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Mahjong is a traditional tabletop game usually played by four players at a square table. It originated in China but there are now countless variants worldwide. Most of the Ryū ga Gotoku / Yakuza games feature playable mahjong minigames that all use the same modern Japanese rules and scoring.

This article is not a full guide to mahjong - instead it aims to teach the basics you need to start playing the game effectively. For more comprehensive coverage refer to my Yakuza mahjong guides on GameFAQs or download my complete illustrated PDF guide to the rules and terminology of Japanese mahjong.

In an effort to make this article more accessible and applicable to the whole Yakuza series I've used common English terms where practical. Unhelpfully the mahjong terminology used in the English-language editions is not consistent between titles but I've tried to list all variations here at least once. Important terms are given in bold text where they're introduced and defined.

I'm always happy to help with questions about Japanese mahjong so feel free to contact me directly with any queries. You can email me at hotmail.com or message me on GameFAQs or the Reach Mahjong forums - I'm Barticle on all those sites.

TournamentEdit

Where you're given the option you should register for the mahjong tournament.

Registration will usually cost you 50,000 Yen (or 50,000 Mon in Ishin) but you can then play as many tournament matches as you like for free so it's very useful when you're learning. You'll also have the chance to win various prizes which are worth much more than your initial entry fee.

TilesEdit

Japanese mahjong is played with 136 tiles with four copies each of 34 different designs.

The tiles are not unlike western playing cards - there are three suits with tiles numbered 1 to 9. In English the three suits are commonly known as Craks, Dots and Bams (Bamboos). There are also four winds (compass directions) and three dragons (colours) which are collectively known as honours.

Mahjong-tiles

You'll need to learn to recognise the Chinese kanji numbers on the Craks tiles (with black and red markings) and the four characters on the wind tiles (with black markings). You can use this diagram for reference.

Match FormatEdit

A standard match in the modern Japanese rules is a half game played over two rounds. In the first round the prevalent wind or round wind is east (東) then in the second round it's south (南). In the rule options you can choose whether to play a half game of two rounds or a quarter game with a single east round.

At the start of the match each of the four players is allocated a seat wind (east, south, west or north) but these labels rotate around the table as the match progresses.

Each round is played over four hands and the seat winds rotate one place after each hand so that every player gets to be each of the winds over the course of the round. This is complicated by the fact that an extra hand is played (without the seat winds changing) whenever a hand ends in either a win for the current east player or a draw where the east player had a ready hand (one tile away from being complete).

Rotation of Seat Winds during a Half Game
East 1 East 2 East 3 East 4 South 1 South 2 South 3 South 4
Player A East North West South East North West South
Player B South East North West South East North West
Player C West South East North West South East North
Player D North West South East North West South East

The current prevalent wind (east or south) and the number of the current hand (1 to 4) are always shown in the centre of the screen - this will either be in English (e.g. East 1) or Japanese (e.g. 東一局 or 東1).

Each player's current seat wind is indicated by the kanji next to their name using the same characters that appear on the wind tiles (so 東 is east, 南 is south, 西 is west and 北 is north).

Hand StructureEdit

Mahjong plays like a card game - it resembles the game rummy where you build sets of cards.

You start with thirteen tiles. Players take turns in counter-clockwise order around the table - on each turn you draw another tile and then discard one. Your goal is to be the first player to make a complete hand composed of four sets and one pair and which also has at least one combination.

Mahjong-hand2

There are three types of set:

  • Sequence - three consecutive tiles in the same suit (also called a Chow)
  • Triplet - three identical tiles (also called a Pung)
  • Quad - four identical tiles* (also called a Kong)
*You can declare a quad either when you have four matching tiles in your hand or when you've made a triplet by stealing a tile and you draw the fourth matching tile. Press the Square button to display the Kong or Kan (カン) command for this. You will then take an extra tile so you have enough to complete your hand.
Mahjong-sets2

Sets can overlap so 566778 in one suit counts as two sequence sets (567 and 678).

In addition to the four sets, your hand will also need one pair of two identical tiles so make sure you keep a pair when you have one. Any further pairs should usually be broken and discarded, although Japanese mahjong does also recognise a valid hand of seven pairs (these must be seven different pairs).

Hand Building Edit

The wind and dragon tiles are the least versatile because they can only be used to make triplet/quad sets and pairs while the suit tiles can also be used to make sequence sets. Tiles numbered 1 or 9 can make one type of sequence (e.g. 123), tiles numbered 2 or 8 can make two types (e.g. 123 or 234) and the tiles from 3 to 7 are the most versatile because they can make three types (e.g. 123, 234 or 345).

