Scoring Japanese Mah-Jongg

Scoring starts off roughly similar to how the scoring system of Chinese and Western, but to finish calculating the score a chart must be used. In Japanese Mah-Jongg, only the winner earns points (there is no "payment to all" option in the Japanese game).

When someone makes a complete hand, s/he can declare Mah-Jongg. Two score boxes appear.

This first score box shows the winning player's score breakdown. If the list of attributes of the hand is larger than the score box, you can use the Down button to scroll down and view the bottom of the list (and the total). The Hide button shrinks the score box so you can examine the tabletop. Pressing the OK button causes the next score box to be displayed.

The second score box shows the distribution of points between the players. The Prev button can be used to view the breakdown of previous hands in the game.


The following points apply to regular Mah-Jongg hands (special "limit" hands, or "yaku," are handled differently, as described later).

Going Out, Concealed, on a discard - 30 base points
Going Out on 7 Pairs - 25 points (and add no other points)
Going Out any other way - 20 base points

After base points, add more points as appropriate:

Going Out on Self-Pick - 2 points
One-Chance - 2 points
Pung/Simples, Exposed - 2 points
Pung/Simples, Concealed - 4 points
Pung Honor/Term, Exposed - 4 points
Pung Honor/Term, Concealed - 8 points
Kan/Simples, Exposed - 8 points
Kan/Simples, Concealed - 16 points
Kan Honor/Term, Exposed - 16 points
Kan Honor/Term, Concealed - 32 points
Pair of Dragons - 2 points
Pair Own or Prevailing Wind - 2 points

After arriving at total points, if result is not divisible by ten (except in case of 25 points for 7 Pairs), then round UP to the nearest multiple of ten. Then the score is obtained from a chart.

An important fine detail: when you go Out on someone's discard, the grouping completed by the discard is considered to be exposed (for point-scoring purposes). The hand itself, however, is still regarded as concealed, if no melds were made prior to going Out. There are two special cases in scoring-Pin-Huu (Japanese: "Pinfu") with Tsumo (self-pick) and Chii Toitsu (Seven Pairs).

PINFU-The Tsumo win would normally be worth 2 points, but "PINFU" literally means "no points." You get a Fan for Pin-Huu anyway, so the Tsumo points are not awarded when you get PINFU.

Chii Toitsu-Player earns the 25 base points only-no additional Tsumo points (and no points for Dragon or Wind pairs). Use the special 25-point column in the chart.

Here's a scoring example-Non-Dealer gets Toi-Toi (All Pung) by someone's discard:

2 exposed Pungs of Simples - 4
1 concealed Pung of Simples - 4
1 concealed Pung of Terminals - 8
Subtotal - 16
Round it up to nearest ten - 20
Going Out, Exposed - + 20
Total points - 40
Now calculate the fan:
Toi-Toi - + 2 Fan
Total Fan - 2 Fan

Now go to the Non-Dealer chart since the winner is not dealer. Look in the 40-points column. In the 40-points column, move down to the 2-Fan row in the "Ron" section of the chart, since it was a discard and only one player will pay.

Score 2600

That's how much the thrower pays to the winner.

Japanese Mah-Jongg is most easily scored by using a chart. In the interest of players who play using real tiles and don't have a chart (or who want to check how the scoring is awarded by the game), the following describes how the scoring is calculated without a chart.

- Each Fan Doubles the score.
- Winner gets a 2 Fan base score for going Out, plus any other fan.
- Calculate the points, then start doubling for each earned Fan.
- Then, Multiply by 4 for a non-dealer Ron win; or multiply by 6 for a dealer Ron win.*
- Finally, round up to the nearest multiple of 100.

* Here's the exact formula for each of the 5 cases:
Dealer/Tsumo-pts. x2 x2 x (dbl. for ea. fan) x2, rounded up
Dealer/Ron-pts. x2 x2 x (dbl. for ea. fan) x6, rounded up
Non-dealer/Tsumo/non-dlr. pmt.-pts. x2 x2 x (dbl. for ea. fan), rounded up
Non-dealer/Tsumo/dealer pmt.-pts. x2 x2 x (dbl. for ea. fan) x2, rounded up
Non-dealer/Ron-pts. x2 x2 x (dbl. for ea. fan) x4, rounded up


- For a Dealer/Ron win with 1 Fan and 90 points, scoring is: 90 x2 x2 x2 x6=4320. Round up to 4400.
- For a Non-dealer/Ron win with 1 Fan and 90 points, scoring is: 90 x2 x2 x2 x4=2880. Round up to 2900.

Scoring Chart-Dealer

The Tsumo section shows how much each player pays the Dealer. The Ron section shows how much the thrower pays the Dealer.

