Four pairs to four triplets

Guides and beginner's help. If you're new to mahjong, this forum is for you. All questions are welcome - don't hesitate to ask.

Moderator: Shirluban

Post Reply
Mauro
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:09 am

Four pairs to four triplets

Post by Mauro » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:23 am

So, my first doubt: how likely is for a hand with four pairs in early game (like, first 4 to 6 draws) to end in four triplets? I'm trying to find data on this, but so far I found none: when I try it I usually fails, while when a friend of mine try it he usually succeed. I usually try that yaku if I have at least five pairs (or three pairs and a triplets), but I'm not sure when it makes sense to try it and when it doesn't.

Gnom
Senior Reacher
Senior Reacher
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:15 am
Location: 名古屋市

Re: Four pairs to four triplets

Post by Gnom » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:30 am

I don't have data but my rule of thumb would be that a hand with 4 pairs early in the game has a pretty good chance to end as 7 pairs. I wouldn't call for a triplet until later in the game and I really need the points. If I manage to get a hidden triplet I'll usually hold on to it as it shortens the way to an all triplets hand, and off in the distance is four concealed triplets. At this stage the hand can still become anything, including a dumb mix of triplets and sequences with only riichi.

User avatar
Barticle
Platinum Boarder
Platinum Boarder
Posts: 1506
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: Ipswich, UK (and usually 一向聴地獄)
Contact:

Re: Four pairs to four triplets

Post by Barticle » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:56 pm

Hi Mauro and welcome to the forums. :)

When I first started playing mahjong I had a tendency to hoard multiple pairs and frequently aim for four triplets. This is quite common among new players. If you have four early pairs then you'll often have a good chance of completing the four sets by stealing discards, especially if the tiles you need are less useful ones which are more likely to be discarded - i.e. winds/dragons, ones/nines, twos/eights. However that open hand will severely reduce your options for discarding safe tiles if you need to defend against an opponent's riichi. The hand value might be quite low too unless you can combine it with yakuhai, honitsu, etc.

With four early pairs, or certainly with five early pairs, it's safer to go for seven pairs - you'll have access to your full hand for defence and you retain the option of perhaps declaring riichi. Otherwise in the majority of hands it's best to build sequences because these are a much more efficient structure than triplets. For example a 44 pair can only be made into a triplet with two other tiles (2 x four) but if you have two adjacent tiles like 45 there will be up to eight tiles available to complete a sequence (4 x three and 4 x six). You can build a closed hand for pinfu, declare riichi (with the potential for ippatsu and ura dora) and potentially add some other combinations.

(I don't know what level you're at but this is something I needed to hear when I was a novice!)

Bart

Post Reply