What exactly is Mahjong?
Mahjong is a tile-based game most similar to a cross between Gin Rummy and Poker. It was originally created in China, but the popularity spread quickly, and nearly every single area in Asia has its own variant.
pastebin article is focused solely on the Japanese variation, most commonly known as "Riichi" or "Reach" Mahjong.
Learn How to Play
Youtube videos on how to play mahjong. The Basic Video Guide is cut into bite-sized parts that you can enjoy in your own pace, while the Extensive Video Guide covers almost everything about the game and is about 3 hours long. Take note that these guides focus more on IRL mahjong, and some aspects like scoring is handled by all mahjong clients.
V-tuber Sio teaches you mahjong via the Mahjong Soul tutorial. She uses Japanese terms since she speaks Japanese (don't forget to turn on the subs on the video), but it's good training since almost everyone in the thread uses them.
This is an incredibly short read and should teach you just enough to be a threat to someone while playing in a video game version, such as in Yakuza. You shouldn't rely on this as there is a lot, lot more to learn, but this isn't bad for a fast method.
A web guide to learning Riichi Mahjong. Includes handy links and pictures as well.
Images that list all the yaku in the game, for quick reference. For more infographics, check out the booru's guide tag.
Do you want to stop being bad at mahjong? Read this. RB1 is essential mahjong reading. Teaches tile efficiency, defense strategies, yaku chasing and everything else to bring you to the level of an intermediate player.You can also read it online.
A book by Fukuchi Makoto and constantly translated by a kind anon. The book is heavily focused on tile efficiency, with a highly digital (analytical) way of thinking. All of the later material about push-fold judgment and discard reading is based on good tile efficiency.
You can also read it online.
The two books aboves, as well as more strategy guides and resources, can be found in this section of Guides. You should definitely check out most of them to improve even more, or as alternatives if the two books above isn't enough for you.
A list of Japanese Mahjong terminologies, so you can finally understand the strange moonspeak everyone keeps throwing around.
A glossary of almost every useful Japanese Mahjong term, including the terms listed above, every Yaku in the game, all in an easy filter search.
The EMA is the official tournament rules for Riichi Mahjong in the Europe area. They also tend to be the most popular ruleset to reference when people translate the game due to various factors. The rules here are more focused on tournament play, and thus will skip over various rules that you may see in other games.
A very in-dept and robust wiki about mahjong, covering a lot from Japanese terms used in the game to every specific rules you might encounter.
A simple app to help you work on your efficiency in discards. The app is simplistic and doesn't take a holistic view of the table. Rather, it merely measures how efficient your discard is by how many tiles it believes would improve your hand to tenpai, and nothing else. You have great efficiency if you can consistently score 95% or higher on this over several attempts.
This is a single-suit variant. This will give your brain a very intense workout. Definitely not recommended for beginners still learning the game, but included for advanced players looking to become better.
Similar to Bamboo listed above, but the page is entirely in Japanese. Just follow the guide written by an anon below and you'll be fine.
Blue button generates new hand and orange button shows answers. Top left determines number of tiles: either 7, 10, or 13. Below that is sorted or unsorted (sorted by default). Top right determines the suit (manzu by default)
Practice the complicated art of scoring here, More scoring tools way below.
Entirely in Japanese, but the blog has instructions. Taken from the pathofhouou blog: Hitori Mahjong Simulator is a useful tool for getting statistics about the expected value or speed of a hand. It has some limitations, for example not considering calls, but you can still get good stuff out of it
Mahjong in Real Life
Everything you need to know about owning a mahjong set irl. Even if you don't have friends to play, it's still fun to have tiles.
A link to most of the major Japanese Mahjong clubs for North America. This list is probably not fully complete, so you can always Google your town name + Mahjong for any results. Be sure to also check out any hobby or board game stores in your local area. If there aren't any groups looking, it probably wouldn't be hard to start one up.
This is a link to the list of clubs world wide. Which includes Europe and some parts of Asia, as well as the little lone club that exists in Sydney, Australia. Gambatte, Australia-kouhai.
Japan has parlors where you can go in and play pickup games of Mahjong, but the Japanese are not foreigner/otaku friendly. Be sure to read the above link for more information, and in fact you should probably spend at least 16 hours researching before heading in.
