Active Help/Mahjong Rules

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Mahjong Rules

Patch = 4.5

Quest = Every Little Thing She Does Is Mahjong

1. Introduction
Doman mahjong is a game for four players. The following guide covers the basic rules.

2. What is Doman Mahjong?

In Doman mahjong, players race to complete a winning hand of 14 tiles, with points awarded for speed and difficulty of the hand. Players begin with 13 tiles and draw a new tile each turn. They must then choose a tile to discard: either the new tile or one of the tiles in their hand. The player to the right then takes a turn, and the process is repeated until the end of the hand.

The first player to complete a winning hand is awarded points. A total of eight hands are played in a full match and four in a quick match, and the player who finishes with the most points is declared the winner. Here is an example of a winning hand:

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The 14 tiles form four groups of three tiles and one pair of matching tiles. A group of tiles is known as a “meld,” and the various types are explained in this guide. The combination of melds determines the difficulty of the hand and the points awarded when winning.

3. The Tiles

Mahjong tiles are divided into “number tiles” and “honor tiles.”

■ Number Tiles There are three suits of number tiles, each ranging from 1 to 9.


086002.png ■ Honor Tiles There are two suits of honor tiles: the four wind tiles and the three dragon tiles. Unlike number tiles, they appear in no particular sequence, and therefore cannot be used to form straights. They can only form melds with identical tiles.

086003.png There are 34 varieties of tile, with four of each for a total of 136.

Players aim to form a winning hand of 14 tiles before the other players and earn as many points as possible.

4. Forming Melds

■ Straights Number tiles may form straights such as 2, 3, 4 or 4, 5, 6, provided the tiles are all in the same suit. However, sequences such as 8, 9, 1 or 9, 1, 2 are not permitted.

086004.png ■ Triplets Number tiles and honor tiles can also form matching triplets with identical tiles.

086005.png A winning hand consists of 14 tiles and requires four melds and one matching pair.

※There are special combinations that ignore this particular rule, but beginners should focus on learning the basic hands first.


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5. Order of Play

Each of the four players begins with 13 tiles, and the dealer─who is chosen automatically─plays first. That player draws one new tile and chooses one tile to discard. This may either be the new tile or one from their hand. Once that player has discarded a tile, the player to the right takes a turn. This process is repeated until the end of the hand. The hand ends when a player calls a winning hand. The hand also ends if all of the tiles are drawn with no player calling a winning hand.

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At the start of a new hand, the role of dealer passes to the player on the right. In a full match, a round consists of eight hands, during which time the role of dealer passes around the board twice. The player with the highest score at the end of the round is declared the winner. In a quick match, only four hands are played.

6. Points for a Winning Hand

Each player begins the game with 25,000 points, which increase when calling a winning hand. However, points may be deducted when another player calls a winning hand.

A winning hand can be formed in one of two ways:

1. Tsumo: When a tile is drawn When a winning hand is formed with a tile drawn by the player, the point value is calculated, and each of the other three players pays this point cost. If the dealer calls a winning hand, the point value is increased by 50%. If the dealer has to pay another player, they must pay double.

086008.png 2. Ron: When another player discards a tile If a player discards a tile that allows another player to form a winning hand, only the player that discarded the tile must pay. When the dealer forms a winning hand in this manner, the point value is increased by 50%. However, if the dealer is the player who discarded the tile, only the standard amount is paid.

086009.png The dealer has the advantage of earning 50% more points from a winning hand.

In addition, when a dealer calls the winning hand, the role of dealer does not pass to the next player, thus giving the dealer an opportunity to score even more points.

7. Yaku, Required for a Winning Hand

As mahjong revolves around scoring as many points as possible, it is important to know the difference between low-scoring and high-scoring hands. The value of a hand is determined by “yaku”─specific combinations of melds. The value of each yaku is measured in “han,” with 6 han being the highest and 1 han the lowest. The harder the yaku is to form, the more han it is worth. The han value of the hand is used to calculate the number of points awarded. Points are awarded as follows:

1 Han 1,000 Points
2 Han 2,000 Points
3 Han 3,900 Points
4 Han 8,000 Points
5 Han 8,000 Points
6 Han 12,000 Points
7 Han 12,000 Points
8 Han 16,000 Points
9 Han 16,000 Points
10 Han 16,000 Points
11 Han 24,000 Points
12 Han 24,000 Points
13 Han and higher 32,000 Points

In certain situations, further calculations are involved which may lead to point increases. As yaku are used to calculate the points earned, a winning hand must contain at least one yaku.

