Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan)

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Ozball
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Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan)

Post by Ozball » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:41 pm

So I've got an in-store East-Only tournament coming up this weekend and it's got me thinking about the two standard modes of play for 4 player Mahjong and how to approach them. So I'm curious as to what other people think about the topic:

(Note these questions are assuming "standard" rules that you see in a lot of computer games, and parlours. So Ippatsu, Uradora, and red 5s are all included)


Should the two modes be approached differently? If so, how?

Which do you prefer and why?



Personally I prefer East-South. In East-Only it feels like you have less room for error, and that one unlucky uradora could screw you up for the whole game. While this can happen in East-South as well, there is more time to recover if it happens early.

As for approaching them differently... This is something I've been trying to figure out for the better part of the last month as I've struggled with my inconsistent performances at both MFC (East-South) and the No-Rate parlour I go to regularly (East-Only). I half remember a comment by Garthe on the podcast once, saying something along the lines of: in East-Only you don't really have time to play defense since the game is so short, so you might as well just got for it each hand. To me this suggests that the two modes should be approached differently, with East-Only favouring a more attacking style while East-South favouring a more balanced style. But then how do you deal with dangerous reaches by other players in East-Only? In reality you're of course not going to be able to go for it EVERY hand, but it beg's the question: How bad does a East-Only hand have to be before you give up on it?

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by jespernohr » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:53 am

I prefer East-South for the exact same reason you state yourself. The is more room to even out the luck factor.


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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by or2az » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:00 pm

I also prefer hanchans. I average 11 hands per game and feel that this is enough time to recuperate from an early bad hand or two, although I don't seem to think of it in terms of luck. Take your latest WWYD of 3/27. East round, 3rd hand, down 6000 pts. If this was a hanchan, I might be content going for the open tanyao quick win. Its early, another round to go, chip away at the lead, lots of time left, stay dealer, stay calm. In tonpuusen, stay concealed, pinfu reach, need that dora, not many hands left, be careful defensively, need those points now, another blow could be fatal.
Naturally, it doesn't always work.
It's similar to a track meet. There's a limit to how far you can stay behind the leader in a 1/4 mile race before you decide to make a move and pass him up and go for the win, whereas in a mile race, you can stay behind longer, at a comfortable distance, pace yourself, and have lots of time to decide when to make your move.
Naturally, this doesn't always work. (although it usually did for me)
Conversely, you could get the early lead in a tonpuusen in which case you would probably play defense the same way you would in a hanchan. Try not to get ronned and stay ahead of the person behind you. I dont' think I could start to make "drastic" changes to my style of play under actual game conditions.
I would feel like I didn't give it my best shot, especially if the different choices I make backfire on me.
Since I only play video games, I might be looking at this differently. I only see computer opponents, non-human entities, and I do my best not to let the machine win.
Do you say, "what do I have to do to beat my opponent?" or, "what do I have to do to not let my opponent beat me?"
These are not always the exact same thing. Hope this makes some sense.

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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by zzo38 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:53 pm

I prefer East and South round. Not only, is even out the luck factor, but also, in East round, the dealer has a double wind, but in South round, someone else has, so you have both ways.

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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by or2az » Wed May 27, 2015 9:02 am

It's been over a year since ozball brought up this topic and in all that time, I have played nothing but hanchans. I would estimate that of the 4000 games I have played on the Kiwame app, maybe 1% were tonpuusen, so my style of play naturally became suited for hanchans, if there's a difference.
Lately, I have been experimenting with east-round only games and I was wondering if there are certain strategies that should be altered slightly for the shorter game, things like calling riichi, playing defense, open vs concealed hands, going for the quick win, folding, etc, etc, or...... do you just play the game the same way.
I have re-read the few comments above, including my own, but that was back when I didn't have a whole lot of experience. Hopefully, I'm a little smarter now.
Maybe there's no difference in strategy. Do YOU approach them differently?

Incidentally, if anyone is interested in statistics covering these 4000 games.......viewtopic.php?f=5&t=48440#p57100

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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by Archon_Wing » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:10 pm

East only is basically like playing short stacked in poker. Bad players (like myself) have less opportunities to screw up, thus they have a better chance. For example, let's say I never defended and I hit a lucky mangan in the first round if we play a hanchan. The chances that I lose my points back increases greatly. But in a East Only game, I might just be able to get away with it. You won't get to utilize your skill edge against me. So If I feel I were outmatched, I would definitely not do a hanchan against someone. I was considering if I could climb the Dan rooms on my new Tenhou account by just doing East only and just gambling but those games seem to be very few in the dan room; probably for good reason.

Of course, this has to be looked in terms of practicality. Surely if we played 100 rounds, it would come down more likely to skill, but most people don't have the time to do that.



And yes, obviously the strategy is different. Basically, just imagine you're already in the South round. "Snipe" attacks with damaten and NOT going for marginal renchans (say winning 1500 pt hands on your east when you already have 35k) can take precedence over trying to build up a decent lead-- in fact if you have East with a big lead, I would purposefully be no-ten because the extra round could hurt you if someone pulls a big tsumo and it can be entirely out of your control. Remember, you only have to cross over 30k unless someone does it too, so why aim so high?

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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by zzo38 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:55 pm

Do you consider a "standard" rule if in south round (only) the deal never passes after a draw?

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Re: Discussion: East-Only (Tonpuusen) vs East-South (Hanchan

Post by or2az » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:31 am

I don't think there is a standard rule regarding renchan.
In my game, the default rule is that the seat-winds do not move when the dealer wins or is tenpai in a draw.
This applies to both rounds and I play accordingly.
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However, rule variations can change the conditions for renchan.
1) Sometimes the dealer only gets a continuance if they win and not in a draw
2) Sometimes the dealer gets a continuance on a win or any draw
3) Sometimes the dealer gets a continuance for a win or a tenpai draw during the east round but in the south round, the draw can be Nō-ten.
I hope I've stated this correctly.
This is explained more fully in Barts guide on Page 47.

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