Riichi Competition Rules
3 GAME PLAY
The object of play is to form a complete hand. The ultimate object of the game is to
accumulate the most points from the winning hands. It doesn’t matter how many hands
each player has won, the accumulated score determines the winner.
3.1 Phases of the game
A player’s turn begins when a tile is acquired and ends when a tile is discarded.
During a normal set of turns all players have their turn once. A normal set of turns
is interrupted if a tile is claimed for kong, pung or chow, or a concealed kong is declared.
A hand lasts until a player has completed a hand and won, or a drawn game occurs. During a
round all players are East in turn. A complete game consist of two rounds: the east round
and the south round.
3.2 Mahjong hand
A complete mahjong hand is composed of four sets and a pair. A set may be either a chow,
a pung or a kong. In addition, a complete hand must have at least one yaku (double).
A player who is furiten, is not allowed to win on a discard.
A chow is three consecutive tiles of the same suit. Chows cannot be made with dragons or winds.
8-9-1 in the same suit is not a chow. A pung is composed of three identical tiles.
A kong is composed of four identical tiles. A pair is composed of two identical tiles.
Two special hands exist in riichi which are not composed of four sets and a pair: Seven
Pairs and Thirteen Orphans.
3.3 A player’s turn
Players take their turns in order. East begins, and the turn order proceeds counter-clockwise.
A player begins his turn by drawing a tile. However, since East begins with fourteen tiles, East doesn’t
draw a tile on his ﬁrst turn. If the player can’t or won’t declare a win or a kong, the player ends his turn
by discarding one of his concealed tiles. East should wait until all players have seen and sorted their tiles
before making the ﬁrst discard.
Players should take care to discard tiles without covering them with the hand. Discards are placed in an orderly
fashion, left to right and six tiles to a row, in front of each player and within the wall, so that it is clear
who discarded which tiles and in which order.
3.3.1 Precedence and timing when claiming a tile
The most recent discard can be claimed by any player for a pung or kong until the next
player draws. The most recent discard can be claimed for a win by any player until the
next player discards, except in case of tsumo.
A claimed kong or pung may result in players losing their turn, as play continues from
the claiming player, not from the discarding player. If a player claims a tile for winning,
any concurrent claim for kong, pung or chow is ignored. It is possible for several players
to win on the same discard. The player about to begin his turn can claim the most recent
discard for a chow. If the player doesn’t want to claim the discard, he begins his turn by
drawing a tile from the wall.
Claiming a tile for winning takes precedence over any other claim. Claiming a tile for
kong or pung takes precedence over a claim for chow. A player who has claimed a tile for
winning cannot change his claim.
Players are not limited in time to play, but they are expected to play at a reasonable pace.
A player drawing tiles too fast for the other players to have time to call, or repeatedly
taking an overly long time, can be penalized for obstruction at the referee’s discretion.
If a player is drawing a tile too fast for the other players to have time to call, the call
is still valid and the drawn tile is replaced in the wall.
3.3.2 Swap-calling (kuikae)
Swap-calling (kuikae) is not allowed. It is not allowed to claim a tile and immediately discard
the same tile. It is not allowed to claim a tile for chow and discard the tile from other end of the chow.
3.3.3 Melded chow
A tile can only be claimed for a chow from the player on the left. Claiming the last discarded
tile for a chow is done by ﬁrst clearly calling “chow” or “chi”. Secondly the player reveals
the matching tiles from the hand and thirdly discards a tile from the hand and claim the tile
called for. For the third step the order of the two actions is not important: the player can
take the claimed tile ﬁrst and then discard, or the other way round.
3.3.4 Melded pung
Claiming the last discarded tile for a pung is done by ﬁrst clearly calling “pung” or “pon”.
Secondly the player reveals the matching tiles from the hand and thirdly discards a tile from
the hand and claim the tile called for. For the third step the order of the two actions is not
important: the player can take the claimed tile ﬁrst and then discard, or the other way round.
3.3.5 Melded kong
Claiming the last discarded tile for a melded kong is done by clearly calling “kong” or “kan”,
placing the tile face-up along with the three matching tiles from the hand. After revealing a new
kan dora, the player takes a replacement tile from the dead wall and continues his turn as if he’d
drawn a tile from the wall.
The dead wall always comprises 14 tiles, so after a kong the last tile of the wall becomes part of the dead wall.
3.3.6 Extending a melded pung to a kong
A melded pung may be extended to a melded kong in a player’s turn after the player has taken a
tile from the wall or a replacement tile, i.e. not in a turn where a tile was claimed for chow
or pung. The player must call “kong” or “kan” clearly, place the fourth tile by the rotated tile
of the pung and then reveal a kan dora and take a replacement tile. The tile used to extend the
pung counts as a discard, and can be claimed for a win. The dead wall always comprises 14 tiles,
so after a kong the last tile of the wall becomes part of the dead wall.
3.3.7 Concealed kong
A concealed kong may be declared in a player’s turn after the player has taken a tile from the wall
or a replacement tile, i.e. not in a turn where a tile was claimed for chow or pung. The player must
call “kong” or “kan” clearly, reveal the four tiles of the kong, then turn the two middle tiles face-down,
reveal a kan dora and take a replacement tile. The dead wall always comprises 14 tiles, so after a kong the
last tile of the wall becomes part of the dead wall.
A player still has a concealed hand after declaring a concealed kong, if the player has no open sets.
A concealed kong cannot be robbed, except to win on Thirteen Orphans.
Note that four identical tiles only make up a kong, if a concealed kong is declared.
3.3.8 Displaying sets
Tiles in melded sets can not be rearranged to form other sets, and they cannot be discarded.
After calling a tile, the relevant tiles from the hand are immediately exposed. It is allowed to make the
discard before the claimed tile is taken. If the claimed tile is not taken within the next two opponents’
turns, i.e. before another two discards has been made, the player has a dead hand.
Melded sets are placed to the right of the player's tiles in clear view for all players. Claimed tiles are
rotated to indicate which player made the discard. If the tile was discarded by the player sitting on the
left, the claimed tile is put on the left side of the set. If the tile was discarded by the player sitting
in front, the claimed tile is put in the middle of the set. If the tile was discarded by the player sitting
on the right, the claimed tile is put on the right side of the set. A claimed kong has one rotated tile.
A kong made by extending an open pung has two rotated tiles: the extending tile is placed by the previously
1 2 3 4 5 Next