Although a winning hand normally requires four melds and a matching pair, this alone does not constitute a winning hand.

8. Basic Yaku

There are many types of yaku, but we recommend learning these basic yaku first: ■ Tanyao Only number tiles from 2 to 8 are used. The hand cannot contain any honor tiles or tiles numbered 1 or 9.

086010.png ■ All Pon Four matching triplets and a matching double.

086011.png ■ Pure Straight Contains numbers 1 to 9 of the same suit. Presented as three triplets of 1, 2, 3, then 4, 5, 6, and 7, 8, 9.

086012.png ■ Mixed Triple Chi The same straight, for example, 1, 2, 3, in each suit.

086013.png ■ Half Flush Number tiles from a single suit plus honor tiles.

086014.png ■ Full Flush Only number tiles from one suit.

086015.png

Please refer to the Lodestone for a full list of yaku and other useful information.

9. Riichi Yaku

A special condition known as “riichi” makes it easier to form a yaku.

086016.png The hand in the diagram only requires a 3 or a 6 of Dots to form a winning hand. When a player is one tile away from a winning hand, riichi may be declared. When the hand is ready for declaring riichi, the player will have the option to do so before discarding a tile. In the case shown in the diagram, if the declaring player receives a 3 or a 6 of Dots, whether the tile is drawn by the player or discarded by another player, a winning hand can be called. After declaring riichi, that player can no longer put drawn tiles into their hand. Any tiles drawn will automatically be discarded until a tile that completes the winning hand is obtained. However, a winning hand achieved through riichi is a yaku in itself. Therefore, the player does not need to have formed any other yaku to complete a winning hand.

180501.png ■ Properties of Riichi  1. The player's hand automatically becomes a yaku, regardless of whether it contains any other yaku.  2. The other players know that the one declaring riichi is one tile away from a winning hand.  3. The declaring player cannot replace any of the tiles in their hand.

 4. The declaring player must pay 1,000 points─indicated with a point stick placed in the center of the table─which go to the winner of the hand.

10. Yaku Tiles

The honor tiles offer another method for forming a yaku.

086017.png A triplet of any of these three tiles forms a yaku.

086018.png The wind tiles can be used to form a yaku in a similar fashion, although certain conditions apply. ■ Round-specific Conditions A game of Doman mahjong is divided into eight hands. The first round, in which the role of dealer passes to each player once, is called “East.” A triplet of east wind tiles forms a yaku in this round. The second round, “South,” allows a yaku to be formed with a triplet of south wind tiles. ■ Seat-specific Conditions Each player is assigned a “seat wind” according to their seating position in relation to the dealer.

 Dealer = East  Dealer's right = South  Opposite the dealer = West  Dealer's left = North

The seat wind for each player changes counterclockwise in this order: East, South, West, North. (This layout differs from the standard compass directions.) A triplet of wind tiles with the current seat wind forms a yaku. The seat wind rotates together with the role of dealer, and players have a chance to easily form a yaku by paying attention to their seat wind marker.

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11. Pon and Chi

It is difficult to form a winning hand relying solely on drawn tiles. However, tiles discarded by other players can be claimed by using “pon” and “chi.” ■ Pon If you have a pair of matching tiles, when another player discards a tile that can be used to form a triplet, you may call pon to claim the tile.

180503.png ■ Chi Calling chi allows you to claim a number tile discarded by another player and complete a straight. However, it can only be called for the player whose turn comes before yours.

