have discarded could complete your hand.
   When you are Furiten you are not allowed to win by Ron although you can still
   win by Tsumo (i.e. with a self-drawn tile).

   If you hadn't declared Riichi then either you were Furiten or your hand did
   not meet the criteria of any Scoring Elements so you couldn't win with it.

   For example:-

   o If the only potential Scoring Element in your hand was All Simples and you
     had a 2 and a 3 waiting to be a Chow then you could win with a 4 but you
     could not win with a 1 because then the hand wouldn't be All Simples.

   o If you had no Scoring Elements and, say, a pair of 2 Bams and a pair of
     Red Dragons then you could win with another Red Dragon (Dragon Pung) but
     you couldn't win with another 2 Bams.

   o If you were trying to win with only Fully Concealed Hand this Scoring
     Element has a requirement that the winning tile must be self-drawn so you
     can't win with Ron (unless you have other Scoring Elements present).

   If you're unable to "go out" you should either try to change your hand to get
   a viable Scoring Element (perhaps lose the Terminals and Honours to get All
   Simples, or try to get Pinfu) or attempt to hold out, being careful with your
   discards, and maintaining your Tenpai status so you fair better in a draw.

   Remember that Riichi is a Scoring Element itself so it's possible to call
   Riichi on a hand and then go out with a complete but otherwise valueless hand
   using Riichi to give the one Scoring Element required.

Q. What's with the blank tiles?

A. Some real Mahjong sets come with blank tiles for use as spares but in this
   case they're the White Dragon tiles. (see Section 06)

Q. And the ones with the funny symbols?

A. The suits of Bamboos and Dots (Circles) are relatively straightforward (the
   bird is the 1 Bams tile) but you need to be able to distinguish the different
   Craks (Characters), Wind and Dragon tiles. Rather than try to describe all
   the symbols, it's easier to ask you to look...

   at this: http://www.mahjong-europe.org/rules/downloads/riichisheet_EN.pdf

   or that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahjong_tiles

Q. Do I have to learn all these Scoring Element things?!

A. Not really - when you're new to the game it's probably best just to focus on
   the ones which occur most frequently in play. You should keep in mind that
   combining as many Scoring Elements (and Dora) as possible in a hand is the
   key to getting big scores.

   Here's a list of the top ten Scoring Elements you should learn, listed with
   the most common at the top.

   o Riichi
   o Pung of Dragon / Seat Wind / Prevalent Wind
   o All Simples
   o Pinfu
   o Fully Concealed Hand
   o Half Flush
   o Pure Double Chow
   o All Pungs
   o Mixed Triple Chow
   o Seven Pairs

   Ippatsu actually occurs fairly commonly too (above Half Flush in the chart)
   but since it's pretty much a matter of luck I've not listed it here.

   Some of even the low-value Scoring Elements are stupidly rare - a few even
   occur less often than Limit Hands. Don't expect to see Triple Pung, Robbing
   The Kong, Twice Pure Double Chow or (especially) Three Kongs any time soon!

Q. What do the numbers in the middle of the screen mean?

A. Working clockwise from the top-left they count: the number of normal Hands
   played in the current round (with the given Prevalent Wind which is shown by
   the adjacent symbol), the number of tiles remaining to be dealt in the Hand,
   the number of consecutive previous Hands that were either a Dealer win or a
   draw (each worth 300 pts) and the number of Riichi bets left on the table
   from previous Hand/s (each worth 1000 pts). It took me a long time to figure
   out that last one, although it seems obvious now!

Q. How do I know which tiles give the Dora bonus?

A. Any exposed tiles on the Dead Wall (the row of five tiles in the centre of
   the screen) are Dora indicators and the actual Dora is the next sequential
   tile. For example, if you can see a 6 Dots there then the Dora is 7 Dots.

   Each announcement of a Kong causes another Dora indicator to be exposed and
   if the player wins with Riichi then secret Underside Dora also apply. 

   See the Dora Bonuses subsection of Section 08 for further information.

   Also, if you are playing the Red Dora rule then any red fives also give a
   bonus (see Section 09).

