We've put together a brief and basic beginners strategy
to get you playing better quickly. This strategy guide is
intended to get beginners to think more about the choices
on offer during the game and to improve their chances of
Beginners often fall into the trap of making as many sets
as possible. Its not always wise to grab all the discards
that make your sets. Melding chows, pungs and kongs may
seem like a good idea initially but it can lead to problems
Melding as much as possible will allow the other players
more insight into your hand than you may be best letting
them know. They will learn more about your hand from the
melds coupled with your discards than from the discards
Also, it narrows the opportunities that may unfold. Having
made one Chow, it is best to make the rest of your hand
all chows and or all of the same suit. Remember chow hands
arent the best. If you can build pung hands, you can
also use the winds and dragons and you arent limited
to the site.
In general, dont take a discarded tile unless you
have a clear plan of attack for your hand and the tile is
of some use in getting there.
Having patience pays off in the end. Remember that at the
beginning of a game, there are many tiles in the wall. By
not melding your tiles, you have a better chance to complete
a concealed hand.
Try to be flexible and dont allow yourself to become
blinkered. If your starting strategy to build your hand
doesnt materialise then rethink your strategy and
look for other winning possibilities.
It's more difficult to make a pair if you have only one
tile than it is to make a pung if you already have a pair.
In other words, dont be too quick catching a matching
tile to make your Pung, see what transpires, you may pick
up another pair.
As the end of the game approaches, watch the discards that
are being made and the number of remaining tiles in the
wall. At this stage its more important to be aware
of what tiles you discard. As a very general rule, try to
discard only tiles that have already been discarded by the
Lastly, watch you arent supplying a high-scoring
hand with better tiles. You may pay the price for this if
a pure or clean hand is built. Watch out for players making
a third meld in the same suit.
Complete beginners would be well advised to read this article
in conjunction with our Mahjong