What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Mahjong Guide by barticle

Version: 1.09 | Updated: 01/05/2010

 Kenzan! Mahjong Guide - Ver. 1.09 - 5 January 2010 - by Barticle at hotmail.com
    8888   d88P                                              888
    8888  d88P                                               888
    8888 d88P                                                888
    888888K     .d88b.  88888b.  88888888  8888b.  88888b.   888
    8888888b   d8P  Y8b 888 "88b    d88P      "88b 888 "88b  888
    8888 Y88b  88888888 888  888   d88P   .d888888 888  888  Y8P
    8888  Y88b Y8b.     888  888  d88P    888  888 888  888     
    8888   Y88b "Y8888  888  888 88888888 "Y888888 888  888  d8b
    8888    Y88b                                             Y8P
             888b     d888          888       d8b
             8888b   d8888          888       Y8P
             88888b.d88888          888          
             888Y88888P888  8888b.  88888b.  8888  .d88b.  88888b.   .d88b. 
             888 Y888P 888     "88b 888 "88b "888 d88""88b 888 "88b d88P"88b
             888  Y8P  888 .d888888 888  888  888 888  888 888  888 888  888
             888   "   888 888  888 888  888  888 Y88..88P 888  888 Y88b 888
             888       888 "Y888888 888  888  888  "Y88P"  888  888  "Y88888
             888       888                    888                        888
                                .d8888b.     d88P  d8b      888     Y8b d88P
   01 INTRODUCTION             d88P  Y88b  888P"   Y8P      888      "Y88P" 
   02 COMPARISON TO YAKUZA 2   888    888                   888         
   03 WHEN AND WHERE           888        888  888 888  .d88888  .d88b. 
   04 STARTING A GAME          888        888  888 888 d88" 888 d8P  Y8b
      o Gion                   888  88888 888  888 888 888  888 88888888
      o Suburbs                888    888 Y88b 888 888 Y88b 888 Y8b.    
      o Mahjong Menu           Y88b  d88P  "Y88888 888  "Y88888  "Y8888 
   05 MAHJONG TILES             "Y8888P 8
      o The Set                             09 SCORE CALCULATION 
      o Dots                                   o Points and Minipoints
      o Bamboo                                 o Limits
      o Characters                             o Draws and Honba
      o Winds                                  o Uma
      o Dragons                             10 CONTROLS
      o Confusion                           11 DISPLAY
   06 WINDS AND THE TURN OF PLAY               o The Table 
   07 MAHJONG RULES                            o The Score-Sheet 
      o The Basics                          12 JAPANESE TEXT   
      o Calling Pung and Calling Chow          o Pop-Up Options
      o Declaring Mahjong: Tsumo and Ron       o Scoring Elements
      o Declaring Riichi                    13 STRATEGY 
      o Scoring Elements and Fan            14 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
      o Limit Hands                         15 GLOSSARY
      o Double Limit Hands                  16 FURTHER READING 
      o Dora Bonuses                        17 CONTACT
   08 TABLE RULES                           18 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 Playstation 3 video-game "Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan!"
i.e. the historic offshoot from the Yakuza series set in the feudal (samurai)
period which was released between Yakuza 2 (2006 PS2) and Yakuza 3 (2009 PS3).
Throughout this guide I will refer to the video-game simply as "Kenzan".*

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
last month I had never played Mahjong and had no knowledge of the rules. The
game gave me a chance to discover Mahjong for myself and I soon got hooked.

I went on to write a Mahjong guide for Yakuza 2 and so now, having just bought
Kenzan on import, I've decided to write one for this game too. Since the mini-
games in Yakuza 2 and Kenzan are quite similar it would be a simple matter to
adapt my existing guide for Kenzan... except for the small matter of all the
in-game text being in Japanese! This guide is written on the assumption that the
reader, like myself, has little (or no) knowledge of Japanese. I have therefore
added several new sections and tables to explain the game and the menu layouts.

Mahjong has a lot of rules and specialist vocabulary so it's difficult to
describe one aspect without making reference to others which I haven't yet
explained but I've done my best to make everything clear. Where a new term is
defined it is given in CAPS for easy reference. There is also a basic glossary
near the end of the guide (Section 15).

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.

Finally please note that I am British so I will be using the correct English
spellings of words like "colour" and "honour"! :9

UPDATE...! Since playing Yakuza 2 and Kenzan (and gaining a Mahjong addiction)
I've gone on to import two full Mahjong games from Japan. I've been teaching
myself to read the language (when I was playing Kenzan I couldn't even read Yes
and No in Japanese) and I've learnt a lot about the terminology and rules of
Mahjong. However, since this guide is intended for beginners, I have decided to
keep this document in its original format, namely with the majority of terms
given in English (as in Yakuza 2), although I have updated the rules info and
added some translations where they may be of interest.

If you want to know more then check out my complete guide to the terminology and
rules of Japanese Mahjong. It's available as a 74-page, illustrated, linked PDF
and can be accessed from the United States Pro Mahjong League download page.

  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. :)


*Throughout this guide I'll be using asterisked footnotes to give extra/random
information. For example did you know that the name "Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan!" is
an anagram of "Zen guru got on kayak"? :)

------< COMPARISON TO YAKUZA 2 >---------------------------------- [Section 02]

Okay, obviously the most significant difference compared to the previous Yakuza
game (in addition to the historic setting of course) is that, while Yakuza 2 has
Japanese speech and English text, Kenzan is all in Japanese. 

Also the Mahjong tiles are now far more realistic in appearance, which is great,
but they are also smaller and the markings are less distinct and harder to read!