Q. So why's it called Mahjong then?

A. I'm glad you asked! The name Mah Jong means "(game of) the sparrows" in
   Chinese. It's suggested that this name might come from the distinctive sound
   of "washing" (shuffling) the tiles face-down on the table, also known quite
   poetically as "the twittering of the sparrows".

   Another possibility is that both the name and the rules were copied from an
   earlier card game called Ma Tiao.

Q. This guy in the game said something about Ton Nan and Ryan-something?

A. He's just stating the table rules for the Mahjong challenge side-mission. See
   Section 14 and then Section 09 for more information.

Q. Can I play against Jongen?

A. Good question!

   During Chapter 4 a man standing at the south-west corner of Shofukucho tells
   you that there are "four gods of underground Mahjong" in Sotenbori - namely
   Jongko (who goes for high-scoring hands), Jongen (who is renowned for speedy
   play), Jongka (with a beautiful playing style - this is the guy playing the
   UFO Catcher machines) and Jongki (who is the strongest of the lot).

   In later chapters you can talk to an NPC at the crossroads just north of the
   parlour in Kanto and he tells you that the Jongen has recently moved from
   Kansai to Kanto, but I've not encountered him.

   If anyone can shed any light on this please let me know.

Q. How do the modern Japanese rules in Yakuza 2 differ from other versions?

A. There are actually quite a lot of differences between the various versions of
   Mahjong played in different countries. The key features of "Riichi" Mahjong
   (also known as Reach Mahjong) that distinguish it from others are as follows:

   o only the winner of a Hand scores points and for a win with a discard (Ron)
     the points are taken only from the player that discarded the winning tile

   o points are paid on a drawn Hand (if one, two or three players are Tenpai)

   o the list of permitted Scoring Elements includes Pure Straight, All Simples,
     Mixed Outside Hand, Mixed Triple Chow, Triple Pung and Seven Pairs

   o there are no restrictions on the number of suits or Chows in a hand

   o Dora and Red Dora are used

   o the Season and Flower bonus tiles are not used
   o Riichi is used (plus the related features of Ippatsu and Underside Dora)

   o the Furiten rule is used (and therefore discards are arranged neatly)

   o the game is usually played over two rounds (East and South) instead of four

   o the game is played with a one-Fan minimum (for declaring Mahjong)

Q. How can I get me one of them fancy Limit Hands?

A. I think the best advice is to forget about it, or at least to put it to the
   back of your mind! Although they make up a large part of the rules and their
   interesting patterns and high scores are quite exciting, realistically you
   could play for a very long time and not see one, despite your best efforts!

   What you can do is to quickly check your tiles at the start of each Hand and
   see if they have the potential to form a Limit Hand, i.e. if you already have
   more than half the tiles required. For example lots of Winds and Dragons for
   All Honours, lots of ones and nines for All Terminals, a good range of both
   Terminals and Honours for Thirteen Orphans, several Pungs and pairs for Four
   Concealed Pungs or lots of Dragons for Big Three Dragons.

   The game stats on the Tenhou website show that (reasonably skilled!) players
   achieve Yakuman (top limit) scores in about 0.18% of winning hands which is
   equivalent to about one in 550. The most common are Four Concealed Pungs, Big
   Three Dragons and Thirteen Orphans, each occurring in about 0.04% of wins.

Q. Will you be writing Mahjong guides for the PS3 Yakuza games?

A. Yes, and in fact I've recently got 'Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan!' on import and
   have now uploaded an expanded version of this guide for that game.

   I won't be buying Yakuza 3 until either the price drops considerably or it
   gets a European release (c'mon Sega! please?). In the meantime my Kenzan
   guide should still be useful in explaining the equipment, rules and scoring,
   and also the Japanese text and the requirement for the trophy.

Q. What's the best Mahjong hand you've got in Yakuza 2?

A. After many weeks of play I finally made a Limit Hand in Yakuza 2! I got Four
   Concealed Pungs.

   I have also got one in Kenzan, specifically a Counted Yakuman hand worth 13
   Fan which resulted from getting very lucky with the (eleven!) Dora.

   I've since graduated to "proper" Mahjong games for the PS3, like Mahjong
   Fight Club and Mahjong Taikai IV, and I seem to make a couple of Limit Hands
   per month on average. At time of writing I've had thirteen in total.