If you have a pair of dragons, prevalent wind or seat wind then you will often be able to steal the third to make a triplet that counts as a combination, otherwise you would usually discard any lone winds and dragons first, followed by any isolated ones and nines, and then any isolated twos and eights.

Sequence sets are more efficient because they're easier to make. Since there are four copies of each tile, if you have two identical tiles there are only two others that could complete the triplet (e.g. 33 makes 333). If you have 12, 89 or two tiles that are two apart (e.g. 57) there are four copies of the one tile that could complete the sequence set. The best basic structure to have is two consecutive suit tiles between 2 and 8 because there are four copies each of the two tiles that would complete the sequence (e.g. 56 makes 456 or 567).

In the following case you would keep the complete sequence and pair in the Craks suit and the efficient 67 shape in Bams. Start by discarding the wind and dragon, then the lone 9 Dots and 2 Bams. If you draw 3 Dots the 24 will become a sequence or if you get 5 Dots you'll have 45 and then you can discard the 2 Dots.

Mahjong-starting

Stealing Tiles Edit

It's possible to take a tile that an opponent has just discarded and use it to complete a set.

You can use the Pung or Pon (ポン) command to take a tile from any opponent to complete a triplet set, for example when you have two red dragon tiles in your hand and another player discards a third one.

Similarly you can use the Chow or Chii (チー) command to take a tile from the player to your left to complete a sequence set, for example if you have 2 Dots and 3 Dots in your hand and you can steal 4 Dots to make a 234 set or if you have 6 Bams and 8 Bams you can take 7 Bams to make a 678 set.

(You can also use the Kong or Kan (カン) command to take a tile from any opponent to complete a quad set, for example when you have three east tiles in your hand and another player discards the fourth one.)

Any set completed with a stolen tile is locked - the tiles cannot be discarded. Also after making your first steal your whole hand goes from being concealed to exposed.

It's often better to reject all steals and keep your hand concealed. Stealing tiles will sometimes leave your hand without any possible combinations so you can't declare a win with it. Some combinations (including the major ones Riichi and Pinfu / No-Points Hand) are disallowed in an exposed hand and several other combinations score less with steals. Also a concealed hand has better potential for defending and if you win by Tsumo without steals you get the extra combination Fully Concealed Hand.

However sometimes you might use steals as long as you ensure that you have at least one combination which is valid in an exposed hand, for example All Simples (specifically when the Kuitan rule option is applied) or a triplet of dragons, prevalent wind or seat wind. This is an easier way to get a winning hand while you're still learning the game or to win more quickly when you have a valuable hand (e.g. with several Dora bonus tiles or a Full Flush). Also if it looks like a hand is going to end in a draw you can sometimes steal tiles to get a ready hand (one tile away from complete) so that you get some or all of the 3,000 points paid in a draw.

Common CombinationsEdit

To be able to declare a win your complete hand must always have at least one combination (also known as a scoring element in the localised Yakuza games). These are similar to the combinations of poker (Two Pair, Full House, Flush, etc) except in mahjong you can claim two or more combinations in the same hand.

The in-game help pages (accessed by pressing Triangle in most games or Circle in Yakuza 2) illustrate all the combinations that are recognised in the modern Japanese rules. You should have an awareness of these but you don’t need to memorise all of them. Certainly the valuable Yakuman (limit hands) are incredibly rare!

I've only listed the most common combinations (most frequent first) because these are the best ones to learn.

Riichi and Pinfu / No-Points Hand are important combinations - much of the time you should be attempting to use both together (and hopefully with other combos and Dora bonus tiles to boost your score).

Each combination is worth a certain number of Han (also called Fan) which adds to the value of your hand.


RiichiEdit

Declaring Riichi is like making a bet that you'll win the hand. It has the following four requirements:

  • Your hand must have no sets made by stealing tiles
  • You must have a ready hand (one tile away from a complete hand)
  • You must have 1,000 points available to pay for it
  • There must be at least four tiles remaining to be drawn

In order to display the Riichi (リーチ) command you need to press the Square button when it's your turn. (If you're unsure you can just get in the habit of pressing Square on every turn!)

After declaring Riichi you continue to take your turns but your whole hand is locked so you can only discard your drawn tile or declare a win with it (or use it to make a quad set if possible).

If you win the hand after declaring Riichi you get your 1,000 points back and you get the Riichi combination in addition to any other combinations that are applicable. Riichi can be used to add the necessary combination to a hand that doesn't qualify for any others.