If you already know how to play Mahjong then you should be able to cope with
both of these issues - this guide can talk you through the menus and the words
you need to read (see Section 12) and also the tiles that are most easily mis-
taken for each other (see "Confusion" in Section 05).

If however you're new to the game I would suggest that you learn Mahjong from
the minigame in Yakuza 2 first. I'm guessing that if you own Kenzan there's a
pretty good chance that you have Yakuza 2 already, and if not then you really
should buy it! It's a great game and, although at the time of writing the
English version is barely six months old, it's already available very cheaply.

The in-game help pages in conjunction with my Yakuza 2 Mahjong guide on this
site will tell you everything you need to know. Once you're happy playing
Mahjong there, the transition to playing it in Kenzan/Japanese will be a lot
easier. It will also give you a helpful introduction to the game mechanics, menu
structure, combat system and item types which are common to Yakuza 2 and Kenzan.

However, if you're undaunted, then there is sufficient information in this guide
to learn how to play Mahjong, in Japanese, in Kenzan.

Overall the Mahjong game in Kenzan is quite similar to the one in Yakuza 2, but
the following changes are noteworthy. The tabletop layout is virtually unchanged
but is now shown in widescreen (letter-boxed on my monitor). The score-sheet has
had a slight redesign. The White Dragon tile is now marked with a blue rectangle
instead of being blank. A "Riichi Helper" has been added (see Section 07) to
assist you when choosing a discard when declaring Riichi. A new bird's eye view
is available so you can see the discard tiles more clearly. Finally you can now
choose between all three difficulty levels at both locations (see next section).

------< WHEN AND WHERE >------------------------------------------ [Section 03]

There are two locations where you can play Mahjong in the game, one in each of
the main urban areas. In his excellent Kenzan guide, ThePatrick refers to these
as Gion and the Suburbs, and who am I to argue? :) I'll use the same names here.
Gion is a district in Kyoto, one of four geisha enclaves in the historic city;
even today Gion is known for its many geisha (or "geiko") and tea-houses.

As in Yakuza 2, you can't access the Mahjong minigame at the start of the game;
you have to play through the Prologue and Chapters 1 to 4 first.*

Once you've completed the four flashback/training chapters (i.e. at the start of
Chapter 5) you'll find yourself in Gion (the area with the street festival** and
Kiryu's home). You'll know when you've reached this stage because your character
puts on his white(ish) kimono with the dragon on the back - obviously copied
from his backpiece tattoo in the previous Yakuza games.

The Mahjong table in Gion isn't marked on the map so I'll give directions: it's
immediately to the south-east of the big blue rectangle (geisha-house) at the
very top of the map. When you walk there you should find the four players seated
around a low table on a small wooden platform in the middle of the mini-canal,
under a big magenta parasol. There are also two men in green jackets waving and
clapping - they are obviously very excited about the prospect of you playing
Mahjong! I'll say more about them in the next section.

The other location doesn't become available until later in Chapter 5. After you
have completed the Revelation training (with the cat painting at the shrine) you
will have access to the Suburbs area to the south via the trapdoor at the back
of Kiryu's house. You'll notice that there are four roads here that run roughly
west-east; the Mahjong parlour is situated on a broad alley that links the
middle two streets, on the east side, just around the corner from the guy waving
a pair of fans. If you walk east along the narrow "market street" then you'll
come straight to it - there are red curtains and lanterns over the door. The
building is marked in purple on the game map and if you check the map from the
pause menu (option 3) and view the directory (press triangle) it's listed ninth.

The sign next to the door says Maajansou which means "Mahjong parlour", although
this is often shortened to Jansou. The red diamonds on the outside walls give
two kanji - one (I think!) is Fuku which means "happiness" and the other is
Shou*** which means "to beckon or invite".

*Once you've learnt to read the numbers on the Craks tiles (see Section 05) you
will be able to read the Chapter numbers too! (for Chapters 1-9 at least; after
that, ten is "+" and eleven is "+-") The character for the chapter number
appears at the top-right of each white chapter title-screen. It's also the first
character of the title of a save file when viewed in-game (or the first char-
acter on the first row of info when viewed from the console's XMB).

**The festival (or "matsuri") in Gion is a major annual event in Japan, lasting
for a whole month. The famous parade features massive floats which can weigh
over a dozen tons and require thirty people to move them!

***The kanji Shou can also be read as Mane and appears in the term Maneki-Neko
(literally "beckoning cat") which is the name of the Japanese cat ornament you
often see in an oriental shop or restaurant, waving its left arm to attract
customers. :) If you see one waving its right arm (instead of the left) this is
thought to attract good luck and prosperity.

------< STARTING A GAME >----------------------------------------- [Section 04]

Since Mahjong is played as a gambling game, you need to buy points before you
can begin; you will need 25,000 points to start a game and this will cost you
2,500 Mon*. You should note that these points are different to the ones you use
in the other gambling games (dice, Hanafuda, etc) and that you always start a
game with 25,000 points regardless of how many you've bought! ;)

There are three important symbols which you will soon come to recognise. One is
the symbol for the unit of currency, the Mon, which looks like an X with a line
across the top; you will see this when money is involved, written after the
numbers. The next is the symbol for points (the kanji "ten") which, I think,
looks like a tank with four little legs (?!); again this is written after the
number. The last one is the symbol for 10,000 which appears in any number with
five or more figures, separating the thousands from the bigger numbers. So for
example 200,500 Mon is represented by 20#0500x (where # means 10,000 and x is
the Mon symbol).

You can see how many Mahjong points you currently have by going to the inventory
from the pause menu (option 1) then pressing R1 to view the "valuables". After
buying some points you should see an item that consists of a pile of five white
sticks (these are SCORING STICKS and serve the same function as chips at a
modern casino); these are listed after your Revelations paintings and other
gambling points. When you highlight the Scoring Sticks item you can see your
points total in the second row of text at the bottom of the screen.

