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.

This pastebin article is focused solely on the Japanese variation, most commonly known as "Riichi" or "Reach" Mahjong.

It also is horribly outdated but it's here for old times' sake. If you want useful stuff, go to the Library.

Learn How to Play

Basic video guide
Extensive video guide

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.

Mahjong 101 in 20 Minutes!

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.

Fast and dirty guide to playing video game Mahjong from a /v/-anon

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 Beginner's Guide to Riichi Mahjong

A web guide to learning Riichi Mahjong. Includes handy links and pictures as well.

Yaku List
Yaku List Alt
Yaku For Beginners

Images that list all the yaku in the game, for quick reference. For more infographics, check out the booru's guide tag.

Where to play the game online?

Mahjong Soul

Japanese rooms: https://game.mahjongsoul.com/

A Chinese-made Riichi Mahjong game that 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 and husbandos. 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. Recommended for beginners at the game, since the best way to learn mahjong is to just keep playing.

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://riichi.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

Hime Mahjong

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.

Riichi City

An up-and-coming riichi mahjong client (made by the japanese this time) with the same philosophy as Mahjong Soul: mahjong with gacha waifus. And has an English language option. Still has a fairly small playerbase thanks to mahjong soul sucking up most of the target audience, but it's steadily growing and you can help out with that. The gacha is a lot more forgiving, there's animated emotes and set phrases, and you can actually see the wall this time.

There's an app and a pc client available which you should check out on their site. Sadly, their website still doesn't have an english option for easier browsing, but the game itself can be set to english.

Himejanki / 姫雀鬼

Official release of the Majsoul/Hime Killer. This time, every girl needs to be rolled and the only default is Azur Lane Girl. The downside: it's janky as fuck. No upsides. 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 portable PSP

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.

Learn More

Riichi Book 1

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.

Japanese Mahjong Strategy

I have not shilled this resource hard enough. This is an alternative to Riichi Book 1, if that book reads like runes to you. I'd actually recommend this more than riichi book 1, but anons in the thread seems to swear by RB1 so you be the judge and read the two. Still, for anyone still stuck at RB1 and can't finish it, this is the book for you. It's a pdf version of this site, and the lessons are neatly divided into three parts.

Riichi Mahjong Strategy

A book by Fukuchi Makoto and 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.

More Strategy Resources

The three 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.

Anon's Dumbfuck Guide to Chink Vocab in Taiwanese Dominoes 101

A list of Japanese Mahjong terminologies, so you can finally understand the strange moonspeak everyone keeps throwing around.

Glossary of Japanese Mahjong Terms

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.

Official Ruleset

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.

Japanese Mahjong Wiki

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.

Training Tools

Efficiency trainer

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.

Chinitsu Wait Trainer

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)

Riichi Scores Trainer

Practice the complicated art of scoring here, More scoring tools way below.

Hitori Mahjong Simulator

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.

Online Version - translation / instructions for inputting a hand

More Updated Training Tools

The repo library is the one that's being maintained the most. Check it out.

Where to play the game solo?


"That flash game"

Best place to practice for beginners. Very simple. Has a list of Yaku on the page as well.


Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle

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.

Mahjong Riichi Multiplayer

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.

Saikyo no Mahjong 3D

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.

Mahjong Club

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 Unreal Mahjong

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 H-Games (jp)

[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.

Nintendo Switch

Japanese Mah Jongg

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.

Touhou Unreal Mahjong

Switch port of your favorite 2hu aotenjou madness game.

Clubhouse Games?: 51 Worldwide Classics

Riichi Mahjong is just one of their many selections of worldwide classics. You can play with your friends as well!



The English versions of all Yakuza games retain its 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.

麻雀 天極牌 (Mahjong Tenkyokupai)

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.

Kemono Mahjong

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.

Mahjong in Real Life

Mahjong Equipment Buying Guide

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.

Clubs in North America

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.

Mahjong Clubs Around the World

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.

A Parlor Abroad

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.

Abema live Mahjong Matches

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.

m-league schedule / past videos / M-League repo (english)

Media about Mahjong


Legend of Akagi: The Genius who Descended into Darkness
Legendary Gambler Tetsuya


Legend of Akagi: The Genius who Descended into Darkness (the Anime ends at around Chapter 220 nooooo it's chapter 109 oh my god)
Tetsunaki no Kirinji
Aki (Biographical story about a female professional Mahjong player by the same name)

/mjg/ OCs

You can also check out the several QUALITY OCs made by anons in the thread.

Mahjong Media Resources

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."

Check this guide.
or this if you're impatient.

Counting Points

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.

Japanese Mahjong Scoring Rules

The Japanese Mahjong Wiki has a good guide on scoring. Below is the translated cheat sheet from the page.

Maru-Jan Score Trainer

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.

Riichi Calc

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.

Mahjong Scores Trainer by Horneds

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.