Misguided melding

Be careful when melding tiles to build the 6-point combinations Mixed Shifted Chows, All Pungs, or Half Flush, or the 4-point Outside Hand. Careless melding will result in hands that do not earn the remaining 2 points needed to earn the 8-point minimum.

For example, let's say that you melded tiles starting with those in Figure 1 to build the hand in Figure 2.

Figure 1

Your goal is Half Flush

Figure 2

You've made ready, but do you have enough points?

chow pung

A player discards , you announce "hu," and show your hand. Except, you have erred: your hand lacks sufficient points. You have only Half Flush and Terminal Pung for a total of 7 points. In order to go out using , you would have to pick it yourself. If you combine Half Flush with a Prevalent Wind, Seat Wind, or Dragon Pung, you will earn 8 points, but without one of these you must consider building Short Straights, Two Terminal Chows, Pure Double Chows, and other combinations to build your score.

Figure 3

Not even a self-drawn tile will help in these cases

chow chow

pung pung pung

Figure 3 shows examples of similar quandaries. The first shows Mixed Shifted Chows, and the second shows All Pungs. In either case you cannot go out on an opponent's discard. In fact, you cannot even go out with a self-drawn tile (in the second example, would complete your hand). Without a Prevalent Wind, Seat Wind, Dragon Honor, or even a Terminal Pung, you can only earn 7 points even when the last tile is self-drawn. When building Mixed Shifted Chows or All Pungs, you should plan on adding at least All Simples or a Prevalent Wind, Seat Wind, or Dragon Pung. Or, when building Mixed Shifted Chows, you can discard all honors and add All Chows.

Figure 4

You will have to self-draw these Outside Hands



Figure 4 shows an Outside Hand that cannot be completed using opponents' discards. The first example is Outside Hand (4 pts.) + Two Terminal Chows (1 pt.) + Mixed Double Chow (1 pt.) + Mixed Double Chow (1 pt.) for a total of 7 points. The second example is Outside Hand (4 pts.) + Dragon Pung (1 pt.) + Mixed Double Chow (1 pt.), also for a total of 7 points. In either case, your only hope is to pick yourself. When building Outside Hand, one way to guarantee sufficient points is to combine it with Mixed Triple Chow. Another is to build a Dragon Pung and wait on a Single Wait (you are guaranteed at least one more point from Mixed Double Chow, Pure Double Chow, Two Terminal Chows, Terminal Pung, or a pung of honors).

Figure 5


Finally, take a look at Figure 5. Should you give up on Little Three Dragons and make ready by tossing ? Certainly not, for that would leave you with 6 points. Even picking the last tile only gives you 7 points. The correct choice is to discard .