Yaku Situations

You can earn a yaku either with a combination of tiles, or by some special circumstances or situations that exist when you declare a win. This section describes the situations which earn the yaku bonus. Below you can find illustrations of the special tile combinations which earn the yaku bonus.



Going Out on the last tile of the wall ("Haitei") -- When the Wall counter reaches 14, the last tile has been drawn. If the player who drew it completes his hand, s/he earns a one Fan yaku. If that player does not complete the hand with that tile, and discards it, and someone else goes Out on that tile, then that player earns the yaku.

Going Out on a loose tile ("Rinchan Kaihou") -- Since there are no Flowers in Japanese Mah-Jongg, the only time loose tiles are taken is when a player melds a Kong (Kan). If the player melds a Kong, takes a loose tile, and goes Out on the loose tile, the player earns a one Fan yaku.
Some players apply an optional rule similar to the Haitei rule; the yaku may also apply if the player who drew the loose tile discards it (or any tile from the hand after drawing a loose tile), and someone else can go Out on it (that discard is considered a loose tile, even if it is not the exact tile that the player took from the back of the Dead Wall -- it's kind of like an "indirect loose tile"). But in Shanghai: Dynasty, only the picker of the loose tile is awarded the Rinchan Kaihou yaku.
In the case of a thrown tile resulting in a Kong which leads to a Rinchan Kaihou, the thrower of the Kong tile (which set in motion the chain of events leading to the Rinchan Kaihou win) pays for all.

Tsumo on concealed hand -- You get a one Fan yaku for self-picking the final tile of a completely concealed hand, in addition to any other yaku that the hand might earn.

Reach ("Riichi") -- Going Out after declaring Reach earns a one Fan yaku in addition to any other yaku that the hand might earn.

One shot ("Ippatsu") -- If a player declares Reach and then, within one turn around the table, goes Out (either by discard or by self-pick), the player earns a one Fan yaku. In the case of Ippatsu, the player would get one Fan for Reach and another fan for Ippatsu. Of course, this yaku is earned only if the Ippatsu option is selected in the game options.


Double Reach ("Daburu Riichi") -- You earn this yaku if you declare Reach on your original deal (and go Out, of course).


All Honor discards, and no takers ("Nagashi Mangan") -- You automatically earn a Mangan bonus if all your discards are Honors and Terminals, and no other player takes any of your discards, and it's a Wall Game. All the tiles run out (the Wall counter reaches 14) -- nobody won, and nobody took any of your discards (even though all your discards were Honors and Terminals) -- you automatically win.


Heavenly Hand ("Tenho") -- Dealer goes Out on the initial deal.

Earthly Hand ("Chiho") -- You go Out by self-pick on your first deal, within the first turn around the table.

Going Out on a discard within the first deal ("Renho") -- Any player except the dealer takes a discard within the first turn around the table and goes Out.


Unique Wonders with Thirteen Chances -- If a player is holding "Unique Wonders / Thirteen Orphans" (Koku shimusou) -- and goes Out waiting for the one duplicate tile (there are 13 ways to win in this situation).

Heavenly Gates with Nine Chances -- If a player is holding "Heavenly Gates / Nine Gates" (Chuurenpooto) -- and goes Out waiting for the duplicate tile (there are nine ways to win in this situation).

Four Concealed Pungs and Waiting on the Head (Suu Ankou Tanki) -- If a player has Four Concealed Pungs (Suu ankou) -- and goes Out waiting for the one tile to complete the pair ("atama" or "head").

When a player goes Out, Shanghai: Dynasty examines the hand for all possible yaku and awards them all automatically. It's possible to get multiple yaku for different combinations and situations. It's even possible to get combinations that give you Triple Yakuman and more. For example, you might get something like:

All Winds & Dragons -- Yakuman
Big Three Dragons -- Yakuman
Waiting for the pair -- Double Yakuman
Total = Quadruple Yakuman

The ultimate score is Yakuman Times Seven.


