4-07 Weapon of last resort: Melded Hand
In this section, we have discussed melding techniques. But what happens if all your needed tiles are dead? Take Figure 1.
chow chow chow
You've finally gone ready with your Mixed Straight, but it's already too late: all the tiles are dead. Perhaps you could build a 123 Mixed Triple Chow? Or maybe not: all four tiles are also dead. It would appear that your options have run out. But they have not. Meld your pair of into a pung, and you'll once again have a hand: with your single wait, you have a Melded Hand (6 pts.). The Melded Hand, which must borrow tiles for every element of the hand, is the corollary to the Fully Concealed Hand (for which all tiles must be self-picked). This includes the very last tile: it must claimed from another player, and cannot be picked by yourself. But remember, it is only a 6-point combination. This means that you must score at least 2 points with your 4 melded sets. If you meld the pung of in Figure 1, you will have No Honors (1 pt.) + Mixed Double Chow (1 pt.), bringing you to the 8-point total. Figure 2 is an example of a Melded Hand that has insufficient points.
chow pung chow chow
chow chow chow pung
It scores for No Honors (1 pt.), but nothing else. Be careful: Single Wait (1 pt.) does not score, since it is implied by Melded Hand.
Sometimes, when building combinations like Half Flush or All Types, you may end up melding 4 sets (Figure 3 is an example of this).
chow pung pung chow
If you opponent showed the melds in Figure 3, would you be able to discard honors or bamboos? But then again, it could be a Melded Hand waiting on a character or dot. As you can see, a Melded Hand can cause your opponents a lot of trouble, and as such, should be included in your strategic repertoire.