Delicious Sanshoku – Garthe’s Back!

Greetings, Happy New Year, long time no write and all that!

Yes it’s been a while since I’ve written here at I’ve been slogging it out in the trenches, trying to figure out how the heck to play this silly game and I think I may finally have some new insights to share with you.

It really is a silly game, a ridiculous way to spend nearly half of my waking hours. Even a sizable share of my non-waking ones too.

But as I become more and more entrenched in this silliness, as I suspect some of you are too, let me try to share some OTHER insights. Hopefully they will be more useful in our continued pursuit of this silliness.

How have I grown since we last spoke? Well, I like crap more. 3 Colored Crap, er, 3 Colored Runs, Sanshoku, whatever that infernal hand is called. Regular readers may remember my disdain for this hand which generally stemmed from the fact that going for it often results in disappointment: the opposite side of the run will come from the side that would have completed the same run in all three suits. In fact, if you are waiting on an openended straight to complete your hand and 3 Colored Runs, there will generally be a 50% chance that you’ll win on the wrong tile. Disappointment half the time!!

Well, let’s not be glass is half empty types. That means the other half is successful, no? And for 2 extra hand points, the effort spent preparing for the chance is well rewarded when it does come. (In addition to the fact that winning those other hands shouldn’t be so disappointing either. Man am I a cynic!)

Let’s look at a hand I had in league last Sunday, pretty much the only bright spot in the whole session. Early on I had some combination of 4s 5s and 6s in all three suits and was thinking I might have a shot at Sanshoku. When the 6 (dora) came in characters things were starting to look good. But then the 7 came in dots and it seemed like it just wasn’t meant to be when I got to ready with this hand:

I didn’t reach because I was still thinking there might after all be some way to finesse the 456 when I next drew another Wait a second here. 567!!! Switching out one of the extra s now makes 3 Colored Runs possible if I draw the It was already pretty late in the hand so I didn’t reach and what should my very next tile be but that very !

Wooohooo 3000/6000 and a great start as it was the first hand of that game. Much neato-er than if I had just plowed straight ahead and gotten 1300/2600 without 3 Colored Runs.

So the lesson here is that 3 Colored Runs won’t always just come in order. You often have to change completed runs in your hand to aim for it, and you may even have to change which 3 Colored Runs you shoot for when the unexpected comes. Remember to stay flexible, keep re-evaluating what you’re aiming for with each new draw and prepare for some occasional disappointment. But there will also be rapturous joy too.

Mmmmm, Sanshoku.

PS. “Shoku” means food in Japanese. Ok, ok, different shoku. But, whatever.

RM on Social