Yaku are not exclusive, but rather cumulative. A hand is scored by adding up every possible yaku that may apply to that hand.
Note: if a combination is labeled simply "Exposed," then the hand scores the same exposed or concealed (it is understood that any exposed hand is allowed to be concealed). If a combination is labeled simply "Concealed," then it is not allowed to expose that combination (if exposed, it does not score the yaku).


Pung of Own Wind or Prevailing Wind (Fanpai) - Exposed - 1 Fan

Pung of Own wind or Prevailing wind -- and any other groupings to make a complete hand.

Pung of Any Dragon (Fanpai) - Exposed - 1 Fan

Pung of any dragon -- and any other groupings to make a complete hand.

No-Points, All Chow(Pinfu, Pin Huu, Pin Wu) - Concealed - 1 Fan

To win this special hand, your hand must have no Pung, only Chow. The pair must not be a scoring pair -- it cannot be dragons, nor your Own Wind, nor the Prevailing Wind. "Pin Huu" is Chinese for "No Points" -- so the player gets the yaku for having a hand that is so worthless that it's worth something! The last tile you take to win the hand must not be a one-chance -- the player must need more than one possible tile to go Out; it must not be a middle tile of a Chow, and must not be the other-end tile of a terminal Chow; and must not be a tile to complete a pair (or "head"). Some players require the last tile to be self-picked, but in Shanghai: Dynasty this is not a strict rule. If Pinfu is self-picked, the player gets the extra fan (yaku) for Tsumo On Concealed Hand but does NOT get the extra 2 points for self-pick. Player also gets the Tanyao bonus on this hand if it's all Simples.

All Simples (Tanyao chuu) - Exposed - 1 Fan

No ones or nines, no Winds or Dragons.

Two Identical Chows (Iipeikou) - Concealed - 1 Fan

Two same-number Chows in any one suit. Above, how Iipeikou would look in the hand.

Three Similar Chows (Sanshoku doujun) - Exposed - 1 Fan; Concealed - 2 Fan

Hand contains same-number Chii (Chow) in all 3 suits.

One Through Nine in One Suit (Itsu) - Exposed -1 Fan; Concealed - 2 Fan

Three sequential Chows (1-2-3, 4-5-6, and 7-8-9) in one suit.

All Terminals & Honors, w/ Term. Chows (Chanta) - Exposed - 1 Fan; Concealed - 2 Fan

A "Terminal Chow" is a Chow (Chii) with a one or a nine in it. If all-terminals-and-honors hand has no Chows, it does not earn "Chanta" but rather "Honroutou."


Three Concealed Pungs (San ankou) - Exposed - 2 Fan

To earn this yaku, the three Pungs must be completely concealed in the hand at the time of going out. Must go out by making the pair or the fourth grouping (Pung or Chow).

Three Identical Chows (Iisou sanjun) - Exposed - 2 Fan

Same-number Chows (Chii) all in the same suit. Effectively the same as "Sanrenko" (Three Sequential Pungs in One Suit), which scores the same, if concealed (player is scored only for the one yaku, not both). But if one of the Chows is melded, then obviously the hand cannot be regarded as Sequential Pungs.

All Pung (Toi-Toi, Toi-toi hou) - Exposed - 2 Fan

If concealed, an All Pung hand also (by definition) earns two more Fan for Sananko (Three Concealed Pungs).

Little Three Dragons (Shou san gen) - Exposed - 2 Fan

Pungs of two dragons, and a pair of the third dragon.

Three Kongs (San kan tsu) - Exposed - 2 Fan

Three kongs of anything.

All Terminal & Honor Pungs (Honroutou) - Exposed - 2 Fan

You would also earn two more Fan for having Toi-Toi (All Pung) with this combination.

Three Sequential Pungs in One Suit (San renkou) - Exposed - 2 Fan

Could also be thought of as three identical Chows in one suit (Iisou sanjun), if concealed -- but player gets scored only for one of the two (San renkou or Iisou sanjun).

Seven Pairs (Chii toitsu) - Concealed - 2 Fan

Seven different pairs of anything. Kongs not allowed.


Three Similar Pungs (San shoku dokou) - Exposed - 3 Fan

Same-number Pungs in all three suits.

