The last fourteen tiles at the end of the wall are separated from the rest. These tiles are never played (known as the dead wall).

The last four tiles (two stacks) of the dead wall are used for kan replacement tiles. The tile atop the third stack from the last is flipped over and revealed face up. The tile is the dora indicator (mekuripai). The dora is the next tile in sequence after the dora indicator. For example, if the dora indicator is 2-dots the dora is 3-dots.

Dora: 3-dots
  • If the dora indicator is a 9-bam, 1-bam is the dora.
  • The sequence for dragon tiles is Green-Red-White-Green …
  • The sequence for wind tiles is East-South-West-North-East …

Whenever a kan is called several things occur:

  • a replacement tile is drawn from the end of the dead wall
  • another dora indicator (called the kan dora) is revealed atop of the dead wall
  • a tile from the end of the live wall is added to the dead wall
Dora: 5-character and 3-dots

A player who has called riichi and has won the current hand gets to look at the tiles underneath the dora indicator(s). These extra tiles act as additional dora indicator(s) (called ura dora). This applies only to the winning player(s) who went riichi.

One extra han is awarded for each dora tile and each time the dora tile is is indicated in the completed hand. For example, if 2-dots is the dora indicator and the hand is completed with a pung of 3-dots, the hand is awarded 3 han. If 2-dots is the dora indicator twice, the hand would be awarded 6 han (3 x 2).

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