In the event of a draw any Riichi bets stay on the table and will be collected by the next player to win a hand. The number in the centre of the screen next to a bar with a single red dot indicates the number of unclaimed Riichi bets left on the table (each worth 1,000 points).

Winning a hand with Riichi can give two additional luck-based benefits:

  • If you win immediately after declaring Riichi you get the bonus combination Ippatsu
  • An extra Dora bonus tile is applied

To avoid wasting your points it's best to use Riichi only when you have several turns remaining (check your discards or the tile counter in the centre of the screen) and when there are two or more different tiles that would complete your hand. All Yakuza games from Kenzan onwards have a pop-up indicator that appears when choosing Riichi which shows your possible winning tiles and how many of each are still available.

Riichi is worth one Han. It is not valid in an exposed hand (with steals).


Triplet of Dragons, Seat Wind or Prevalent Wind Edit

Every triplet set of red dragon, white dragon, green dragon, your current seat wind (shown next to your name) or the prevalent wind (shown in the centre of the display) counts as a valid combination.

This will usually give a relatively cheap hand unless you can combine it with Dora bonus tiles or a Half Flush, however it's one of the easiest ways to get the combination required to declare a win. If you have two matching tiles you can steal the third to complete the set and, since the hand is already exposed, you might as well steal more tiles to complete the hand faster.

Each triplet is worth one Han (with or without steals). If your seat wind matches the prevalent wind (for example when you have the east seat in the east round) then it's counted twice.

Mahjong-yakuhai

All Simples / Tanyao Edit

The simples are the suit tiles numbered 2 to 8 inclusive so the requirement for this combination is that your hand contains no ones, nines, winds or dragons. This is another easy choice for novices to get a combination.

All Simples is worth one Han. It's always valid in a hand without steals but it can only be claimed in a hand with steals when the Kuitan rule option is applied.

Mahjong-tanyao

Pinfu / No-Points Hand Edit

Pinfu has the following four requirements:

  • Your hand must have no sets made by stealing tiles
  • All four sets must be sequence sets
  • The pair cannot be made of dragons, the prevalent wind or your seat wind
  • Your hand must be completed by making a sequence from two consecutive suit tiles (see pic)

With the right tiles Pinfu can be combined with Pure Double Chow, Mixed Triple Chow or Full Straight.

Pinfu is worth one Han. It is not valid in an exposed hand (with steals).

Mahjong-pinfu2

Fully Concealed Hand Edit

This applies to any concealed hand (no steals) which is won by Tsumo so the sets and the overall hand are all completed without taking any tiles from your opponents.

Since a concealed hand is required for both Riichi and Pinfu this can often be combined with those.

Fully Concealed Hand is worth one Han. It is not valid in an exposed hand (with steals).


Ippatsu Edit

This is a potential bonus applied when you win immediately after declaring Riichi. To get Ippatsu you must either win by Ron off the next discard from any of your three opponents or by Tsumo off the tile you draw on your next turn. If another player steals a tile after you declare Riichi then Ippatsu cannot be claimed.

Ippatsu is worth one Han. It is not possible in an exposed hand (with steals).


Half Flush Edit

This is a hand containing only one of the three suits plus at least one triplet (or a pair) of winds or dragons - in other words the hand has two suits completely excluded. The value can be increased by including triplets of dragons, seat wind or prevalent wind.

Half Flush is worth three Han (no steals) or two Han (with steals).

Mahjong-honitsu

Pure Double Chow / Identical Sequences Edit

This combination requires two identical sequences (same suit and same numbers) in a concealed hand (no steals); since the tiles are displayed in numerical order, the two sets will overlap (334455 = 345 + 345).

Pure Double Chow is worth one Han. It is not valid in an exposed hand (with steals).

Mahjong-iipeikou

All Pungs / All Triplet Hand Edit

This applies to a hand of four triplets and one pair. Quad sets can also be used instead of any triplets.

This can sometimes give a quick and cheap win if you have a hand with several pairs and you're happy to steal tiles, but generally it's not a great choice.

All Pungs is always worth two Han (with or without steals).

Mahjong-toitoi

Mixed Triple Chow / Three Colour Straight Edit

This combo requires three sequences with the same numbers, one set in each suit.

Mixed Triple Chow is worth two Han (no steals) or one Han (with steals).
Mahjong-sanshoku

Seven Pairs Edit

An exception to the usual structure of four sets and a pair, this hand has seven pairs instead.

The pairs must be unique - you cannot use four identical tiles (an undeclared quad set) as two pairs.

