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Illegal riichi situation

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:08 pm
by or2az
During our latest mahjong game, one of the ladies in my group called riichi and placed her stick down. A few turns later, she realized she was in error and was not in riichi. Since we didnt want to be mean, we allowed her to continue playing as a "dead" hand, discarding each tile she drew from the wall, and she eventually tossed the winning tile to an opponent and paid the value of the winning hand.

I know (Barts guide) that according to the rules,
"If a player declares Riichi and either they win the hand or it ends in a draw then they must display their hand of tiles to show that they "reached" legally with a Tenpai hand. If the hand is seen to be Nōten (unready) they must pay Chombo for Nōten Riichi."

Two questions:
1) Since she revealed her error before the end of the hand, and continued as a "dead hand", could she have been allowed to discard any tile in her hand, instead of the one she drew from the wall, since she was not actually in riichi?

2) If the illegal riichi was not revealed and she ended up dealing into an opponent's hand for the win, which she did, are we entitled to see her tiles (discovering the illegal riichi hence a chombo), or does she just pay the winner the value of the winning hand (and thus the illegal riichi goes unnoticed).
I ask this because if player A deals into the winner, player B, I don't believe that player C, who called riichi, has to reveal his hand since (according to the rules) he didn't win or end up in a draw. Hence, if the riichi was illegal, how would we know?

I don't see this as being an end of the world problem, but they are asking me, so I'm asking you.

Re: Illegal riichi situation

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:10 pm
by Shirluban
A player has to reveal his/her hand in only two situations:
- she wins
- the hand ends in a draw, and she declares to be tenpai.
In both cases she still can refuse to show her hand, but then she'll get a penalty (false win without showing -> dead hand ; noten-riichi -> chonbo).

She should not disclose being noten-riichi in the first place.
The noten-riichi status is only checked when the player reveals her hand, NOT mid-game.

"we allowed her to continue playing as a "dead" hand"
That's the only way to go. There's no reason to end the game at this point.

"could she have been allowed to discard any tile in her hand"
No, since was still in riichi.

"she ended up dealing into an opponent's hand for the win"
Riichi or not, you don't have to see her hand, and neither other player's hand, so you can't apply the penalty.

Re: Illegal riichi situation

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:20 am
by Referee
Yeah, the penalty is big, but it's there to discourage intentional false riichi. Of course, I understand the situation with your fellow player was not an intentional false riichi, but an inadvertant one. In this case, as shirluban said, you took the best option. If this is a very friendly play group, which I think it is, you may want to house rule a chonbo value of half the standard value, or something like that.

In that case, it would only be discovered in the cases already mentioned. A declared false win, or an exhaustive draw. She can't declare nouten at the end, because the riichi declaration says she's tenpai. And when she reveals the hand there, then she gets the penalty. In the situation above I'd say she got enough of a penalty by having to pay the winning hand, which she could have avoided without the erroneous declaration.

With respect to your other question, you are in riichi if you declare riichi. Your tiles don't matter. If you said riichi and put a stick there, you have to abide by the riichi limitations. It's interesting enough that although the rules don't say anything about a dead hand for a noutenriichi, the consequences of the rules are basically that. You have to discard what you draw (because riichi) and you can't make any call (again, because riichi) or declare any win (because there's no winning tile).