More basic strategy requests.

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Referee
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More basic strategy requests.

Post by Referee » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:37 pm

OK, I'm wondering one thing. You're sitting at east and you pick 14 tiles. Do you form any idea of where you want your hand to go, and how strong is it?

I will use random.org to generate mahjong hands randomly with a make-shift mahjong deck. (Remove one suit, say spades, remove tens and jacks, ending with A-9, Q, K on three suits. Add a joker, because random.org only handles suits and ranks as a whole, to act as the fourth wind, and shuffle four decks like that, then draw 14 cards).

Let's say, because these things matter, East 1, 0 honba. (Note: I bought a book some years ago called How Not to Lose at Spades, and it showed me how the same cards required different bits depending of the score, that's why I'm starting with a neutral situation).

If this thing is useless, please say politely, hehe.

Hand 1: 4-crak 6-crak 7-crak 2-dot 3-dot 4-dot 8-dot 8-dot 8-dot 9-dot 5-bam 7-bam green-dra green-dra

Interesting hand with lots of pinfu, and pretty much nicely arranged. Two hatsu. So, go for the quick Hatsu only (ryanshanten), or get rid of them of them of tanpin?

Hand 2: 2-crak 7-crak 3-dot 4-dot 6-dot 8-dot 1-bam 2-bam 3-bam 5-bam 6-bam :west :west white-dra

Hmm. This hand I think it would be insightful, because I don't see a way it can't easily go. The tiles are disperse, and Sha is not a paying wind. How should one go here?

Hand 3: 2-crak 5-crak 6-crak 6-crak 7-crak 2-dot 3-dot 5-dot 6-dot 7-dot 9-bam :east :west green-dra

Another hand where there's no easy way, tanyao seems a bit too far away with three unrelated honors and Chuusou. But the other tiles seem closer together for pinfu. I feel, however, that this hand is not sufficiently different from Hand 2.

Btw, in case it matters, I've drawn a dora indicator, that we can use for all three hands. And I got 9-dot

Well, I dunno. Let's see if this evolves into something useful for people that are still just a bit too new.

Rosti
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Re: More basic strategy requests.

Post by Rosti » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:15 pm

By no means suggesting I'm an expert, but here's what I think I'd do in this situation:

The first hand for me would depend on the scores and round at the time. Unless I was a fair bit behind 1st and it was South round, I'd probably just rush out the obvious quick hand with a pon of green, unless the first few draws were quite nice. Either way the 4 man would be my first discard.

The second hand I'm not sure. Most likely I'd discard the white and try and go for a pinfu hand (assuming the rules being used allow pinfu with a wind pair so long as it's not the wind of the round or the player's wind).

For the final hand, pinfu and tanyao doesn't look like an awful thing to aim for, maybe getting a three colour straight on the 567 chi too. Again, regardless of anything else my first discard would be the West if it wasn't my wind.
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mostek
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Re: More basic strategy requests.

Post by mostek » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:47 pm

personally, I think its best to stay flexible and let the tiles you draw determine which way your hand is going, at least for the first 6-10 draws or so.
But since you mentioned it was the first hand of the east round, sitting as dealer, and none of these hands (except maybe the third) look like they will be turning into monster hands anytime soon, I would probably go for the fastest route possible, grabbing as many dora's with my on my way out and keep the oyaren going as long as possible.

so with that in mind, for the first hand, I would probably throw out the 4-crak pon the green-dra 's and do what I could to use that dora already nicely in my hand. unless I get lucky and a 7-dot falls into my hand, hopefully the person before me will throw a 7-dot and then that 8-dot anko could become my atama, really quick leaving me with tempai, ideally waiting for 5-crak 8-crak.

the second hand, discard the white-dra and try get a pinfu tempai asap, probably the most simple strategy.. if I manage to get a pair with the 2-crak 7-crak or even the 8-dot i might consider throwing away the :west pair and adding tanyao, but probably not as I wouldnt want to risk putting myself in furiten by throwing away a perfectly usable 1-bam. so in most cases with this hand, id most likely go looking for the quickest exit route. Also, this hand is almost definitely a no-stealing hand, and id be torn between reaching and not reaching depending on how fast I got tempai. Is the possibility of losing the chance at a oyaren or worse, locking yourself into a cheap hand and then losing to someone elses monster hand worth an extra 1000 points? ahh but thats a whole 'nother topic, so moving on moving on


the third hand is a little more interesting. with just a touch of luck theres a pretty decent shot at a tanyao san shouku, and if the first few draws are really good, you could potentially turn this unassuming hand into something like a men-tan-pin-sanshouku and throw in a tsumo or even 1 ura dora and you find yourself a oyappane land (18000 points), leaving you pretty much set for the game unless you screw up really bad. and the best part is, you have 4 free throwaway tiles (the 9-bam :east :west green-dra ), in other words, 4 tiles that you can throw away without (almost) any fear of regret. the way I see it, thats 4 guilt free drama free draws right off the bat, and if in those 4 first draws, you manage to get a 5-bam 6-bam or 7-bam , its probably a sign that this hand might be one you want to see through to the bitter end. of course it would have been nicer to have those tiles in your hand from the start.. but c'est la vie, gotta stay positive.. lol. And in anycase, if the draws end up not going your way, (and in all honestly, 9 times out of 10, they probably wont) hey, its only the first hand in the east round. Plenty of time to get your big win.
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Re: More basic strategy requests.