Seven Pairs is worth two Han. Since it has no sets it's not possible to steal tiles when building this hand.
Mahjong-chiitoitsu

Pure Straight / Full Straight Edit

This combination requires three consecutive sequence sets (123, 456 and 789) all in the same suit. Any of the four sets can be completed by stealing and any tiles can be used for the fourth set and the pair.

Pure Straight is worth two Han (no steals) or one Han (with steals).
Mahjong-ittsuu

Dora (Bonus Tiles)Edit

The Dora system is a handy way to boost your score. The tile shown in the centre of the screen is the Dora indicator and the next sequential tile is the Dora. Each Dora tile in your hand is worth one Han, for example if the indicator is 2 Dots and you have a pair of 3 Dots in your hand then you have two Dora worth two Han.

The numbers wrap so a number 9 indicator will make the Dora number 1 in the same suit and the dragons and winds follow the sequences shown in the diagram below.

Mahjong-dora1

Here are four examples applying these rules:

Mahjong-dora2

When a player wins a hand after declaring Riichi an extra indicator tile (called a Reverse Dora, Underside Dora or Ura-Dora in various Yakuza games!) will be revealed under the standard Dora indicator and applied.

After a quad set is declared an additional Dora indicator will be revealed in the centre of the virtual tabletop and then if a player wins with Riichi the extra Reverse Dora indicators will be flipped under both the standard Dora indicator and the extra quad Dora indicator.

(The additional Dora tile/s resulting from declaring a quad set can often give a significant boost to the value of a hand so it's usually best to only make a quad when you're close to winning a hand. It can be very dangerous to do it after another player has declared Riichi since two extra Dora would be applied if they win.)

WinningEdit

When you have a ready hand (one tile away from being complete with four sets and a pair) and it qualifies for at least one combination there are two ways to complete it and declare a winning hand.

  • Tsumo (ツモ) is when you win off a tile you drew yourself. All three opponents pay a share.
  • Ron (ロン) is when you win off an opponent's discarded tile. The discarder pays the full amount.

Declaring a win is sometimes called "going out" or "calling mahjong" in English.

If you have a ready hand that could be completed by any of the tiles that you've already discarded yourself then you are Furiten and you cannot declare a Ron win on any tile. You can still win by Tsumo or you can change your hand structure so you are no longer Furiten.

ScoringEdit

In modern Japanese mahjong each player usually starts a match with the standard total of 25,000 points each. Usually if you're not playing in the tournament you'll need to buy your first points from the parlour receptionist.

The value of a winning hand is calculated from two numbers:

  • Minipoints or Fu - you can pretty much ignore these since scores are calculated automatically
  • Han or Fan - these are also known as "doubles" since each one will double the value of your hand

Each combination is worth one or more Han and each Dora bonus tile is worth one Han too, so for example a typical winning hand with Riichi, Pinfu and All Simples combinations plus one Dora scores four Han.

The value of the hand is doubled once per Han but with higher value hands a series of tiered limits or caps is applied to the points won, e.g. Mangan (5 Han), Haneman (6 or 7 Han), Baiman (8, 9 or 10 Han), etc.

If the supply of tiles is depleted without a win being declared then the hand ends in a draw. In this situation a total of 3,000 points is shared between the players who have ready hands (one tile away from complete) paid by the other players whose hands are not ready.

The player whose seat wind is currently east (東) receives 50% extra points each time they win a hand so you should try to take advantage when you have the east seat. You will remain east in an extra hand (in addition to the standard four per round) whenever you win a hand or it ends in a draw where you have a ready hand.

Every consecutive hand that results in either a win for the east player or a draw will add one to the Honba counter in the centre of the screen next to a bar with eight dots. This indicates the number of 300 points bonuses that will be added to the value of any winning hand (e.g. 3 x 300 pts = 900 pts). When any player other than the east player wins a hand the Honba counter is reset to zero.

At the end of a match the player with the highest score wins and then a final exchange of points between players is applied. Traditionally the amounts traded are symmetrical, for example with 3rd place paying 10,000 pts to 2nd and 4th place paying 20,000 pts to 1st, however in the earlier Yakuza games they're skewed - typically with 1st place receiving 10,000 pts from 3rd and 15,000 pts from 4th. This will never change the final positions but if you're gambling it will affect the amount of money you win - or lose!

DefendingEdit

Once you've won some points you'll want to keep them. If an opponent declares a Ron win off one of your discarded tiles then you pay the full amount for their win so sometimes you'll need to play defensively. If another player declares Riichi you know they're only one tile away from winning and the safest action is to dismantle your hand so that you can discard safe tiles. This is a tough lesson to learn but sometimes you need to "lose a battle in order to win the war"!

