This is an exciting year for riichi fans! The World Riichi Championship is almost upon us!
And with it… Controversy! Check out the comments sections of MahjongNews.com if you want to read the conflicting opinions. It’s very interesting.
Forgive me if I sound excited about that aspect. But I am. It means people are caring about this awesome game.
One of the ‘controversies’ that did surprise me was that players are requested to be able to score without a score sheet. I actually did not anticipate this request to be as revolutionary as it seems to be.
The main crux of the problem seems to be that people don’t think it’s possible for mere amateurs to learn that scoring sheet. Let me dispel that myth. Of course it’s possible. You just need to put a little bit of time in to it.
If you think it’s unreasonable that you’re asked to learn the scoring table… I’m sorry but you’re wrong. If you want to play a game to any proficiency, you have to know the basic rules of that game. Scoring is fairly basic. It is not unreasonable.
The other complaint I’ve heard is that people don’t think there is any value in learning this. I’m afraid I vehemently disagree with you. There is so much value and it will improve your game.
If you’re looking to jump a place towards the end, there is no point risking your neck to make a 3 yaku 50 fu hand when a safe 2 yaku 40 fu hand will achieve the same end. How will you know this? By having a good understanding of the scoring sheet.
So… Now I’ve pushed my unsolicited opinion, how do I think you can do this? I don’t have a hard and fast rule. It depends how your brain works. I’ve heard some people like to know the math behind it. Others just brute force it into their heads. I’m the latter.
What I would recommend is starting by learning the 20, 30 and 40 fu lines. You’ll be able to score the vast majority of hands then. Once those are in your head, the rest will start to follow a pattern of sorts. And if you do get a 90 fu hand in the meantime, no decent person is going to roll their eyes if you want to check.
I guarantee it will improve your game and when we finally welcome Japanese players to our shores, they will appreciate the level that we’re playing at.