5-05 The unusual thing about Three Concealed Pungs
You’ll need to pick your tile to complete this hand of Three Concealed Pungs
In Figure 1, you cannot go out on an opponent’s discard. And yet, if you draw the last tile yourself, you’ll gain a total of nearly 100 points. This unusual situation occurs with the combinations that must be concealed: it’s difficult to complete your hand, but when you do, the reward is great.
What if you have already completed Three Concealed Pungs? If you go out on an opponent’s discard with the hand shown in Figure 2, you will score Concealed Hand (2 pts.) + Three Concealed Pungs (16 pts.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.). Adding the 8 points additional points obtained from each player, you gain a total of 44 points. And with an open-ended wait, you have a higher likelihood of drawing the last tile yourself than you did in the last case (8 tiles to finish you hand versus 4).
But what would you do if a player discarded ?
If you meld a pung, you’ll have Three Concealed Pungs (16 pts.) + All Pungs (6 pts.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.) + Terminal Pung (1 pt.) + Single Wait (1 pt.) for a total of 25 (Figure 3). Whether you pick your winning tile or go out on an opponent’s discard, you’ll gain a few extra points. But, take note of the fact that you have gone from a two-chance (8 tile) hand to a one-chance (3 tile) hand. This means that for a few extra points, you have lowered your chances of picking your winning tile by more than half. In other words, this pung only gives you proper odds if it more than doubles your score.
But in Figure 4, when you have only have a one-chance hand to begin with, you would prefer to meld the pung, because your chances of picking your last tile hardly change, and you can easily change your winning tile to something that is more likely to be discarded.