Ch. 3: The Goal
(Originally published Wednesday, February 28, 2007)
The most important part of the game is knowing what you gotta do. Here is The Goal of Reach Mahjong. This is your destination for all winning hands.
Each hand in play consists of 13 tiles
Hand in Play
And a winning hand contains 14 tiles.
Players must make 4 groups of 3 and one set of 2. These groups consist of Sets and Runs
A Set is a group of tiles that are identical. Groups can consist of 3 or 4 tiles. Sets of 3 of a kind are often referred to as “Pungs”, we will borrow the poker term and call them “Trips” (short for triples)
You may also use 4 of a kind groups are often referred to as “Kongs”. Again, we like to use English terms, so we will call them “Quads”.
In Reach Mahjong, a Group of 3 is only referred to as a Pung if the third tile is taken from someone else”s discard, so we will call them Trips. There is only one word for Quads (which is Kan in Asian languages), so we will call them concealed or open Quads, depending on if the 4th tile was stolen or drawn. Since there are 4 of each type of tile, any tile can become part of a Set. Make sure your Sets contain IDENTICAL tiles!!! No mixing of suits, winds or dragons
(No mixing Dragons)
(No mixing Winds)
(No mixing Suits)
A Run consists of 3 tiles that are sequential in number. For this reason only Bamboos, Grands and Dots can become part of Straights
A Straight can only contain 3 tiles and all tiles must be the same suit. 1 and 9 cannot be used together
(No mixing Suits)
(No wraparounds from 9-1)
(No skipping numbers in sequence)
So there are only 7 possible combinations for Runs in each suit.
All possible Bam Runs
A Run of 6 becomes 2 separate Runs
Run of 6
A run of 9 becomes 3 separate Runs
Run of 9
Each hand requires one Pair called the “Head” or the “Eyes”. The Head must consist of 2 identical tiles. Any tile may become part of the Head unless specific Hand Point rules specify differently
Since a hand in play only has 13 tiles, a hand that is Ready (one-away) will be missing a tile in one of its sets.
A finished hand will contain 4 sets of three (Groups or Runs) and 1 pair.
Now that you know where you”re going, go to Ch. 4: The Play to find out how to get there!!