Scoring Chart-Non-Dealer

In the Tsumo section of the Non-Dealer chart, the Dealer and 2 non-Dealers will pay the winner. The top number is the non-Dealer payment amount; the bottom number is the Dealer payment amount. In the Ron section, the number indicates how many points the thrower pays the winner.

The entire 5-Fan row, half of the 4-Fan row, and one square of the 3-Fan row, is a "Limit" (Mangan) zone on the chart (the shaded area). You may notice that at 30 points and 4 Fan, the payment is nearly the same as if the winner had gotten "Mangan" (Limit). These special "close enough" scores are highlighted in a lighter shade of gray on the chart above; Shanghai: Second Dynasty follows the standard practice in rounding these scores up. Since 7700 or 7900 is so close to 8000, it is simply called Mangan and the two non-dealers pay the limit (4000 points). Similarly, if a dealer scores 11,600, that is regarded as being Mangan ("Limit").

But Mangan is not, truly, the Limit. It is possible to score even higher than that...

Scoring Chart-Limit Hands

If the winner gets more than 5 Fan, the following chart is used (points for going Out and for tile combinations are disregarded-only the Fan count is important above Mangan). Haneman is one and a half times Mangan. Baiman is Mangan times two. Sanbaiman is triple Mangan. Yakuman is quadruple Mangan.

Just as points are no longer counted above Mangan, so too are Fan no longer counted above Yakuman. Players are not awarded "Yakuman + 3 Fan," for instance.

At the end of the game, players are ranked First, Second, Third, and Last. Also at the end of the game, the score (until now measured in thousands of points) is converted into smaller units. Mainly this is done so that if the players are gambling, they know how much to pay one another. Japanese players customarily see the endgame score displayed in one- or two-digit numbers.

Players start the game with a bank of 25,000 points. At the end of the game, players are ideally supposed to attain a goal or target of 30,000 points. Shanghai: Second Dynasty allows you to vary the opening stake anywhere from 25,000 up to 30,000 (in 1,000 point increments) -- this example assumes your opening stake is 25,000. The goal amount is always 30,000.

1. Players' final scores are compared with the goal of 30,000 and it is determined how far off the mark they are. For example, if a player winds up with 35,000, then he's 5,000 ahead; if a player winds up with 24,000, then he's minus 6,000.

2. The player with the highest score is awarded the difference between the start points and goal for each player around the table (20,000 is added to his score).

3. Each player's score is divided by 1,000. If a score is not evenly divisible by 1,000 then the score has to be rounded first. If the "fraction of 1,000" is 500 or more, round up. If 400 or less, round down. For example, if a player had end score of 35,000 and then was awarded 20,000, his final score is +25 (20,000 winnings added to the amount of points over 30,000).

4. Now the player's final scores are compared to determine who is the Top player, who is 2nd, who is 3rd, and who is Last.

5. If a point spread ("uma") is used, it is calculated here. Shanghai: Second Dynasty's default point spread is 0-0, so no score difference is the usual result. But let's say you choose to use a point spread of 5-10. Add ten points to the Top player's score. Add five points to the 2nd player's score. Subtract five points from the 3rd player's score. Subtract ten points from the Last player's score.

6. When players are gambling, then multiply the final score (after calculating the point spread, if you so choose) times the previously-agreed monetary unit (usually either Y 100 or Y 1,000) to arrive at the payment amount. In the following example, we assume Y 100 payment. NOTE that in Shanghai: Second Dynasty, we do not use the bottom row of this chart (it is included in order to provide a complete understanding of how the Japanese scoring works in the real world).

"Yaku" vs. "Fan"

A Yaku is a way to measure whether a hand meets the minimum scoring criteria or not-while a Fan is merely a bonus awarded to a winning hand. "Yaku" means "rule." Think of a Yaku as a rule defining the minimum requirements for going Out. But a "Fan" (or "Han") is a measure of value for scoring.

If a hand is worth two Yaku, you get two Fan for that. Something that is worth a Fan does not, however, necessarily let you go Out. As mentioned before, while a Dora or Red Five is worth 1 Fan, it does not count as a Yaku. So you may not go Out with a Chicken hand that contains nothing more valuable than one or more Dora tiles and/or Red Fives. In the Chinese game, a Fan is a score doubler. In the Japanese game, it's easier to regard Fans as something to be counted up so that you know where on the chart one should look to get the hand's score.

In Japanese, Fan is pronounced "Han." Fans are counted in Japanese as follows:

1 Fan = Iihan
2 Fan = Ryanhan
3 Fan = Sanhan
4 Fan = Suhan
5 Fan = Uhan
6 Fan = Rohan (Ryuhan)
7 Fan = Chihan
8 Fan = Pahan

For more about Japanese Mah-Jongg:

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

Or on to the next chapter:

Western Mah-Jongg