Every so often, they will stream live Mahjong games from professionals in Japan. According to some users, you need to have Japanese VPNs to actually watch this. Also please note that this is all in Japanese, so you should be able to understand Japanese Mahjong terms at bare minimum to really follow along.
A map of the /mjg/ anons in the thread. Not a very extensive list, and some of them aren't accurate locations (like that one penguin), but if you're very desperate for a mahjong buddy then try looking for an anon near your area. But most likely you won't find one due to fear of stabbings.
To add yourself to the map, fill out this google form.
Where to play the game online?
Japanese rooms: https://game.mahjongsoul.com/
A Chinese-made Riichi Mahjong game that recently came out for English and Japanese as well. The interface is fairly stylish, the music is pretty good, and it allows you to spam emotes from kawaii waifus. There is a gacha game attached to it so you can change out the waifus and their outfits, but everything relating to Mahjong itself is free and is working fairly well.
The English and Chinese servers are merged and separated from the Japanese Servers up until the Silver Rooms, and Gold above has all three servers merged.
There is an app version available for Android and iOS, if you're into that.
This is generally where most of the serious players tend to wind up. There is a "Tenhou English UI" extension that can be installed for Chrome and Firefox. The English UI only works for the HTML5 version of the game which can be found at tenhou.net/3/. A guide for the general interface and rules can be found here: http://arcturus.su/wiki/Tenhou.net
Most of the English speaking communities have agreed to use a specific room for friendly games. If you wish to play with other English speakers, you can go to lobby 7447: https://tenhou.net/3/?L7447
It has the same approach as Mahjong Soul, combining mahjong with gacha. But unlike majsoul, the game is far kinder when it comes to it's gacha system, with tons of free rolls (which you can use ro reroll for whoever strikes your fancy), cosmetics, and a mathematically higher chance of getting something useful. Sadly, it has no english translations as of this moment.
Still, the interface is pretty straightforward as long as you're familiar with how mahjong works. You can check out the Hime Mahjong Guide to get you started on playing immediately.
Himejanki / 姫雀鬼 (dead ;_;)
Beta of the Majsoul/Hime Killer. This time, every girl is free. The downside: it's janky as fuck. Everything's broken, as what would you expect of a cheap chinese knockoff of cheap chinese knockoffs.
Also a flashy game made by Sega. Requires a client install. Also has a phone version, but may require side-loading an app. Game is fully in Japanese. Guide for install here:
An old client-based online app. It was free-to-play, but then turned into pay-to-play during an update and almost all of the playerbase dried up overnight. Only mentioning because the P2P version can still be found in a search for Mahjong. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
The most tryhard of all clients, it's the Japan Professional Mahjong League platform. You can regularly find pros playing in here. As f2p, you can only play 1 ranked tonpu each day, anything more needs a subscription. Friendlies are free. Clients looks like it comes (and it does) from 20 years ago. English guide on how to start playing here .
Saki PSP game for emulator. Features both singleplayer story mode and working multiplayer (only with friends). Guide contains donwload links, how to set up, and english (only pictures) translation.
Autotable is a tabletop simulator for Riichi Mahjong. You have to do everything by yourself, calls, scoring, drawing tiles... If you have friends and voice chat it's a great experience. Features various playing (4p, 3p, custom dora, Washizu) modes and an abema-like spectator mode. An anon is hosting it for /mjg/ to use.
Where to play the game solo?
Best place to practice for beginners. Very simple. Has a list of Yaku on the page as well.
Don't laugh. While the prettyness of the girls is debatable, as well as the translation choices, this is a full Mahjong variant and a good way to practice. Comes with a billion rules which can be adjusted as well.
Mentioned only for completeness sake, it had a big ambition, but was rather buggy, of low quality, and has no players for online. The tutorial included in it was so-so. However, it seems to have had several updates that reportedly fixed many bugs. Not sure if recommended or not.
A very cute but effective solo game for the PC that will run on toasters. You can select the different AI who will operate slightly differently. There IS an English version available to download SOMEWHERE, but it's patched, pirated, and easy to find. Downloading the old 2007 software would be illegal, anon.