Unlike the present day Mahjong parlours in Yakuza 2, you're not bound by modern
Japanese gambling laws so you can exchange your points back into money after a
game instead of receiving prizes and then having to sell them. Prizes are also
available but there's no point selling these since the pawnbroker only pays half
their actual value (see below) plus it's easier just to "cash out".

Both of the locations where you can play Mahjong have two members of staff who
perform the same basic roles, although these are allocated differently.

*The Mon was the unit of currency in Japan until the year 1870 when it was
replaced by the Yen.

= Gion =

At the Gion table, the man on the right is used simply to start a game, although
if you don't have the necessary 25,000 points he'll refer you to his colleague.

If you have enough points he'll ask if you want to play and you can answer yes
(top option) or no (bottom option). He'll then ask you how good you are at
playing Mahjong and you're given the choice of three possible answers: not good
(top), average (middle) or very good (bottom) - so this is how you select the
difficulty for the game: easy (top), medium (middle) or hard (bottom). Once you
have chosen you then go to the Mahjong table view and the main menu (see below).

The man on the left gives you three options: trading points for money/prizes
(top option), exchanging money for points (middle) or cancel (bottom).

The first of these options takes you to the standard shop interface where you
can select the top option to cancel, click on an item to buy or press left/right
to change the quantity, and use the bottom option to confirm/checkout. The six
items in the list are given in the following table.

                    |    Cost   |   Value  | Resale Value | Notes
     Bronze(?) Coin |  1000 pts |  100 Mon |      n/a     | You use these two
--------------------+-----------+----------+--------------| options to convert
     Silver(?) Coin | 10000 pts | 1000 Mon |      n/a     | your points to money
  Nada Refined Sake |   600 pts |   60 Mon |     30 Mon   | These are standard
--------------------+-----------+----------+--------------| sake (you can also
         Nanto Sake |  1400 pts |  140 Mon |     70 Mon   | buy at the Sakaya)
         Iron Scrap |   500 pts |   50 Mon |     25 Mon   | Used by inventor
Wrath of the Dragon | 20000 pts | 2000 Mon |   1000 Mon   | Used by blacksmith

His second option gives you three choices: buy 100,000 points (top), buy 25,000
points (middle) or cancel (bottom). You'll notice that the options are given in
the format I mentioned above, i.e. 100,000 points looks like 10#P where # means
10,000 and P is the symbol for points and 25,000 is shown as 2#5000P.

= Suburbs =

At the parlour in the Suburbs the man nearest the door is used to buy points.
Like his counterpart in Gion he will give you three choices: buy 100,000 points
(top), buy 25,000 points (middle) or cancel (bottom). The price for Mahjong
points is always 1 Mon per 10 points* and therefore different to the gambling-
house points where 1 Mon gets you 1 point for dice, turtle race betting, etc.

The second member of staff at the Suburbs parlour lets you exchange points for
money or prizes with the same shop menu described above and the same "prizes".

To start a game you then approach one of the three gaming tables in the parlour.
Each table has a label hovering above it which lets you choose the difficulty
level: on the right is the "weak table", on the left is the "average table" and
at the back is the "strong table". 

When you speak to a player at one of the tables he'll give a description of the
ability of the players on his table (just like in Yakuza 2). On the right table
"we are not very good", on the left table "our level is around average" and on
the back table "I have to warn you, we are pretty good." He will also ask if you
want to play and you can then answer yes (top option) or no (bottom option) and
if you answer yes you're shown the Mahjong menu described below.

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 ten. Each has
a set of stock phrases and their own voice but you don't have to worry about
understanding what they say during play as it doesn't affect the game at all. I
wish you could turn off the one that sounds like a witch with a sore throat...
in fact she's driven me to go back to playing Mahjong in Yakuza 2 instead!

*If you're playing Mahjong in Chapter 5 then don't go crazy with your money as
you'll need 20,000 Mon for the next chapter!

= Mahjong Menu =

Once you start a game you'll be shown the dark green background of the table
view and four menu options as follows (in this order). If you finish a game with
enough points to play again (i.e. 25,000+) then you come back to this menu.

1. Begin game - Guess what? You choose this one to start the game!

2. Exit Mahjong - Quit out of the minigame before it begins. (no points lost)

3. Change rules - This takes you to a sub-menu where you can select four
   settings which affect the game length and rules. For more information on
   these see TABLE RULES (Section 08) 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.

4. Basic Mahjong knowledge - this appears to be copied fairly directly from
   Yakuza 2 and gives the basic rules of Mahjong, a description of the Scoring
   Elements and the look-up tables for calculating points. If you can't read
   Japanese then you're gonna have to rely on me to give you this information!

The next few sections of this document will explain the equipment used in the
game, the rules and the scoring system.

------< MAHJONG TILES >------------------------------------------- [Section 05]

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 that
appears in Kenzan* (and the associated terminology).

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

*Although it looks great in context, Mahjong didn't actually exist in the era in
which the game is set and it's even more of an anachronism to be playing the
modern version in a historic setting! However modern "Riichi" Mahjong is very
popular in present-day Japan so this is the version that most people will know
and want to play.

= 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 Kenzan) 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 in Kenzan have been designed to look like authentic traditional tiles
with bamboo backing and hand-painted symbols. Unfortunately this has also made
them a bit harder to read, especially compared to the crisp modern tiles in the
Yakuza 2 Mahjong game. If you're new to Mahjong you will need to learn to recog-
nise all of the different tiles so I would suggest that you either consult the
following webpage first or learn to play Mahjong in Yakuza 2 (or both).