180504.png Although pon and chi allow you to form a winning hand more quickly, there are some drawbacks. ■ Drawback 1: Revealing Your Hand Using pon or chi to form a triplet or straight will cause it to be revealed to the other players. In addition, you can no longer use those tiles for any other melds. This can lead to missing opportunities to form better hands as a result of having those tiles locked into a triplet or straight. ■ Drawback 2: Preventing Riichi It is not possible to declare riichi after using pon or chi. Due to being unable to form a riichi yaku, you must find a way to form a different yaku. There are also certain yaku that can only be formed on the condition that you have not used pon or chi, so these will also become unavailable. In some cases, pon and chi will limit your ability to score points.

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12. Dora Bonuses

In each hand, certain tiles are selected as “dora” and will grant bonus han simply for being included in a winning hand. While dora apply han bonuses, they are not in themselves yaku, so a yaku must be formed in order to take advantage of dora. ■ Dora A dora tile is randomly selected at the start of each hand and is displayed throughout.

180506.png ■ Aka Dora Each suit contains four number 5 tiles. One of these four is colored red, and is known as the “aka dora.” Simply including an aka dora adds one bonus han to a winning hand. There are three aka dora in total, one for each suit. ■ Ura Dora When calling a winning hand after declaring riichi, the “ura dora” is revealed. This is only shown after the winning hand has been called and is nothing more than a surprise bonus, although it provides added incentive to try declaring riichi.


■Dora Indicator Settings There are two settings for the dora indicator:

Doman Mahjong: The dora indicator is the same as the tile that applies the dora bonus. Traditional: The dora indicator is the tile below that which applies the dora bonus.

This setting can be toggled in the settings for Doman Mahjong, under Gold Saucer in the Character menu.

13. Kan

Since there are four of each tile, it is possible to collect all four. This is known as “kan.” Although kan is not in itself a yaku, it awards additional bonuses when calculating the points earned by a winning hand. Kan also increases the number of dora, which may offer further advantages. Similarly to pon and chi, calling kan locks those tiles, preventing them from being replaced or used in other melds.

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14. Learn by Playing

Doman mahjong is a complex game even once you have learned all of the rules. However, many of the actions normally carried out by players themselves are performed automatically, so feel free to head to the tables and try your luck without worrying about the less important details. Why not start at the novices' table?

Once you have a grasp of the basics, you may wish to challenge other adventurers via the Duty Finder. For details on the more advanced rules, please refer to the guide on the Lodestone.

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NPC Matches

The Gold Saucer offers games against novice, intermediate, and advanced opponents. It is also possible to challenge these opponents while waiting for a party in the Duty Finder. However, the game will be abandoned if the Duty Finder matches you with a party and you choose to enter the duty.

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Player Matches

You may challenge other players to matches via the Gold Saucer tab in the Duty Finder.

■ Novice Mahjong (Ranked) This match type is immediately available. After registering as a solo player, you will be matched against other players. Your performance will affect your rating.  1st: +30 points 2nd: +15 points 3rd: No change  4th: 2nd kyu or higher, -10 points The higher your rank, the more points are lost when finishing 4th.

■ Advanced Mahjong (Ranked) Only players ranked 1st dan or higher can register. After registering as a solo player, you will be matched against other players. Ratings are affected as follows:  1st: +60 points 2nd: +15 points 3rd: No change  4th: -30 points The higher your rank, the more points are lost when finishing 4th.

■ Four-player Mahjong (Kuitan enabled) You must form a party of four players to begin the match. Ratings and ranks are not affected. ※The kuitan rule allows tanyao yaku to be used after calling pon or chi.

■ Four-player Mahjong (Kuitan disabled) You must form a party of four players to begin the match. Ratings and ranks are not affected. ※Playing with kuitan disabled prevents tanyao yaku from being used after calling pon or chi.


■ Rules ・Each player has a certain amount of time to take their turn. A tile will be discarded automatically if that player fails to act within the time limit. This time limit does not apply to four-player mahjong (kuitan enabled/disabled). ・A time limit applies to the period between hands. In addition, if a single hand lasts more than 80 minutes, the following hand will be the last one played. Once that hand ends, the game ends, final placements are decided, and the results are recorded. ・Each game has a time limit of 120 minutes, after which the game will end automatically. Results will not be recorded.

