Beginner's Lesson 18
Scoring for 30 Fu
In this lesson, we will cover the scoring table for hands worth 30 fu.
You may notice that there is a rough pattern. As mentioned in the previous lesson, each additional han, up to 4 han, doubles the score of the hand. Unfortunately, because of the rounding, the pattern is not perfect, but it is still there. Also because of the rounding, a tsumo is usually worth slightly more than a ron for a hand with the same han and fu values.
Next is the scoring table for the dealer for 30 fu hands:
These numbers are a little less clean than those for a non-dealer, but the pattern is still there. And you should notice that the numbers for a dealer tsumo are the same as the number of points that the dealer has to pay for a non-dealer’s tsumo. This is the same as it was for the limit hands in the previous lesson.
One more thing to note is the values for 4 han and 30 fu. These scores are very close to that of a mangan. So close in fact, that in many rulesets, they are rounded up to mangan. This optional rule is called, “kiriage mangan” (“rounded-up mangan”). This rule is not more common one way or the other, so in the interest of learning, we will not be using kiriage mangan.
There are many hands that are commonly worth 30 fu. A pinfu hand won by ron is always 30 fu. Open hands are very commonly 30 fu; they cannot be worth less, and it usually requires multiple triplets to make them worth more than 30 fu. Most hands won by tsumo are also worth 30 fu, regardless of if they are open or closed. It would take at least 1 ankou for a hand to be worth more than 30 fu by tsumo. Just remember that tsumo itself adds 2 fu to the hand, so with 1 ankou of a terminal or honor tile (8 fu) and a final wait that is worth 2 fu (like a kanchan), the hand would be over 30 fu.
These scores are not as easy to remember as the scores for limit hands. If you are just starting out, then it is perfectly fine to refer to a scoring table while playing. However, if you want to become a strong riichi mahjong playing, you have to at least memorize these common values. To that end, we will cover a few tips to help you remember the scoring table. These tips work for any fu value, so be sure to try them out in future lessons as well!
Start by memorizing the value for a 4 han ron (or the 3 han ron, if a 4 han ron would be rounded down to mangan). For this example, we will be using the non-dealer value: 7700. From there, you can halve the number and round up to the nearest 100 to get the 3 han ron value: 7700 ÷ 2 = 3850 → 3900. This works all the way down to the 1 han ron value: 1000.
That’s all of the ron values, but you can use this method to memorize the tsumo values as well. Against, starting from the value of a 4 han ron, 7700, you can halve the number and round up to get the value paid by the dealer for a tsumo: 3900. Then you can halve that number and round up to get the value paid the other non-dealers: 2000.
You should notice that these values are the same as those for a 3 han ron and a 2 han ron. That makes it very simple! However, once you get down to a 1 han tsumo, how do you figure out the numbers? You can actually use the exact same method:
1000 ÷ 2 = 500 → 500
500 ÷ 2 = 250 → 300
You can use this method to memorize the ron values for a dealer, as well. The tsumo values are a little different, but again, you should notice that the numbers for a dealer tsumo are the same as the number of points that the dealer has to pay for a non-dealer’s tsumo.
In essence, all you have to memorize are the highest ron values, and you can derive the rest from there. These scoring tables may have looked daunting at first, but they are really very easy to understand!
Not only that, but once you have memorized the scoring tables for 30 fu, you have also memorized the scoring tables for 60 fu. Remember that each additional han, up to 4 han, roughly doubles the value of the hand. Because the base of the calculation is the fu value, doubling the fu value also doubles the value of the hand. Take a look at the scoring tables for 60 fu:
Look familiar? It’s the same as the scoring table for 30 fu, just shifted to the left. The 4 han values in these tables are the values for a mangan. As mentioned in the previous lesson, a hand worth 4 or less han cannot be worth more than mangan and is rounded down to mangan.
As a reminder, like with the 4 han 30 fu values, the 3 han 60 values are rounded up to mangan in rulesets that use kiriage mangan. This should make sense, because 4 han 30 fu is equal to 3 han 60 fu.
Hands worth 60 fu are uncommon. In fact, a hand would require at least 1 kan to reach 60 fu. However, as long as you have the numbers for 30 fu memorized, you should have no problems with 60 fu.
In the next lesson, we will cover hands worth 20 and 40 fu, and by extension, 80 fu.