--> http://www.mahjonged.com/mahjong_tiles.html

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 representing a single piece
of bamboo. The exception is the 1 Bams tile* which is traditionally marked with
a bird (although it's not very clearly defined in Kenzan - see Confusion below).

*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 triangle 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!)

Here's a quick attempt to reproduce the nine 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), although you don't need to remember that!

= 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.

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 marked with an empty blue rectangular frame and is called
HAKU. On modern Japanese Mahjong sets the White Dragon tiles are usually totally
blank - so they are interchangeable with the blank spare tiles provided.

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.

*This same character is used to denote the "middle" difficulty option both in
the Hanafuda (flower cards) minigame and at the Mahjong Parlour.

**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 07).

= Confusion =

There are some tiles that can easily be mistaken for other ones until you get
used to playing with them so I've added this section to the guide to help you to
tell them apart.

The Green Dragon and 1 Bams look similar but the Dragon is more "pointy" while
the 1 Bams is more "fuzzy" (stop me if I'm getting too technical!). The Green
Dragon's design has a white gap in the middle while the 1 Bams has a white tri-
angle in the bottom-left corner. Another tile with a lot of green on it and a
white centre is the 8 Bams - this looks like a capital W sitting above a capital
M and the design is very symmetrical.

The kanji on the West and South wind tiles are the same basic shape and the "+"
on the South isn't at all clear, however the South symbol is bigger and taller.

The 6 Bams looks a lot like the 9 Bams tile but on the latter the middle column
is marked in red, albeit faintly, while the 6 Bams is all green.

Finally the 8 Dots can be mistaken for the 4 Dots. The 4 Dots is marked with
four neat circles arranged in a square (so it looks like a button) but on the 8
Dots each of the four marks is shaped like an "8" (each is two dots of course).

------< WINDS AND TURN OF PLAY >---------------------------------- [Section 06]

In Kenzan 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 Kenzan 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 fairly 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 09).

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 09) 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 with a pop-up box - use the top option to end or bottom to continue.

For other topics relating to extra Hands please refer to "Two Fan Minimum" in
TABLE RULES (Section 08), "Draws and Honba" in SCORE CALCULATION (Section 09)
and the bit about the table's Honba counter under DISPLAY (Section 11).

*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 07]

= 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. (See Section 12 for guidance on how these terms are
shown on-screen in katakana characters.)

*In real life the tiles are taken from the four-sided WALL (or YAMA) but this is
not depicted in Kenzan 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.

The option to call Pung, Chow or Kong appears at the bottom-right of the screen
- see Section 12 for help with reading the Japanese words used. The option to
declare a concealed Kong or to "upgrade" an exposed Pung into a Kong appears in
the same place but you have to press the square button first.

= 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 09) 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 or Kenzan 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!

The option to declare Ron or Tsumo appears at the bottom-right of the screen -
see Section 12 for help with reading the Japanese words used.

= 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 - see Section 12 for help
with reading the Japanese word used.

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 09).

One nice new feature which has been added since Yakuza 2 is what I like to call
the "Riichi Helper". When you choose to declare Riichi, a box appears at the top
right of the screen showing you which tile/s you require to complete the hand
and how many of them are left unplayed (i.e. not visible on the tabletop). If
you have a choice of discards then you can switch between them and see which
gives you the best chance of winning.

*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 in Yakuza 2
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 09).)

= 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 08)

[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 (red, white or green)

[1] PREVALENT/SEAT WIND - a Pung or Kong of either the Prevalent Wind or your 
                          current Seat Wind; 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 09 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] DOUBLE RIICHI - when Riichi is declared on the player's first discard

[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

[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!

[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 (see also Section 12 below for an index).

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'll probably 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 Kenzan 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 Kenzan, 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 08]

The following four options can be set from option 3 of the "mahjong menu" that's
displayed when you first join a table to play (see Section 04 above).

The rules and options are listed below in the order they appear in the game,
e.g. to set Two Fan Minimum to "off" you use the second setting on row 3.

1. Full game / half game - Basically you should select "half game" if you want
   the game to last half as long! ;) A full game will last for at least eight
   Hands but a half game will only run for 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 "Full Game" is
   played over only two, with Prevalent Winds of East and South respectively;
   this is called a HANCHAN or TONNANSEN (where "Ton Nan" means "East South"). A
   Half Game, played with only an East round, is called TONPUUSEN.)

2. 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.

3. 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 11) 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 09).

4. Red Dora on/off - With the RED DORA option (also 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 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: half 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 (with) is used to denote a rule that is being used
and NASHI (without) 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 09]

Luckily the game does this for you!

= Points and Minipoints = 

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 components 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 07)
and for any Dora and Red Dora tiles (see Sections 07 and 08).

The BASE POINTS for a hand are then calculated from the number of Fan and the
total of the minipoints using the following formula.

             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.

(Rather than using the formula to determine the points, Mahjong players use pre-
calculated look-up tables; these are shown for reference on the last four pages
of the in-game help section. Pages 20 and 21 show the table for a non-dealer and
pages 22 and 23 are for a Dealer. The minipoints are listed across the top and
the number of Fan down the side; the values in the centre of the tables then
show the points paid for Ron and (in brackets) the points paid for Tsumo. 

For example, if a non-dealer wins with a hand worth 3 Fan and 50 minipoints they
would get 6,400 points for a win by Ron. If it was a win by Tsumo then the
Dealer would pay 3,200 points and the other two players would each pay 1,600.)

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

= Limits =

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 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.

