Anon’s Dumbfuck Guide to Chink Vocab in Taiwanese Dominoes 101
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First of all, this is not a guide about playing mahjong, this is a guide about talking mahjong. Learning detailed nip terms allows for shortening the amount of words necessary to convey the situation at the table, which is mandatory if casters are to get with the dynamics during especially hot games. Saying “His toimen went with tedashi uupin and is now in sanmenchan dama for tanpinsanshoku” is WAY faster than saying “The dude opposite of player discarded five of pins from his hand, and now has silent ready hand with three sided edge wait for all simples pinfu three identical sequences”. Besides, it makes you sound like you know what you are talking about, which is important. I am not going to translate yaku names here, you are supposed to already know them since eng names are cancer. Also, I am not going to paste kanji names, you can check them on arcturus wiki (just like everything this guide will offer ffs, but you guys are lazy). So, let’s begin.


Overall table vocab
Rules Vocab
Numerals, shanten, tiles and hand construction.
Winning and Waits
Scores, yakus


Hanchan - mahjong match consisting of 2 table rotations. Called the South Round in MJS.

Tonpuusen - the same but with only 1 rotation. East Round.

Honba - added counters everytime when a non-east player DOESN’T win the round. Increments value of hand by 300. Symbolized by 100 point tenbo.

Kyoku - round counter. Uses japanese numerals. So:

East 1 - Ton iikyoku,
East 2 - Ton Nikyoku,
East 3 - Ton Sankyoku,
East 4 - Ton Yonkyoku.

With the south round, switch Ton with Nan.

Orasu - All Last, the final round (S4)

Renchan - dealer repeat

Oya - dealer

Ryuukyoku - terminal draw, happens when tiles run out and nobody wins by last discard

Kamicha - player before you (on your left)

Shimocha - player after you (on your right)

Toimen - player opposite of you

Ari - rule is respected

Nashi - rule is not respected

Atozuke - rule allowing you to win if your yaku is dependent on only one of your multiple outs. For example, yakuless hand with shanpon wait for 9m and Hatsu can win on Hatsu discard. Gets fucked by wrong draw often.

Kuitan - open tanyao

Kuikae - ability to swap calls, for example, call chi on 5 for 34 and discard 2. Not allowed on MJS.

Nashi Nashi - old ruleset in which there are no akadora, and tanyao can be only closed yaku.

Ii - 1
Ryan - 2
San - 3
Suu - 4
Uu - 5
Ro - 6
Chi - 7
Paa - 8
Kyuu/Chuu - 9

Pinzu, Souzu, Manzu - suits.

Shanten - Number of tiles required to reach tenpai (0 shanten). So, for example, ryanshanten requires two tiles to reach tenpai.

Ukeire - tile acceptance. Pool of tiles that decrease shanten count.

Ton - East wind
Nan - South wind
Xia - West wind
Pei - North Wind
Chun - Red Dragon
Haku - White Dragon
Hatsu - Green Dragon
(this is also the dora order btw)

Haipai - initial hand of 13/14 tiles.

Mentsu - meld of three. Four mentsu and pair makes winning hand

Shuntsu - sequence, for example 123

Tatsu - two tiles that make up mentsu after adding one more tile, ex: 46

Koutsu - Triplet

Minkou - open triplet (commonly refered to as just Pon)

Ankou - closed triplet

Kan - quad: Ankan - closed kan, Shouminkan - lesser Kan, upgraded from minkou, Daiminkan - Kan called directly from hand.

Spicy houteihai - the last tile of the game. Very dangerous.

Giri - act of discarding a tile

Tedashi - discarding a tile from hand

Tsumogiri - discarding just drawn tile

Shonpai - live tile

Yaochuu - terminals and honors

Winning and waits

Agari - Broad term referring to winning on particular tiles.

Takame - higher payoff. Refers to win while in multiple wait, where one tile produces more value. Common examples: chanta, sanshoku

Yasume - lower payoff. Opposite of takame.

Machi - wait

Tanki - wait for single tile for pair. Only kind of wait allowed in chiitoitsu.

Shanpon - double pair wait, for completion of triplet

Kanchan - middle wait, in case of 46 sequence, wait is on 5.

Penchan - end wait, 12 waiting on 3 or 89 waiting on 7.

Ryanmen - double sided wait, for example 45 waiting on 3 or 6. Basis of omotesuji.

Omotesuji - groups of tiles separated by 3. So 1,4,7 ; 2,5,8; 3,6,9

Urasuji - tiles adjacent to omotesuji. So for discarded 5 urasuji are else 1,4 or 6,9. 

Betaori - act of folding your hand to avoid dealing in. Focuses on dealing safe tiles.

Genbutsu - safe tile.

Kabe - method of defense focused on checking if there are valid ways to form specific ryanmen waits remaining in the game.

Complex waits

Ryankan - not a wait per se, but one of iishanten constructs. Usually something like 468, when entering tenpai allows you to make suji-trapped kanchan wait, so dealing 4 and waiting for 7.

Sanmenchan - three sided wait, something like 23456 waiting for 1,4,7.

Nobetan: double tanki wait, for example 2345 waiting for 2 and 5. Does not enable pinfu.

Sanmentan: triple tanki wait: 1234567 waiting for 1,4,7.

Entotsu - ryanmen+shanpon wait. For example, 45666 + RR waits for 3,6 and R.

Ryantan - ryanmen+tanki, for example 4555 waiting for 3,4,6.

Kantan - kanchan+tanki, 3555 waiting for 3 and 4.

Reduced waits

Aryanmen: 4566 waiting for 3 and 6.

Harabote: worst wait. 4556 waiting for 5.

Other waits

Hadaka tanki - tanki wait after 4 calls. Makes your yaku completely transparent and renders you defenseless.

Jigoku tanki - waiting for tanki honor tile while two of them are visible (in pond or as dora indicator)

Karaten - empty tenpai, tenpai with no possible way of winning.

Scores, yakus

Nomi - act of having only a single yaku (mostly referred to Riichi Nomi, but might also be used for tanyao), without any visible dora.

Damaten - closed hand tenpai without calling riichi, especially effective in 4:30 area.

Mentanpin - short for Riichi Pinfu Tanyao. Bread and butter of mahjong.

Chiitoi - short for best yaku

Menhon - menzen honitsu - closed honitsu

Oyaman - mangan by oya, 12k points

Oyahane - haneman by oya, 18k points

Jikaze - seat wind

Bakaze - round wind

Otakaze - neutral wind

Oikake riichi - pursuit riichi, calling riichi just after another player, usually on a tile safe against him, to fish out potential ippatsu + additional riichi stick.

Sashikomi - dealing with intent, rather dumb idea when playing with akadoras

Yakitori - state of not having any wins after the end of hanchan.