Part 3 of Shin’s Eye. Make sure you check out the previous installments! Today I want to continue to talk about opponents who are intermediate or higher and the signals that may unwittingly reveal their hands.
Intermediate players and above don’t like to think that they’re bad at Mahjong and can act very proud. They’ll throw their tiles with purpose to show their opponents that they know what they’re doing and they meant to do it.
For example, an opponent may look ready, but our confident player also has a good hand. He’ll draw a dangerous tile but will decide to discard it but will do so with increased speed and purpose (this is against manners). The following tiles will also be discarded quicker. As far as he’s concerned, he’s thinking “I have a good reason for throwing this dangerous tile. I should show this. I don’t want the other players to think that I’m a beginner and don’t know that it’s a dangerous tile.” However, this sort of play may make another player think, “Perhaps he’s showing me that he has a high hand. I should be careful not to throw to him. Or if there is a chance, I should ron no matter how cheap my hand is.” This will be a disadvantage to our confident player as his opponents change their strategies.
Or even worse, one of our confident player’s opponents may call a discarded white dragon when no other dragons are out. Our player will behave as I just described (this is the important point) and discard the green dragon soon after (with purpose). When the player that called for the first white dragon calls for this green dragon, our confident player will nod.
By doing this, he is basically telling everyone that he has the red dragons in his hand. If they are a fairly experienced player, they would be careful of a Three Big Dragons hand. If he didn’t have the red dragons, he would have been much warier of the green dragon and it would make the hand much tougher.
Of course, the person who called for the white and green dragons, could have only had a maximum of one red dragon. From the confident player’s reactions he would be able to see that he should give up on Small Three Dragons. Perhaps he would not call the green dragon at all and instead change his hand. Through this, the other two players would be able to confirm that Big Three Dragons was not in play, and although they may be wary of the player who threw the green dragon, they would proceed with their own hands.
This is pretty high-level play, (of course, giving away hints like that is against the rules), but the majority of intermediate players will behave pompously to their detriment.
Beating people who behave like this is easy with theory. Please, don’t be one of those proud players!