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How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:50 am
by Referee
That, how to read (or write, for that matter) those Hand Histories we see here sometimes, with all those arrows and stuff? Thank you.

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:17 pm
by xKime
For reading, most hand histories start by first putting the round information (what is the dora, what round it is, how many tsumibou are on the table, point situation and other information that may or may not be relevant such as the number on the die or whatever). These are pretty much self explanatory. Then, you have the hand histories of each player separated, but they all follow this format:

Starting Hand: this is the tiles they first received and the base for the hand history.
Draws: This is the tiles they drew each turn. If they have an X it's because they didn't draw, meaning their turn was skipped by a pon. Of course, the dealer starts with an X because he doesn't draw, he directly discards. If it says "Pon" or "Chow" on top it's because they didn't draw it, but called it.
Discards: This is the tile they discarded in exchange for the draw exactly above it. If above the discard there is no drawn tile and there's just a black arrow, then it means they discarded the tile they just drew (tsumokiri). If it says "reach" below a discard, it means they reached discarding that tile. Other additional notes on that tile may be written below it (i.e. "North Player's Winning Tile") but everything will again be self explanatory.
Final Shape: How the hand ended up looking after all that drawing and discarding at the end of the round. Because, you know, it's so easy to lose track that it's so much more comfortable to have the final shape displayed. Other notes may be added in here, especially on top of the winning tile (such as rinshan/haitei/houtei or anything else that's not self evident by looking at the hand).

But yeah, RM's website's hand histories are a little bit confusing. But that's mainly because they are posted in a website form, and when you look at it all you see is tiles. So, let's try with one of Saki's hand histories:


Team Match, First Match, E Table. Kiyosumi Highschool Taishou, Miyanaga Saki.
Dora 7p, Kan dora 9p. Ura Dora N/A. Dice: 4
North Seat: Kiyosumi High School.

Her starting hand was:
2-bam 3-bam 7-bam 9-bam 4-dot 4-dot 4-dot 7-dot 7-dot 8-dot 7-crak white-dra :west

First turn, she drew a North which she discarded. Next, she drew 4s and discarded White Dragon. After that, she drew 6s and discarded the 9s. Then, the next three turns she drew South 3p 9m which she immediately discarded upon drawing. When the fourth 4p came in, she discarded 7m. Next draw, she picked up and discarded 3s. When the red 5s came into her hand the next turn, she discarded 7p. Next turn, she drew and discarded 9s. On her next draw when she picked up 6p and got her tenpai (single wait for West) she made a kan on her four 4p and drew her winning West. Meaning her final hand was:
2-bam 3-bam 4-bam 5-bam 6-bam 7-bam 6-dot 7-dot 8-dot :west 4-dot 4-dot 4-dot 4-dot (Ankan) Tsumo: :west
(Rin Shan Kai Hou)

I hope I was as detailed as possible...

For writing, you don't need to worry, once you learn how to read it, it becomes apparent on how you should write it as well. Anyway, some professional associations have workshops for learning how to write hand histories.

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:56 pm
by Shirluban
That's a great explanation!
Good job xKime!

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:59 am
by chalwa
Great explanation. I was wondering if there are avaiable somewhere some sort of those hand histories formulas, to print or use on computer? I know its now hard to make it for myself, but just wondering if there are some, and do japanese players often use that kind of game record?

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:42 am
by Kyuu
Playing with real tiles. Can't imagine a way other than manual. That'd be ridiculously tedious. Yet, at the Japanese pro level - I can imagine them tracking that kind of data.

As for software. Looking at how keeps game histories (for a certain time period). One of my early games - this game, for example, dates back to over 2 years ago: ... 6ad4f&tw=3

A game history for that has to exist in the database; else, it cannot be replicated again. But yea, it'd be nice to look at game records in charted form like the Saki image above.

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 3:20 am
by Kyuu
So. What's the notation for chii, pon, and kan? Well, the Saki example shows a closed kan.

Re: How to read MJ hand histories?

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:23 am
by Ozball
Sorry to necro a thread but figured I'd throw a few more bits of info out there:

* Yes paifu do get used by Japanese players. I've actually got a couple magazine/book type things what come with a DVD of some title matches and the book has the paifu of all the matches inside it, just like the one you see in the Saki screenshot.

* Pon/Chii notation is as follows:
IMAG0286 Resized.jpg
IMAG0286 Resized.jpg (212.78 KiB) Viewed 3750 times
On the first turn Ishibashi Pons a :north from East, and then 4 turns later draws another :north and makes an open Quad out of it, drawing a 6-crak on the Rinshan and discarding one of his 7-crak. He then proceeds to Tsumo 2 turns later. Also you can see a normal Pon when he pons the :west on turn 3.
IMAG0285 Resized.jpg
IMAG0285 Resized.jpg (205.33 KiB) Viewed 3750 times
Here you can see a Chii and a Closed Quad by Setokuma, both occurring in the last two turns.

EDIT: Also you can't see it in the photos as in both cases the player is sitting North, ie at the bottom of the four players on the page, but the Round and Dora information is at the top of the page.