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So I play Riichi-Mahjong as a mini game within a Playstation game called "Judgement". I've enjoyed it a lot and have read various guides online to try to improve my understanding and strategy of the game.

However, I recently achieved the following hand which I believed should have been a winner but I was not allowed to steal the last tile to complete the hand.

Hand

My hand is the one at the bottom of the screen. My understanding is that this hand is in Tenpai waiting on either a 2 or 5 of Characters to complete the left most meld. The rest of my hand is complete, consisting of (a) Pair of Sticks 2, (b) Stick Sequence 3,4,5 (c) Stick Sequence 6,7,8 and (d) East Wind Set (which is both my Seat Wind and the Prevailing Wind).

Now my understanding is having the East Wind set as either a Seat or Prevailing Wind (in my hand it is both) allows me to have an open hand, meaning I can go out with any legal hand. Hence the only incomplete part of the hand is the Characters 3,4, which is waiting on either a Characters 2 or Characters 5 to complete.

The very last tile discarded in this game was the Characters 2, which can be seen in the discard pile of the player to the left.

However the game did not allow me to steal that tile, and hence the game was declared a draw. This was somewhat annoying as I make this a 4-Han winning hand by my calculation i.e. East Seat Wind, East Prevailing Wind, a Dora on the Sticks 8, and then stealing the very last discard in the game is also a Han.

I am sure that the game is correct and that there is a knowledge gap in my game here. I would be most grateful if someone could explain to me why I was not allowed to steal the last tile to complete my hand (the Characters 2) so that I can avoid whatever mistake I have made in future.

1 Answer 1

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The problem is that you were in furiten. As this guide explains, a player may not win from furiten by calling ron (i.e. taking another player's discard), and a player ends up in furiten when:

  • They have previously discarded any potential winning tiles in the current hand, indicated either by the tile being in their discard rows, or as called tiles in other players’ open melds
  • One of the potential winning tiles has been discarded since the player declared riichi.
  • One of the potential winning tiles has been discarded since their last turn, and they did not call it. This is a temporary furiten until the player next discards a tile.

In your case, you discarded a 5-man (just after the Green Dragon), which as you note would have completed your run and hence your hand.

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  • Thanks for taking the time to explain that. Got to say I can't see the purpose of such a rule. There is enough going on in this game without discards made many turns ago prohibiting later finishing hands; especially when its not even the same tile.
    – PJW
    Nov 11, 2021 at 9:30
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    I think it was designed to prevent griefing moves where you deliberately choose to discard a winning tile so that you can trick someone else into discarding the same and then taking their points. I agree that it's a nasty one though, and I've fallen foul of it many times.
    – ConMan
    Nov 11, 2021 at 9:51

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