Pure Straight...or perhaps Pure Shifted Chows?

Figure 1

Is the best choice really to focus solely on Pure Straight and discard ?

Pure Straight is formed by tiles 1 through 9 in a given suit. See Figure 1. By discarding , you can make ready with Pure Straight by melding pungs of or . However, don't forget that in a Pure Straight you can often find chances at building Pure Shifted Chows. In Figure 1, a will complete the Pure Straight. At the same time, however, a will complete the 123-345-567 Pure Shifted Chows. With this in mind, the best discard is .

Figure 2

In Figure 2, you are one away from making ready on a 678 Mixed Triple Chow. Most players realize that you should meld chows when , , or is discarded by the player on your left.

But take a closer look. What if a is discarded? Melding this will result in the configuration shown in Figure 3, which gives you a multitude of outs.

Figure 3


Meld a chow with or pick or to make ready with Pure Shifted Chows. Meld or draw , , or for Mixed Triple Chow. These possibilities increase both speed and potential points, making the a must-claim tile.

The chows forming a Mixed Shifted Chows can only be offset by one step, but chows forming Pure Shifted Chows can be offset by one or two. In actual play, you will find that you will rarely see the one-step Pure Shifted Chows. This is because the one-step Pure Shifted Chows is much more difficult because it requires three of the same tile. Figure 4 compares the one-step Pure Shifted Chows (upper diagram) with the two-step version (lower diagram).

Figure 4

Note the difference in the number of identical tiles needed for each. The two-step Mixed Shifted Chows only requires, at maximum, two of any single tile. Be sure to recognize situations like the one shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5


You are waiting on two chances, or , but have just picked . Discarding will allow you to build Three Concealed Pungs, but you will be dependent upon picking the last tile by yourself. Instead, you can discard or , and wait for the , which will complete a very large hand. Think these possibilities through before hastily discarding a tile which may play a key role in your hand.