= 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 next to 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 08 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 (quite achievable) 15,000-point margin then with the
Uma applied you'll have made a profit of 40,000 points. After just five games
like that you can cash out with 20,000 Mon. 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 in the pause menu, pressing R1 and selecting the
white "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 the Completion lists (from the pause menu take option 6, then
option 9 (bottom) then option 3). 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.

*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 10]

The controls are pretty much the same as in Yakuza 2 except that the functions
of the triangle and circle buttons are swapped and a useful new view is avail-
able by holding L1.

    start button - displays list of controls for minigame

   select button - gives option to quit minigame (and forfeit your points!)
                   choose the left option to quit, then left option to confirm

              L1 - hold for a top-down view to see the discards more clearly

   d-pad up/down - navigates initial menu
                 - selects pop-up menu options when necessary

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

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

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

    cross button - discards selected tile
                 - accepts action listed on pop-up menu

   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 11]

= 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 white
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                |_|_|_|_|_|_|               |_|     |
        |     |_|    _ _ _        |_|_|_|_|_|_|               '-'     |
        |     |_|   |_|_|_|       '-'-'-'-'-'-'     _ _        _      |
        |     |_|   |_|_|_|                        |_|_|      |_|     |
        |     |_|   '-|_|_|    @1* |0 |0 []13      |_|_|      |_|     |
        |     |_|     |_|_|       _ _ _ _ _        |_|_|_     |_|     |
        |     |_|     |_|_|      |_|_|_|_|_|       |_|_|_|    |_|     |
        |     |_|     |_|_|      '-'-'-'-'-'       |_|_|_|    |_|     |
        |     |_|     '-'-'    _ _ _ _ _ _         |_|_|_|    |_|     |
        |     |_|             |_|_|_|_|_|_|        '-'-'-'    |_|     |
        |     '-'             |_|_|_|_|_|_|                Player 2 $ |
        |                     |_|_|_|-'-'-'                   17400   |
        |         Kiryu  @    '-'-'-'                         |_|     |
        |          32600_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _             '-'     |
        |              |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|                    |
        |              '-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'-'                    |

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 a row in the centre of the screen directly
above the Dead Wall.

The first number is related to the Prevalent Wind which is represented by the
kanji symbol to its left. 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 middle two numbers are both shown next to a scoring stick (these are also
called BONES, COUNTERS or TENBOU and are used like casino chips). The first of
these two numbers, the second in the row, counts any unclaimed 1000-point Riichi
stakes from previous drawn Hands. When a Hand is next won, an additional 1000
points multiplied 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 third number in the row is the Honba counter which counts the number of
consecutive preceding Hands where either the Dealer won or it was a draw. If a
Hand is won when the Honba counter is in use then the winner receives extra
points equal to 300 multiplied by the number. When a non-dealer wins a Hand the
counter is reset to zero.

The last of the four numbers 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 Score-Sheet = 

The layout of the score-sheet shown at the end of each Hand is fairly straight-
forward and is similar to the one in Yakuza 2. In the example below I've used
ASCII characters to represent Japanese text (apart from the player names) and
I've labelled the different elements.

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 next row* (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 below this 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. (The word "Dora" is given in kana and looks a bit like a capital K
followed by a seven with a line above.)

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.

                       _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
 the winning hand ->  |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|
                          _  _ _          _  _ _
 the Dora tile/s ->      K7 |_|_|       #K7 |_|_|  <- the Underside Dora tile/s

 the Scoring Elements ->   %@                      1 # <- Fan awarded for each
  (see next section)       -$                      1 #       Scoring Element
                           %_                      1 #
                 Dora ->   K7                      1 # <- Fan for Dora tiles
 minipoints awarded for the hand ->          30&   4 # <- total number of Fan
 (or Limit when given) --------------------------------

                                                7700 P <- total points for hand
           | Kiryu     |@| Player 2  |$| Player 3  |#| Player 4  |&|
           |    32600    |    17400    |    26500    |    23500    |
           |             |             |    -7700    |    +8700    |

The lower section of the sheet has three rows. The first row shows the players'
names and current Seat Winds, the second shows the players' previous points
totals and the third shows the points won or lost in the last Hand (including
any 1000-point Riichi stakes and 300-point Honba rollovers as appropriate).
Since points are transferred between players, the scores on the second 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 or L1 to hide the score-sheet and see the
table underneath (although the counters above the Dead Wall are removed).

*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.

------< JAPANESE TEXT >------------------------------------------- [Section 12]

Since they are unchanging, you can work your way through the menus without being
able to read any Japanese but unfortunately there are a couple of dynamic
aspects of the Mahjong game where the text changes according to the situation
and you will need to be able to recognise what's on the screen. One is the pop-
up options that appear at certain points during play and the other is the
listing of the Scoring Elements on the score-sheet at the end of each Hand.

As you've probably noticed from playing Kenzan, there are two systems used in
Japanese writing: the complex KANJI characters which originated in China and the
simpler KANA characters which each represent a different syllable (there are two
types of kana - the hiragana and the katakana - but it seems that mostly it's
the katakana that are used in the game).

The pop-up menus are given in kana and the Scoring Elements are listed in kanji.

= Pop-Up Options =

During a game of Mahjong the default function of the cross button is to discard
a tile but there are certain situations when you will be given another option in
a small pop-up window at the bottom-right of the screen, written in kana. It'll
usually be evident from the context what the option is but sometimes you will
get two options at once and you will need to be able to tell which is which.

(If you get two options together you can press up or down to select one and use
the cross button to accept. Alternatively you can press circle to cancel.)

There are six different words that you'll need to distinguish and these are
listed in the table below. For each one I've given a quick description of the
word and I've also listed the component kana so you can look them up on this
webpage and see what each one looks like.

--> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katakana#Table_of_katakana 

                        |  Kana  | Brief description of the kana
    Pung (to call Pung) |  po n  | A capital J on crutches (?!) and a `/
    Chow (to call Chow) |  chi-  | A capital J (with a crossbar) and a hyphen
     Kong (make a Kong) |  ka n  | A seven with a / through it and `/
      Ron (declare Ron) |  ro n  | A square and a `/
  Tsumo (declare Tsumo) | tsu mo | A "/ and a lower-case t with an overscore
Riichi (declare Riichi) | ri-chi | An "ij", a hyphen and a crossed capital J

(The hyphens in the kana column represent the "choonpa" symbol which denotes an
extended vowel sound, e.g. ri is "re" but ri- is "ree".)

Here's my rough attempt at creating them in ASCII art. (I might come back to
revise this at a later date but I think it's sufficient for now.)

           __|__o  \  /          -----               _|___    \  /
             |       /           __|__  ____          |   |     /
           / | \    /              |                  |   |    /
            -'     /              /                  /    |   /
           PUNG (po n)           CHOW (chi-)          KONG (ka n)

         .-----.  \  /         \\  /  -------       |  |        -----
         |     |    /             /      |          |  |  ____  __|__
         |     |   /             /     --+--          /           |
         |_____|  /             /        |__         /           /

           RON (ro n)          TSUMO (tsu mo)        RIICHI (ri-chi)

Okay, I've just come up with a different (fun!) way of doing this. This should
work if you have a computer running Windows with the fonts SimSun, MS Mincho or
MS Gothic installed. Open a blank document in a word processor, set the font to
one of the above and make sure that the Num Lock (Number Lock) light is on.

You can type the characters using the decimal equivalent of the Unicode numbers
for each kana. For each one you should hold down the left Alt key (not Alt Gr),
tap out the five-digit number listed below on the number-pad and then release
Alt. Then repeat for the next one. Good luck! (it works for me!)

         |  Kana  | Unicode Numbers           |  Kana  | Unicode Numbers
   ------+--------+-----------------  --------+--------+-------------------
    Pung |  po n  | 12509 12531           Ron |  ro n  | 12525 12531
   ------+--------+-----------------  --------+--------+-------------------
    Chow |  chi-  | 12481 12540         Tsumo | tsu mo | 12484 12514
   ------+--------+-----------------  --------+--------+-------------------
    Kong |  ka n  | 12459 12531        Riichi | ri-chi | 12522 12540 12481

Yet another option is to open a new document, set the input language to Japanese
and the Input Mode to full-width katakana; then you can simply type each word in
kana using an English keyboard (e.g. pon or chi-) and the kana will appear.

Perhaps the simplest solution is just to consult the translation chart (GIF)
which I made for Mahjong Taikai IV which is hosted on GameFAQS here:

---> http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps3/game/930074.html

This also lists some other general Mahjong terms in Japanese text, including the
most common Scoring Elements.

= Scoring Elements =

The Scoring Elements in each winning hand are given on the score-sheet with
their names written in (mostly) kanji. It's not reasonable to ask you to learn
to read kanji - and I certainly have no intention of doing so myself (especially
since I have a non-HD non-widescreen monitor where they don't appear to be very
clear anyways!) - but hopefully the following table will help you distinguish
them (although in time you will learn to recognise the more common ones on sight
and once you are familiar with the various Scoring Elements you should be able
to see which are present simply by looking at the tiles).

In the table the Scoring Elements are listed in the order they appear in the in-
game help pages, starting with the one-Fan hands and progressing up to Full
Flush which is worth six Fan. The first ten listed are by far the most common.
I've added Dora at the bottom; it's not a Scoring Element but it is listed on
the score-sheet, always at the end (you will also notice in playing the game
that Riichi always appears at the top of the list and Ippatsu is listed second).

The second column of the table tells you where to find the Scoring Element in
the game's help pages (press the triangle button to view these during the game)
so you can look it up to see how the name is written in kanji. The first number
is the page number and the second is its position on the page, e.g. Pinfu is 5.1
so it's the first one listed on page 5 (you have to count through the pages!).

The Scoring Elements are listed on the help pages in bulleted lists, each with a
big blue bullet-point. After this is the element's name given in kanji - this is
usually how it will appear on the score-sheet although the Wind and Dragon hands
and Mixed Outside Hand are exceptions to this. Following this is the element's
name in kana - if you win the Hand then Kiryu will read out his Scoring Elements
using these names - and these are given below in square brackets*; in some cases
I've given a phonetic spelling in quotation marks.

