A Chinese rummy-like game played with tiles. Depending on the version being played the tiles consist of suits (Bamboo, Crack, and Dots) of 10 tiles each, Winds (North, South, East, and West), Dragons (Red, White, and Green), Flowers, and possibly Jokers.

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How can I quickly calculate the shanten number in Mahjong?

I am able to calculate the shanten number myself, but it often takes me more than a minute. I'm looking for ideas how to become more efficient. Background: I'm currently writing a paper about ...