Japanese Modern: Overview Gameplay Scoring Penalties & Errors Resources

The object of the game is to complete a hand using 14 tiles, prior to anyone else. The hand will consist of four sets and a pair (with the exception of special hands). The number of points — not the number of wins — at the end of the game determines the winner.


This gameplay section assumes you know the basic rules of mahjong.

During the game a player may call to complete any one of the following sets:

  • Chow: Claimed from the player to your left or for mahjong.
  • Pung: Claimed from any player.
  • Kong: Claimed from any player. A replacement tile is drawn afterwards. Another tile in the dead wall is turned face up to reveal the kan dora.
  • Concealed and Small Melded Kong: Announced only after drawing a tile (i.e. not after claiming a tile). A replacement tile is drawn afterwards. Another tile in the dead wall is turned face up to reveal the kan dora.

Note: a variation on turning the kan dora indicator is done after the player discards.

Arrangement of Tiles

Discards are placed rows of six in front of the respective players' wall.

Tiles claimed are rotated 90 degrees within the set to show which player had discarded it.

Example 1


3-character is claimed from the person to our left.

Example 2


5-dot is claimed from the person across from us.

Concealed kongs have two inner tiles face up and two outer tiles face down. This is the distinguish concealed and exposed kongs when scoring.


A concealed kong of 3-dots.

Kuikae (optional)
A player cannot meld a tile and immediately discard the same tile. For example, calling 4-bamboo to meld a 4-5-6 bamboo and then discarding a 4-bamboo or a 7-bamboo.


There are 3 kinds of furiten. Under furiten, a player cannot win by discard (ron) unless the furiten is removed or the player wins by self-drawn (tsumo). The furiten rule apply to all waiting tiles. For example, if a hand is waiting for 3-6-9 bams, if the player is under furiten by a 3-bam, he cannot ron all of 3-6-9 bams, but can only wait for self-draw.

Normal furiten(一般振聽)

A player who has previously discarded a tile that would complete his hand, cannot win on that tile unless it is self-drawn.

Same-round furiten(同巡振聽)

If a player missed a winning discard, s/he cannot win in the same round; until s/he draws the next tile. This applies to a kong that can be robbed which is actually missed.

riichi furiten (立直振聽)

If a player declared riichi but missed a winning discard, s/he cannot ron anymore but instead must wait for self-draw.

Post Hand

Continuances (optional)
If the dealer wins the current hand or earns points for tenpai (one tile away from a complete hand) he/she deals again, retaining the East position, otherwise the deal passes. The hand ends in draw the deal passes to the player to the right. A round is over when all players get a chance to deal.

Noten Penalty no-ten bappu (optional)
If a draw occurs any player who is tenpai can show their hand. Players who are noten (not one tile away from winning) have to pay a total of 3000 points to players who are tenpai. For example, Player A is in tenpai whereas B, C, and D are not, Player A receives 1000 from each player ($1000 \times 3 = 3000$). A 100-point counter is placed to the dealer's right-hand side.

Empty Tray dobon (ドポン) (optional)
If a player runs out of points by the end of the hand the game ends. However, if a player has exactly 0 points after paying, the game still continues.

Abortive Hands

An abortive draw may occur under these conditions:

  • Nobody wins just after four kans are declared in total by two or more players(四槓散了).
  • All four of the same wind tile is discarded within the first go around##(四風連打).
  • A player has nine different terminal and honor tiles after drawing in the proper first round##(九種九牌).
  • Four player's declare riichi. Hands are shown if nobody can win on the last discard(四家立直).
  • Three players call ron on the same discard(三家榮和).

Under these conditions the noten penalty is not applied. Another 100-point counter is placed to the dealer's right-hand side.
## These abortion is unabled once melded sets or concealed kongs are claimed.


A counter is placed on the dealer's right-hand side after a draw or after East wins. Each counter increases the payout to the winner by 300 points. In case of a self-drawn win each opponent plays 100 for reach counter. Counters are removed when another player declares a win. When there are five or more counters on the table a minimum of two yaku are need to win (optional). If the deal passes the previous dealer's counters are returned and the new dealer replaces the counters with the appropriate amount.

Riichi bets

Riichi bets are collected by the winner. Should a draw occur the riichi bets remain on the table.

Yakitori (optional)
At the beginning of the game each player starts with a yakitori marker. Upon winning a hand the yakitori marker is removed. At the end of a full game any player who has a yakitori marker pays an additional penalty. The penalty can be decided pre-game.

Post Round

After the round is over the prevalent wind changes. The order of the winds are East and South.

Short Game (East Round) tonpuusen (東風戦)
For shorter games, players can opt to play for one round, known as East-only games.

Longer Game (West Round) Shanyuu (西入)
For longer games, players can opt to play an additional round (West round) should no player finish with more than 30,000 (when starting points are at 25,000) at the end of the South round. A fourth round, North round, can also be played should no player finish with more than 30,000 at the end of the West round.

Post Game

The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Endgame Bonus and Penalty Uma (ウマ) (optional)
At the end of the game a scoring adjustment is made to reward the top players and punish the losing players. For example,

Rank Adjustment
1 + 9000
2 + 3000
3 - 3000
4 - 9000

Other common variations on the ranking bonus are +10k, + 5k, -5k, -10k or +20k, +10k, -10k, -20k for first through fourth place, respectively.

ve Japanese Modern Mahjong Series .
Japanese Modern Overview · Gameplay · Scoring · Penalties & Errors · Resources
Riichi Competition Rules Overview · Gameplay · Scoring · Penalties & Errors · Resources
Washizu Mahjong Overview · Gameplay · Scoring · Penalties & Errors · Resources
Variations Three Player · Two Player
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 License