Almost done! The plan for the next two columns is to cover the rest of the hands I haven’t covered so far. Don’t worry, these won’t be my last hand columns ever, but I do want to give every hand at least some representation out there before going back to review more common hands. Because I’ve generally been progressing from the common to the rare, one would be correct to assume that there won’t be many opportunities to see these hands. And the fact that limit hands are left in this group shouldn’t be too surprising either. Even their little brothers are quite unusual too. Today let’s take a look at Double Reach (seen it, done it, it’s possible), Instant Win (I’ve heard it’s possible), and next time we’ll do 3 Kongs (theoretically possible), and 4 Kongs (just not possible).
I return this week to more hands that it may be a while before you ever get to see in the field. You may wonder why you should even bother remembering such hands if the possibility of finishing them is really so small. Indeed, they may not get finished often, but they will still have an impact, even when they aren't finished. The reason is that they tend to be nearly impossible to finished concealed; after a couple bumps, everyone already has a pretty good idea of where the hand is headed and will be very careful with tiles that are likely to finish the hand. I give to you All Terminals and its little brother All Terminals and Honors.
Had a hard time deciding where to put today's column. It was originally just a response to Gemma's column, but then it was getting so long, it seemed like it might just be better to put it in with the columns. Hope I'm not stealing any of your thunder there, Gemma.
A little tired of reading about hands that you can only dream about? Well before we finish our tour of Fantasy Island (That would be the group of Limit Hands), how about if we return to a hand you'll see almost every other hand or so, Peace. There's a disturbing lack of it in the world today. But at least we can click our tiles together and make a little of it at the Mahjong table. It's second only to Reach and maybe Value tiles, at least in my statistics, so it's definitely something to think about working into your game.
Let's have some fun today. Well, dream a little anyway. I've covered nearly all the hands in Reach Mahjong at least once now and that includes the vast majority of the hands that you will ever see in your Mahjong careers even if you should decide to play 20 hours a day for the next 10 years. Limit hands are like Straight Flushes in Poker: they only happen once every few thousand hands or so (OK, I picked that number out of a nether area, anyone have an exact number?), but they're still fun to think about and even go for when opportnity knocks. Taking a look at my Fight Club statistics, the only sort of extensive statistics I have, I've played 359 "Competition Rules" games which probably average around 10-12 hands per game for a total of around say 4000 hands; in all of that, I have a grand total of 3 limit hands, Big Dragons twice and 4 Concealed Triples once. I've played 1501 East Round games which probably average between 5 and 6 hands per game and in that total of say 8000 hands again there are only 3 Limit hands, this time all 13 Orphans. So those 3 are the types of limit hands that actually do come out on occasion. Today, I figured I'd introduce a few so rare I've never actually even seen them: 9 Treasures, All Green, and Big Wheels.