                       | Help | Description [and what Kiryu says]
                 Pinfu |  5.1 | 2 kanji, first looks like a box on a T [pinfu]
           All Simples |  5.2 | 4 characters: 1 kanji and three kana [tanyao]
      Pure Double Chow |  5.3 | 3 characters: first is a horizontal line, the
                       |      | third is a square with two feet [iipeikou]
     Dragon Pung (red) |  6.1 | 1 char: the Red Dragon tile symbol [yakuhai]
   Dragon Pung (white) |  6.1 | 1 char: like the 8 on a digital watch [yakuhai]
   Dragon Pung (green) |  6.1 | 1 char: almost a solid white square [yakuhai]
   Prevalent/Seat Wind |  6.2 | 1 char: the relevant Wind symbol [kazehai]
  Fully Concealed Hand |  6.3 | 6 chars: the first looks like a capital H
                       |      | with the top half filled [tsumo]
                Riichi |  6.4 | 2 chars: the first looks like a column ["reach"]
               Ippatsu |  6.5 | 2 chars: the first is horizontal line [ippatsu]
       Last Tile Tsumo |  7.1 | 4 chars: the fourth looks like a capital H
                       |      | with two extra cross bars [haitei]
         Last Tile Ron |  7.2 | 4 chars: all fairly solid kanji [houtei]
          After a Kong |  7.3 | 4 chars: the second is like an underlined |-
                       |      | [rinshan kaihou]
      Robbing the Kong |  7.4 | 2 chars: both solid square kanji [chankan]
         Double Riichi |  8.1 | 4 chars: the first is the number 2 and the
                       |      | third is like a column ["nizu reach"]
             All Pungs |  8.2 | 2 chars: the first looks like two people and
                       |      | the second is a diamond [toi-toi]
    Mixed Outside Hand |  8.3 | 6 chars: three kanji then three kana [chanta]
         Pure Straight |  8.4 | 4 chars: the first is a horizontal line and the
                       |      | other three are solid squares [itsuu]
           Seven Pairs |  9.1 | 3 chars: the first is the number seven and the
                       |      | third resembles a crossed English 7 [chiitoitsu]
     Mixed Triple Chow |  9.2 | 4 chars: the first is the number three and the
                       |      | second is like a square face [san shoku doujun]
           Double Wind |  9.3 | 3 chars: the third is the relevant Wind symbol
                       |      | ["dabu ton" - for example, "ton" is East]
 Three Concealed Pungs | 10.1 | 3 chars: the first is the number three and the
                       |      | other two are solid blocks [san an kou]
  All Term's & Honours | 10.2 | 3 chars: all solid blocks [honroutou]
  Little Three Dragons | 10.3 | 3 chars: the second is the number three and the
                       |      | third is Greek pi with overscore [shou san gen]
           Triple Pung | 11.1 | 4 chars: the first is the number three, the
                       |      | second is the square face [san shoku doukou]
           Three Kongs | 11.2 | 3 chars: the first is the number 3 and the last
                       |      | looks like a crossed English 7 [san kantsu]
     Pure Outside Hand | 12.1 | 6 chars: the last three are kana [junchan]
            Half Flush | 12.2 | 3 chars: a kanji, a horizontal line and the
                       |      | square face again [honitsu]
Twice Pure Double Chow | 12.3 | 3 chars: like Pure Double Chow but with a two
                       |      | at the start instead of a one! [ryanpeikou]
Term. & Honour Discard | 13.1 | 4 chars: the second is an L [nagashi mangan]
            Full Flush | 13.2 | 3 chars: a kanji, a horizontal line and a square
                       |      | face, similar to Half Flush [chinitsu]
                  Dora |  n/a | 2 chars: with its diacritic mark the first kana
                       |      | looks like a K and the second looks like an
  (always listed last) |      | English 7 with an overscore [Kiryu says "dora"
                       |      | followed by the number of dora in the hand, e.g.
                       |      | "dora ichi" (1), "dora ni" (2), "dora san" (3)]

   (I won't bother listing the Limit Hands here as they are incredibly rare.)

Since writing that section I've become a lot more familiar with the Japanese
terms and text so I've made some updates. For easy reference, below are all the
Scoring Elements and Limit Hands listed with both their Japanese and English
names. (I've adapted these lists from my new guide to Mahjong Fight Club PS3.)

     Scoring Elements

  1. Riichi
  2. Daburu Riichi (Double Riichi)
      [note: in Kenzan, Kiryu says something more like "nizu Reach" I think]
  3. Menzen Tsumo (Fully Concealed Hand or Concealed Self-Draw)
      [note: in Kenzan, 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 Kenzan, 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)

*The 22-page glossary of Chinese words in the Millington book (see Section 16)
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 Toi-Toi
(All Pungs) comes from "Tui-Tui Ho", Pinfu comes from "Ping Ho", Riichi from
"Li Chih", Sho San Gen (Little Three Dragons) from "Hsiao San Yuan", Chinitsu
(Full Flush) from "Ching Yi Se" (literally "pure one colour"), etc.

------< 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 - see STARTING A GAME
(Section 04). I've been playing for a while now and I'm still quite happy to
stay on the "easy" setting!

At the start of a Hand I'd survey my tiles quickly to see if they lend them-
selves to any particular Scoring Element/s. If there's a fair chance of obtain-
ing this 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. Two con-
secutive suit tiles, like 4 and 5, are called a SERIAL PAIR or RYANMEN, and such
elements are the most effective way to build a hand.

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, then repeat this process.

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 Mahjong for a few hours on Yakuza 2 I
noticed that the 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 should watch out for. A continuous unchanging
image on a TV screen could cause permanent damage (this is why we have screen-
savers) so take a break to slice up some bad guys or feed your turtles! You
could also think about turning the contrast and brightness settings down on your
screen before a long Mahjong session.

------< FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS >------------------------------ [Section 14]

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 09) 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 08) 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 07)

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 07 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 third
   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 (giving the Scoring
     Element required: 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 are all the different tiles?!

A. There are thirty-four tiles in the game (and four of each in the set) and
   you'll need to be able to tell them apart to play Mahjong. Unhelpfully the
   tiles are also shown quite small and the markings are rather faint, but if
   you know what to look for you can work out what you're looking at.

   Rather than describing each individual tile, it's easier to direct the reader
   towards helpful resources - have a look at the following webpages which show
   all the different tiles in the game, but disregard the Seasons and Flowers
   tiles as these do not appear in the Kenzan version of the game.

   --> http://www.mahjonged.com/mahjong_tiles.html

   --> http://www.mahjong-solitaire-game.com/mahjong-solitaire-tiles.htm

   Also check the Confusion subsection of TILES (Section 05) above.

