Shin’s Eye

Another installment from Shin! This one is a bit complicated… Hold on…. Our next example is the psychology of a player that is revealed through their discards.

For example,

It’s their second draw and their hand looks like this.

(Yay! I’m close to winning already. Heh heh)

What should the player discard?
There is no difference in the risk between 5 and ⑤. But the vast majority of people will discard the 5. Why?

So in their second and third draws they’ll discard 5 and 5, they’ll draw 一 or 四 and reach. They will have easily have reached their hand and be waiting for 1 or 4. They believe that one of their opponents are sure to drop a 1 or 4 because it looks safe from the discards. Or at least that’s what they THINK is going to happen…

This is a camouflage technique. What I mean by “camouflage” is that if, for example, a lot of character tiles are discarded, then players believe it is more likely for their opponents to discard in this area.

In the past, if a player had 2233 and discarded 2 and 3 to wait on 1 and 4, this would b camouflage. However, this technique is so standard and the risk of 1 and 4 is well understood so this is no longer an effective camouflage.

Let’s get back to our example. Subconsciously (believing this to be their tactic) a lot of players will choose to discard the 5.

In other words, humans tend to similar behavior I guess.

I think it’s because we unconsciously think that we think the same as others. So why don’t we discard ⑤ instead of 5? If you have opponents who don’t think like the ones in this article, then you’ll win easily. In other words, the important thing is not to attack but to field. You can’t just discard a 5 and a 5 to make your opponents think 1 and 4 are safe. It just won’t work. In mahjong you have to think outside of the box.

A player could know it’s dangerous but discard the tile to take a risk as they have a dangerous hand. Or perhaps they’ll think that it’s safe and discard it. You just can’t chance it!

I only really got to touch on this topic and what I’ve discussed isn’t even the absolute truth! However, I hope that it all expanded your ideas on mahjong.

Thank you for reading my article! To leave you with food for thought…

“In life and in mahjong, people can take the same route and do the same thing but still not win. Players need to understand this and find their opponents blindspots if they are to find victory.”

Until next time!

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