   Believe it or not, it's actually harder to make a hand with 11 or 12 Fan (a
   Sanbaiman) than it is to make a Limit Hand (nominally 13 Fan). Compared to my
   thirteen Limit Hand (Yakuman) wins, I've only got Sanbaiman three times!

------< GLOSSARY >------------------------------------------------ [Section 16]

Since there are so many special terms used in Mahjong I thought it would be
helpful to include this section which defines the most important words. I've
tried to keep the definitions very short and simple here; there's a more
comprehensive explanation of each one somewhere in the document above...

Bamboo - one of the three suits, also called Bams

Calling Pung/Chow - making an exposed set using another player's discard

Characters - one of the three suits, also known as Craks

Chii - declaration made when calling for a discard tile to make a Chow

Chow - a set of three tiles from the same suit with consecutive numbers

Concealed - a hand with no exposed tiles

Dead Wall - a small wall of spare tiles shown in the centre of the screen

Dealer - the player with a Seat Wind (q.v.) of East in any given Hand

Dots - one of the three suits, they're marked with dots!

Dora - one or more tiles that gives a bonus score (cf. Red Dora)

Dragons - the three Dragon tiles are red, white and green (the white is blank)

Draw - a Hand in which no player declares Mahjong (q.v.)

Exposed - a set that has been placed face-up on the table
        - a hand with one or more exposed sets

Extra Hand - an additional Hand played after a Dealer win or Dealer Tenpai draw

Fan - a score doubler awarded for Scoring Elements and Dora in a hand

Flowers - four tiles depicting flowers, not used in Japanese Mahjong

Full game - (specifically in Japanese Mahjong) a game lasting two rounds

Furiten - when one of your discards would complete your hand you cannot call Ron

Half game - (specifically in Japanese Mahjong) a game lasting one round

hand - the thirteen tiles you are holding plus one you are dealt

Hand - each round consists of four normal Hands and sometimes extra Hands too

Honba - a count of consecutive extra Hands played

Honours - collective term for the Dragon and Wind tiles

Kan - declaration made when calling for a discard tile to make a Kong

Kong - a set of four identical tiles

Kuitan - a rule that allows the All Simples element on an exposed hand

Limit Hand - a rare hand which is automatically worth maximum points

Mahjong - with a complete hand of tiles you declare Mahjong to win the Hand
        - also it's the name of the game!

Major tiles - a collective name for the Terminal and Honour tiles

Meld - (verb) to call Pung/Chow thereby creating an exposed set 
     - (noun) an exposed set

Minipoints - a measure of score awarded for features in a wining hand

Points - points are awarded in each Hand, based on Fan and Minipoints (qq.v.)

Pon - declaration made when calling for a discard tile to make a Pung

Prevalent Wind - this is East in the first round and South in the second

Pung - a set of three identical tiles

Red Dora - a special number-five tile marked in red that gives a bonus score

Riichi - to state that one is "ready", needing one tile to complete the hand

Ron - to declare Mahjong by claiming another player's discard (cf. Tsumo)

Round - four normal Hands (cf. Full Game and Half Game)

Ryan Shi - another term for the Two Fan Minimum rule (q.v.)

Scoring Element - a pattern or condition that is worth one or more Fan

Scoring stick - a short white stick used like a casino chip

Seasons - four tiles depicting seasons, not used in Japanese Mahjong

Seat Wind - the Wind assigned to a player that changes after each normal Hand

Set - a Pung, Chow or Kong (qq.v.)

Simples - suit tiles marked with numbers between 2 and 8 inclusive

Suit - a "family" of tiles like the four suits in a deck of playing cards

Table rules - optional rules that can be chosen at the start of a game

Tenpai - the state of having a "ready hand", one tile away from being complete

Terminals - suit tiles marked with numbers 1 or 9

Tiles - the pieces used to play the game

Ton-Nan - a full game (q.v.)

Tsumo - to declare Mahjong with a self-drawn tile (cf. Ron)

Two Fan Minimum - a rule applying a score restriction after four extra Hands

Uma - a final exchange of points between players after the final Hand

Underside Dora - a special Dora (q.v.) revealed after a Hand won with Riichi

Wait - an incomplete set that is "waiting" for the right tile to complete it

Winds - the four Wind tiles are each marked East, South, West or North
      - see also Seat Wind and Prevalent Wind (qq.v.)