Double Peikou (Ryan peikou) - Concealed - 3 Fan

Two identical Chows in one suit, and a different two identical Chows in a second suit.

Clean Hand (Honitsu, Hon iisou) - Exposed - 2 Fan; Concealed - 3 Fan

One suit, plus Winds and/or Dragons.

All Terminals, w/ Terminal Chows (Junchan taiyao) - Exposed - 2 Fan; Concealed - 3 Fan

Each grouping in this hand has a one or a nine in it somewhere.


Four Identical Chows (Yonjun, Iisou suu shun) - Exposed - 5 Fan

Same-number Chows in one suit only. Effectively, three sequential Kongs in one suit (hand does not earn an extra yaku for kongs).


Pure Hand (Chinitsu, Chin iisou) - Exposed - 5 Fan; Concealed - 6 Fan

Every tile in the hand is from the same suit (no Winds or Dragons).


Heavenly Gates, Nine Gates (Chuuren pooto) - Concealed - Yakuman

Pungs of Ones and Nines, plus 2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and any one tile, all the same suit.

Little Four Winds (Shoo suushii) - Exposed - Yakuman

In the Japanese game, the winner's Own wind is allowed to be either a Pung or the Pair (Head).

Big Three Dragons, Three Great Scholars (Dai sangen) - Exposed - Yakuman

Pungs of all of the Dragons.

All Kong (Suu kan tsu) - Exposed - Yakuman

Four kongs and a pair.

All Green (Ryuu iisou) - Exposed - Yakuman

The Green Dragons are optional -- they can be used for a Pung or a Pair, or not be used at all.

All Terminal Pungs (Chinrouto, Chin rao tou) - Exposed - Yakuman

Pungs and a pair of ones and nines only (kongs allowed).

All Winds and Dragons (Tsuu iisou) - Exposed - Yakuman

Pungs and a pair of Winds and Dragons (kongs allowed).

Unique Wonders, 13 Orphans, 13 Impossible (Koku shimusou) - Concealed - Yakuman

Above, shown as it would look in the hand. One of each of the ones and nines, plus one of each Wind and Dragon, and a duplicate of any tile in the hand. This is the only hand with which Robbing the Kong is allowed in Japanese Mah-Jongg. Any tile may be taken by Robbing the Kong (not only the duplicate).

Four Concealed Pungs (Suu ankou) - Concealed - Yakuman

To qualify for this hand, the player cannot take a discard to complete a Pung (because taking the discard to complete the Pung causes that Pung to be considered Exposed). The player would have to self-pick the final Pung tile, else go out waiting for the Head (which would be worth Double Yakuman -- Suu Ankou Tanki).

Pure Sequential Simple Pairs (Dai sharin) - Concealed - Yakuman

Pairs of twos through eights in one suit.

Four Consecutive Pungs in One Suit (Suu renkou) - Exposed - Yakuman

Kongs are allowed too -- they do not disqualify the hand from earning the yaku.

Thirteen Unrelated Tiles (Shiisan puutaa) - Concealed - Yakuman

Only valid on the initial deal, and only for dealer's initial hand. Hand has thirteen unrelated tiles (odd Honors or Terminals, for instance, and/or numbers separated by 2 or more numbers, like 1-4-7 or 2-5-8 or 3-6-9; 1-4-8, 1-5-8, or 1-5-9 for example; nothing in the hand can be easily turned into a Chow or Pung). Hand is total garbage, in other words, which will be nearly impossible to turn into a winning hand of Pungs and Chows. The 14th tile may match any tile in the hand.


Big Four Winds, Four Blessings (Dai suushii) - Exposed - Double Yakuman

Pungs (and/or kongs) of all four Winds and a pair of anything.

For more about Japanese Mah-Jongg:

Japanese Mah-Jongg; Rules & Options(Many images; may be slow to load.)
Japanese Yaku (Special Hands)
Scoring Japanese Mah-Jongg
Strategies for Japanese Mah-Jongg
Glossary of Japanese Mah-Jongg Terms

Or on to the next chapter:

Western Mah-Jongg