■ Chat ・During a four-player mahjong game, you may chat to the other players. ・Chat can be toggled on and off using the button in the lower right of the screen. Turning chat off will prevent you from sending and receiving messages. On-screen icons indicate whether the other players are participating in the chat.


180508.png ■ Rating and Rank ・Matches played in “Novice Mahjong (Ranked)” and “Advanced Mahjong (Ranked)” will affect your rating and rank. ・Your rating starts at 1,500, and will increase or decrease according to your finishing position in each match. ・Although you cannot be demoted while in the lower ranks, progressing to the higher ranks puts you at risk of demotion should you perform poorly. ・Ratings and ranks are calculated only according to the rating of your opponents and your finishing position in the game. (The number of points with which you end a game is not taken into consideration.) ・Your mahjong rating and rank can be viewed in the Gold Saucer menu, under Mahjong. ※Rating and rank data is saved locally. If you log in using another platform, your rating and rank will not be displayed. ■ Abandoning a Match ・If players log out during a mahjong match, tiles will be discarded automatically when their turn comes around. When players log back in, they will regain control from the next turn onwards. ・If players abandon a match, it will continue without them and their tiles will be discarded automatically. They will also incur the standard penalties for abandoning a duty and will be unable to register for another mahjong match until the previous match ends.

・If players do not enter any commands for a certain amount of time, they will be automatically removed from the match.

Support Features

■ Dangerous Tile Marker When discarding a tile, there is always a risk that an opponent may claim that tile to strengthen their position or even win the hand. These markers indicate which tiles carry a high risk of being claimed by an opponent. Remember, even the tiles without markers are not entirely without risk, but enabling this feature may help you to avoid defeat.

086045.png The most dangerous tiles will have this kind of marker.

086046.png You should also be wary of tiles with these markers. ■ Hints Enable this feature for recommendations on which tiles to discard, whether to call pon or chi, and so on. While following this advice will not always lead to victory, you may find it useful.


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Understanding the UI


180509.png 1. Shows the 13 tiles in your hand. When you draw a tile, it is shown as the 14th tile, to the right of your hand. When your turn comes, select a tile to discard it. 2. When you are in a position to call riichi, tsumo, ron, pon, chi, or kan, a prompt will appear. In the case of pon, chi, and kan, this prompt can be hidden. To hide these prompts, set Display Calls to Off. However, this option defaults to On at the start of a new hand.

If you turn on “Auto-declare winning hand,” you will automatically declare a winning hand as soon as tsumo or ron become available. This option defaults to Off at the start of a new hand.


180510.png 3. The star icon indicates which player is the dealer. It is also displayed in the center of the table. The compass direction shown below each player's name is their current seat wind. Players can form a yaku by collecting three wind tiles that match their seat wind. The role of dealer rotates counterclockwise, from east, to south, to west, to north.


180511.png 4. A game of Doman mahjong is played over eight hands. The first four are the “East” round and the last four are the “South” round. Collecting three wind tiles that match the current round forms a yaku.


5. These sticks indicate any points carried over in the event of a draw. If a player declares riichi, the 1,000 points they pay are also shown here. When a player wins a hand, these points are added to their score. A stick with several black dots is worth 100 points and a stick with a single red dot is worth 1,000 points. Every time a hand is replayed, a special bonus known as “honba” increases by one, also indicated here. When a player produces a winning hand, they will receive an additional 300 points for each honba.


6. Indicates the dora for the current hand. If a player includes a tile identical to the dora in a winning hand, they will receive bonus han, which increases points earned.

180512.png 7. Buttons for toggling the various settings. For more information, see Support Features in the Playing Mahjong section.


■Types of Discarded Tile Discarded tiles are highlighted to indicate whether they were discarded immediately after being drawn or if they were called by another player.

086143.png 1. Dark highlight = A tile discarded immediately after being drawn. 2. Red = A discarded tile called by another player.

3. Dark and red = A tile discarded immediately after being drawn, then called by another player.