Post by WaveMaster » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:35 pm

OK, I'm wondering one thing. You're sitting at east and you pick 14 tiles. Do you form any idea of where you want your hand to go, and how strong is it?
Yes. How far away from tenpai you are, how many han you think you can get from yaku you think you can get with reasonable draws, and how many dora you have are all indicators of how strong your starting hand is. The first few draws also factor heavily into this. At some point, you will reach a state where you no longer have any worthless tiles (tiles which are nowhere near the rest of your hand), and then newly drawn tiles are unlikely to change your goal for your final hand much. What will change your outlook in the late game is drawing unsafe tiles and trying to work them into your hand.
(Note: I bought a book some years ago called How Not to Lose at Spades, and it showed me how the same cards required different bits depending of the score, that's why I'm starting with a neutral situation).
A brief aside to speak to this. Normally, the score should play in to your thought process. However, this depends on the setting. Think about it like this:
It's the last hand of a game, and you are not sitting East, but someone throws a tile you can ron. Doing so will give you a decent hand (3 han), but is not enough to advance your placement. Do you take it? It doesn't benefit you at all this game, so reasonably you shouldn't. However, you are probably playing online. Winning that hand improves your stats, which may or may not improve your rank, which may or may not be your goal. Online, it's often better for your overall stats to disregard the current score (but not the seat positions). This depends on how much the ranking systems values final placement versus points gained/lost versus not dealing into hands.
Hand 1: 4-crak 6-crak 7-crak 2-dot 3-dot 4-dot 8-dot 8-dot 8-dot 9-dot 5-bam 7-bam green-dra green-dra
This is a somewhat annoying starting hand in my opinion, because of the paired hatsu. You can't use them as the pair for a pinfu hand, so if you leave them as only a pair, you are very likely to end up without any yaku and needing to reach if you want to win. Hands with reach as their only yaku and no dora aren't usually a great idea in my opinion.

On the other hand, turning the hatsu pair into a triplet doesn't buy you a lot either. This hand won't easily become a half-flush or toitoi or something which works well with yakuhai, so if you go for the hatsu triplet, you're likely to still end up with only one yaku. Even worse, if you have to pon the third hatsu then you lose the ability to cut two tiles which are very likely to be safe late game, in exchange for advancing a weak hand.

Having said all that, because I am sitting East, I would probably try to go for the quick win and get to my next bonus round. First tile to go is the 4-crak. After that, wait to draw or call the third green-dra, and then call tiles as needed to get out. One of the nicer features of this hand that doesn't stand out that much, is that if you draw the dora 1-dot, then you can easily bring it into the hand by cutting the 4-dot. If you still have unneeded tiles in your hand (or you are not playing with the rule that prevents you from calling to walk a sequence), then you can do this if the player left of you throws the dora as well.

Likely final hand is 5-crak 6-crak 7-crak 2-dot 3-dot 4-dot 8-dot 8-dot 5-bam 6-bam 7-bam green-dra green-dra green-dra
Hand 2: 2-crak 7-crak 3-dot 4-dot 6-dot 8-dot 1-bam 2-bam 3-bam 5-bam 6-bam :west :west white-dra
I'd say this is the nicest hand of this three. That the paired winds are valueless is a boon for you, because it means you have a shot at pinfu with them, and you won't be tempted to pon them. You're two away from tenpai, which means you have a decent shot at getting to tenpai to reach before you enter the late game. The only major problem is either drawing the 7-dot to complete that middle wait, or getting a double-sided wait somewhere else. First tile to discard would be white-dra.

As with the first hand, if you complete the 3-dot 4-dot by drawing 2-dot, then later you can bring the dora into your hand if you draw it.

In both this hand and the first hand, I'd keep my on the possibility of walking sequences towards sanshoku in order to sneak in the possibility of an extra yaku.

Likely final hand is 3-dot 4-dot 5-dot 6-dot 7-dot 8-dot 1-bam 2-bam 3-bam 4-bam 5-bam 6-bam :west :west
Hand 3: 2-crak 5-crak 6-crak 6-crak 7-crak 2-dot 3-dot 5-dot 6-dot 7-dot 9-bam :east :west green-dra
This hand is only 3 away from tenpai, so it's pretty decent as well. There's an opportunity to bring a dora into the hand if you draw it, which is good. I've mentioned this with all three hands so far, because I feel it's an important consideration when you play. In the late game, if I'm tenpai, I always ask myself, "If I draw a dora now, can I work it into my hand? If not, do I have to abandon this hand, or am I confident enough to cut it?" Being able to bring it into your hand without slowing down means you don't have to worry about the harder follow-up question.

The 5-crak 6-crak 6-crak 7-crak formation is very useful, because there are 4 tiles you can draw that will turn it into a completed sequence and a double ended wait. One of those possibilities will give you an extra yaku for ipeko, and even if you don't get that at first, you may be able to walk a sequence towards ipeko later.

After that, you just need to pair some other tile and you can shoot for pinfu and reach. If the tile you pair is the 2-crak, then you also have a decent shot at tanyao. If you miss tanyao only because you draw 1-dot instead of 4-dot, then you don't lose out on any han thanks to the dora.

One aside for this hand is that I would probably hold on to the :east for the first few turns, to see if I could pair it before any other copies are cut. If so, then I have a shot at double East, which is a pretty nice 2 han for not a lot of work.

Likely final hand is: 2-crak 2-crak 4-crak 5-crak 6-crak 6-crak 7-crak 8-crak 2-dot 3-dot 4-dot 5-dot 6-dot 7-dot

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