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 from left to right 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 Riichi bets left on the table from previous
   Hand/s (each worth 1000 points for a win), the number of consecutive previous
   Hands that were either a Dealer win or a draw (each worth 300 points for a
   win) and finally the number of tiles remaining to be dealt in the Hand.

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 07 for further information.

   Also, if you are playing the Red Dora rule then any red fives also give a
   bonus (see Section 08).

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. How do the modern Japanese rules in Kenzan 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. What's the best Mahjong hand you've got in a Yakuza game?

A. On one occasion I've scored Counted Yakuman (a hand with components worth 13
   or more Fan). I had two Kongs and got really lucky with the Dora - I had
   eleven! I also called Riichi and got All Simples, making a total of 13 Fan.

   I have also had one "proper" (named) Limit Hand from playing in Yakuza 2,
   namely Four Concealed Pungs. And I've had a lot of near-misses!

   Since writing that I've 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 13 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!

Q. Will you be writing a Mahjong guide for Yakuza 3? (Ryu ga Gotoku 3)

A. Yes, but only if either the import price drops considerably or the game gets
   a European release (c'mon Sega! please?). In the meantime this guide should
   still prove useful in explaining the equipment, rules, scoring and language.

Q. While we're waiting for your Yakuza 3 guide, could you please tell us how to
   get the Mahjong trophy in that game?

A. Okay! I've not even seen the game in action yet but having discussed the
   trophy on the game's forum with ThePatrick I'm in a position to explain it.

   The requirement is for an "exposed pair wait" - i.e. you have a hand which is
   exposed (including sets made by stealing other player's discards) and all
   four sets are complete which leaves you needing a pair to finish your hand. I
   think that all four sets need to be exposed, but they can be any combination
   of Chows and Pungs/Kongs.

   You will also need a Scoring Element present in your hand in order to be able
   to win with it. If you start with a pair of Dragons, Seat Wind or Prevalent
   Wind then you have a very good chance of being able to make it into a Pung
   worth one Fan. Also if you start with four or five pairs then you could aim
   for an All Pungs hand.

   Otherwise your best option will usually be to go for an All Simples hand,
   i.e. one composed only of tiles numbered 2-8. Discard any Terminals and
   Honour tiles then complete your sets by calling Pung or Chow on discards.
   (You should check first that the Kuitan rule is "on" as this allows All
   Simples to be claimed on a non-concealed hand.)

   Remember you need to be waiting for a pair after completing the four sets. If
   you already have a pair when you make the sets then you won't get the trophy.

------< GLOSSARY >------------------------------------------------ [Section 15]

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

Counted Yakuman - a hand with Scoring Elements and Dora totalling 13+ Fan

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

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)

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

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.)

------< FURTHER READING >----------------------------------------- [Section 16]

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 system.
(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 minigame in Kenzan 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.

Moving away from Mahjong, you're probably aware that the main character in the
game - Miyamoto Musashi - is based on a real person of the same name, so I would
also like to recommend his own book, Go Rin No Sho, which he wrote in the final
months of his life in 1645 as an enduring record of his kenjutsu techniques,
strategy and martial philosophy. The English version, translated by Victor
Harris, is entitled A Book Of Five Rings and was first published in 1974. The
main text is preceded by 33 pages about Musashi's life and times, including
paintings of him and examples of his own artwork, calligraphy and metalcraft.

Finally if you are interested in reading more about Japanese Mahjong or thinking
about buying a dedicated Mahjong game for your PS3 then be sure to read my new
guides for Mahjong Taikai IV and Mahjong Fight Club which are both hosted here
on GameFAQS (the latter is listed under the name "Mahjong Kakutou Club: Zenkoku
Taisenban"!). Both guides discuss a number of optional rules and the MFC guide
also contains a stupidly long glossary of English and Japanese Mahjong terms.

------< CONTACT >------------------------------------------------- [Section 17]

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 the word
"Mahjong" in the subject and please read the following paragraph first!

If you have any questions, you are welcome to ask them but please bear in mind 
that a) I hadn't played Mahjong before discovering Yakuza 2 so I don't have a
deep knowledge of the subject and pretty much everything I know about it
has already been included in this document and b) by the time you read this I
might have lost interest in the game and forgotten all about it. ;)

Feel free to ask about the Hanafuda (flower cards) minigame too - after checking
my Kenzan Hanafuda guide of course - but don't bother asking about any other
aspects of Kenzan; try posting on the game forum instead.

------< THANKS >-------------------------------------------------- [Section 18]

I would like to thank the following people:-

o ThePatrick for his invaluable and essential Kenzan guide

o Etsuko for her help translating some kanji that I couldn't work out

o Kraftwerk (and Afrika Bambaataa) for teaching me the Japanese numbers 1 to 4!

o Tetsu Inoue for the deep-space loveliness of his album 'Ambiant Otaku' which
  I've been listening to on repeat while writing this guide

o HotelFSR on the ReachMahjong.com forum for collating the Tenhou stats

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

Kenzan! Mahjong Guide
Copyright 2009-2010 James R. Barton
Initial version 1.00 completed 15 April 2009
Current version 1.09 completed 5 January 2010

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

This guide may be downloaded and printed for personal, private, non-commercial
use only. This work is subject to copyright. It may not be hosted online or
otherwise distributed publically or reproduced either in whole or in part
without the advance written consent of the author. Any violation would
constitute an infringement of copyright and is strictly prohibited.

The only websites with the author's consent to publish this guide are GameFAQs
(www.gamefaqs.com) and its affiliates (i.e. Gamespot).

If you find this file hosted on any other site I would be grateful if you would
inform me at the email address given at the top. Thanks!

View in: