Konno’s Kolumn #7: Quads

Hello Mahjong players of the world. This is Shintaro Konno. Today I want to talk about Quads (kan).

First of all, let me introduce the types of Quad. There are 3 types:

1. Concealed Quad

2. Add-a-Quad

3. Open Quad

Let’s start with number 1, the Concealed Quad. You can declare this when there are four of the exact same tile in your hand. Something like this:


Draw: north

You had 3 North tiles and drew the fourth one, so you can declare a Concealed Quad. You don’t have to declare this quad right away though. This fourth North tile is also a safe tile, so you may discard it right away, or discard the 9-bams first and calculate when would be best to declare the quad.


Draw: 6b

In this situation (Add-a-Quad) you also drew the fourth 6-bam, but you don’t have to declare a quad right away. With quads there are good points and bad points.

The third type of quad, Open Quad, is possible when you have three of a certain tile in your hand and the fourth one is discarded.


Discarded: red

As I wrote above, with quads there are pro’s and con’s. Let’s go over those.

Quad Pro’s

1. Increased Base Points

2. Increase Lucky Tiles/Dora

3. Increase number of immediate draws with supplementary tile

4. With Ready hands you can aim for the King’s Tile Win (rinshan)

5. For show

I am half-joking about number 5, but if you find yourself in a situation where you have 4 Lucky Tiles/dora, but your Ready is still far away, you can show off how many dora you have and let your opponents fold to you.

Quad Con’s

1. Opponents can use the new Lucky Tiles/Dora

2. The quad tiles cannot be changed or used, so your hand is smaller and it’s more difficult to adapt to other players

3. Add-a-Quad may result in a win for your opponent

4. Open quads ruin your hand if it was concealed before that

When I write it like this, the pro’s seem to out-weigh the con’s by a long shot for aggressive play and the con’s seem to promote more defensive play. So we can conclude that declaring quad is a move used more for offense.


Draw: east Lucky Tile/Dora: 1b

Let’s say that you had this hand on the third draw of a hand. I see many players quad this right away, and get stuck when their opponent declares Reach on their next discard. If you hadn’t quadded, East could have been a safe discard and there would be no extra Lucky Tiles/Dora. Maybe your opponent wouldn’t have even Reached…

Of course, there is a small chance that the hand may have turned out like this:


Reach/Self-Draw: 9d Quad Lucky Tile/Dora: east Hidden Lucky Tiles/Dora: east

If you learn how to quad effectively, your Mahjong will improve another level.

Until next time.

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