It's Saki the PC game, complete with interhigh tournaments, superpowers and cute girls. The superpowers can be turned off to make it a completely normal mahjong game, thankfully. It's the nicest looking (not the tiles, those are ugly) single-player pc game in steam out there.
Touhou plus Mahjong. Chock-full of superpowers, cute 2hus and everyone's favorite mode, aotenjou! A download for Touhou Unreal Mahjong 4N can be found here. A partial translation guide is available. There's a switch port, if you have that.
[Mahjong Games Download > H-Games] Here's a collection of Mahjong Handholding-Games in Japanese, shared in the threads. Can be found in the games tab.
While they use the very questionable choice of the American variant's spelling, Japanese Mah Jongg is Riichi Mahjong, and while very simple and barebones, is an excellent way to practice against computers.
Additionally, it features a two-player split screen mode, with amusing and cute instructions to cut out a piece of cardboard to prevent screen-looking.
Switch port of your favorite 2hu aotenjou madness game.
Riichi Mahjong is just one of their many selections of worldwide classics. You can play with your friends as well!
The English version of Yakuza 0 retains it's Mahjong side game that used to be taken out in previous editions of the series. It is a likely place where some new comers may join in from. The rest of the game has little to do with Mahjong, though it does come recommended.
Very simple, free, in english, and has bots. Supposedly is efficient on the battery. Somewhat small though.
Really fun multiplayer mahjong that has offline and online, as well as a special 2 player mode where you can connect online with one other person and the other two positions are filled with bots. However, despite being offered on the English play store, the game is fully 100% in Japanese, and there seem to be no English guides.
If the furry aesthetics doesn't make you do a 180 degree turn, or if you're a dirty Wanjirou main, then the app is not that bad. It's not free and there's no working apk floating around, so only mentioned for completeness' sake. Don't get it unless you're desperate for mahjong action and furshit.
From the client that brought us an actual Saki collab.
If you have any recommendations for games, feel free to shill it in the thread.
Media about Mahjong
Legend of Akagi: The Genius who Descended into Darkness (the Anime ends at around Chapter 220)
Tetsunaki no Kirinji
Aki (Biographical story about a female professional Mahjong player by the same name)
You can also check out the several QUALITY OCs made by anons in the thread.
Resources shared in the thread that includes books, movies and obscure stuff.
"I'm in tenpai, and my opponent discarded my winning tile, but I couldn't win. Why not?"
You don't have a yaku. In Riichi Mahjong, you are required to have at least 1 yaku before your allowed to win.
"I'm in tenpai, and I have a yaku! What happened, is it rigged?"
You're in furiten. If you have previously discarded a tile that could be used to form a valid hand, EVEN IF the tile you've discarded would not have given you a yaku, you are in furiten. If you are in furiten, you CANNOT ron off of another player. You can still tsumo though.
"ROOMS WHERE? How do I make majsoul friendly rooms and play with my friends?"
"How do I roll for my waifu in Majsoul? How do I get that effects if I don't want to pay etc."
This is one of the more tedious parts of mahjong. Of course counting points is automatically done for you in video games, but it's still an essential thing to learn for players wanting to get into the game seriously. Not only does it help you save face in irl games, you can also calculate what kind of hand you must get for that comeback. Riichi Book 1 has a good section on scoring techniques so go check that out first.
The Japanese Mahjong Wiki has a good guide on scoring. Below is the translated cheat sheet from the page.
A more interactive way to learn scoring. The software in in Japanese and it only works for Windows, but the guide is very thorough in teaching you how to set it up.
A nifty android app to quickly calculate the score of your hands. Very useful if you aren't that keen in scoring and memorization bums you out.
Looks pretty but accordingly has some issues and shouldn't be trusted blindly.
This one's entirely in Jap, but it's a good resource
First one indicates riichi (立直), second either tsumo (ツモ) or ron (ロン), next the dora indicator tile (ドラ表示牌), and the last shows the uradora indicator tile (裏ドラ表示牌). なし means none. From there just choose from the dropdown answers below.
Any new additions can be given through the links at the lowest part of the home page or just talking about it in the thread. Please don't visit our sekrit club if you're not from there, thanks.