The 22-page glossary of Chinese words in the Millington book (see next section)
allows you to trace the origins of many Japanese Mahjong terms. It's interesting
to match the Japanese terminology to the Chinese originals, for example Pinfu
comes from "Ping Ho", Riichi comes from "Li Chih", Chinitsu (Full Flush) from
"Ching Yi Se" (literally "pure one colour"), Sho San Gen (Little Three Dragons)
from "Hsiao San Yuan", Toi Toi (All Pungs) comes from "Tui-Tui Ho", etc.

------< FURTHER READING >----------------------------------------- [Section 17]

A number of books have been written about Mahjong over the years including many
in English. Since it's a bit of a specialist subject, I couldn't find any in my
home-town's bookshops but there are several listed on Amazon/ABE and my local
network of public libraries has maybe a dozen titles in their catalogue. (When
searching for books about the game it's a good idea to try all the main spelling
variants: Mahjong, Mah Jong and Mah Jongg.)

Bear in mind though that a lot of books focus on the Chinese, American or
classical Japanese rules. The Yakuza 2 minigame uses the modern Japanese rules
(which differ in a number of ways) so try to find a book that specifically
covers these, unless you want to learn more about the other systems of course.

Mahjong was quite big in the 1920's so you can find historically interesting
vintage hardbacks from this period. I picked up a lovely 1924 first edition with
a lot of character (i.e. stains) off eBay for a pound. (currently about $1.50)

The best book I've found about Mahjong is more recent however - it's The Great
Mahjong Book: History, Lore & Play by Jelte Rep, first published in 2003 in
Dutch and now available in English (from Amazon). The first forty pages cover
the equipment and traditional Chinese rules then the remaining ten chapters
explain the rules used in different versions of the game, including twelve pages
on Japanese Mahjong and a further eighteen pages on the modern Japanese "Riichi"
version. It's a comprehensive guide to the game, with interesting side-notes,
colour illustrations throughout and a good index, although there is little
advice on strategy and I did spot a couple of errors (which perhaps crept in
during the translation process).

Another good one is The Complete Book Of Mah-Jongg by A.D.Millington from 1977.
This devotes fifty pages to a detailed record of the original Chinese rules
including some helpful diagrams. The book also includes discussion of symbolism
and "luck and skill" in the game, extensive glossaries of Chinese and English
terminology and the history of Mahjong in China, America, England and Japan.

The most useful book I've read is A Mah Jong Handbook: How To Play, Score & Win
The Modern Game by Eleanor Noss Whitney (it was first published in 1964 so some
recent editions have dropped 'The Modern Game' from the title!). It describes
the rules used and recognised by the Japanese Mah Jong Association at the time
of writing (which includes Riichi but not Dora) with illustrations, examples and
cross-referencing throughout. There are also a whole seventy pages on strategy
and a comprehensive combined glossary/index at the back.

Finally I'll include another quick plug for my own "book". My 78-page PDF guide
to the rules and terminology of modern Japanese Mahjong is available here:

  http://www.uspml.com/site/downloads.htm  (Barticle's Japanese Mahjong Guide)

------< CONTACT >------------------------------------------------- [Section 18]

If you have any comments, additions or corrections (or praise?!) relating to
this guide please email barticle at hotmail.com - obviously changing the "at"
to an @ and removing the spaces. It would be helpful if you include "Yakuza 2"
and/or "Mahjong" in the subject line to get my attention.

I welcome questions about the rules/options in this or any other Mahjong game.

------< THANKS >-------------------------------------------------- [Section 19]

Initially I would like to thank Sumio_Mondo, Musashimaru and HeeroXXXG-01W 
whose posts on the GameFAQs Yakuza 2 forum gave an insight into the Dora bonus 
system and the "secret" functions of the square button!

I will be happy to give credit and thanks to anyone who makes a contribution to 
this guide. 

Yakuza 2 Mahjong Guide
Copyright 2009-2010 James R. Barton
Initial version 1.00 completed 17 March 2009
Current version 1.13 completed 5 January 2010

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