The best tiles to discard are ones that the Riichi player has already discarded (because they will be Furiten on them). It's also good to discard any tiles that you or the other players have discarded since the player declared Riichi (because the previous ones weren't taken for a win).

Defence is a good reason for not stealing tiles from your opponents - the tiles in your exposed sets are locked so you have fewer to choose from when "folding" your hand like this.

Rule OptionsEdit

The mahjong minigame has the following four options.

In the original Japanese games the rule settings are 採用 (use) and 不採用 (don't use).


Game Style (Match Length) Edit

Half Game - A standard "half game" (半荘戦) is played over two rounds* (east and south). If you're trying to get a big score for completion this gives you more chances to win some hands.

Quarter Game - A "quarter game" (東風戦) is played over a single round (east). You can pick this option if you want shorter matches, perhaps to farm money off the final bonus or to save time on tournament progression.

(Confusingly in Yakuza 2 these same two options were labelled as "full game" and "half game"!)

*A full game in the classical Chinese mahjong rules is played over four rounds.


Kuitan Edit

Use - With Kuitan (食いタン) the combination All Simples / Tanyao (only suit tiles numbered two to eight) can be claimed on an exposed hand (with one or more sets made by stealing tiles). This is one of the easiest ways to win with steals and you can use it to get a quick win when your hand has several Dora bonus tiles.

Don't Use - All Simples can only be claimed on a concealed hand (no steals).


Two Fan Minimum Edit

Use - With the Two Fan Minimum (二翻縛り), also called the Two Fan Requirement or Two Han Minimum, your hand must have either one or two combinations worth two or more Han in total to declare a win whenever the Honba counter shows 5 or more. (Han from Dora bonus tiles don’t count.)

Don't Use - A hand can always be won with any one combination. This option lets you win more easily with a cheap hand when the Honba counter is wound up to 5 or more.


Red Dora Edit

Use - With Red Dora (赤ドラ) four of the number 5 suit tiles are replaced by special versions with pure red markings. Each red five in a winning hand is worth one Han just like the normal Dora bonus tiles. This option can be used to boost the value of your winning hands.

Don't Use - Red fives are not used.


CompletionEdit

This appendix details the completionist requirements in all RGG / Yakuza games that feature mahjong.


Ryū ga Gotoku 6 Edit

Achievements:

  • Achieve 1st place on all four tables and in both tournaments
  • Win 5 hands
  • Win 10 hands
  • Win 30 hands

There are two mahjong parlours in Kamurochō (Tokyo), each with two tables and one tournament.

Mahjong Lullaby is on the top floor of the "Sexy Club" building south-east of the New Serena; winning a match there earns you one tournament point on the easy table (left) or two tournament points on the medium table (right). Kindai Mahjong (named after a popular mahjong manga) is in the basement of the Cat Café building in the south-east corner of the map; winning a match there gives you one tournament point on the medium table (left) or two tournament points on the hard table (right).

Once you have twelve tournament points all from one parlour you can speak to the receptionist there (top option) and choose to play a final match. At Mahjong Lullaby this costs 50,000 Yen and you get 500,000 Yen if you win, while at Kindai Mahjong both amounts are doubled. If you don't achieve 1st place then you need to qualify all over again so it's wise to save first and then reload if necessary.

You can use the quarter game rule option to save time while working on this.

"Playboy" Trophy: Play at all minigame playspots


Ryū ga Gotoku: Kiwami Edit

Completion: Win 10 hands

CP Achievements:

  • Win 10 hands
  • Win 5 hands at the Mangan limit (5 Han) or higher
  • Win 1 hand at the Haneman limit (6 or 7 Han) or higher
  • Win 1 hand with Ippatsu
  • Win 1 hand with Full Straight
  • Win 100,000 pts in total (not in one match)

For Mangan and Haneman you need to win with hands that have enough combinations and Dora to give you five, six or seven Han. You'll usually want to build sequence sets without steals for Pinfu. Declare Riichi when your hand is ready and if you're lucky you'll get Ippatsu and extra Dora. With only tiles numbered two to eight you'll get All Simples, while a Tsumo win without steals gives Fully Concealed Hand. Remember to check and use the Dora bonus tiles where possible. Activate the Red Dora option and use the red fives too.

Alternatively a Full Flush hand (all tiles in same suit) always scores at the Mangan limit or higher and you're free to steal tiles to complete some or all of the sets.

For Ippatsu you need to win immediately after Riichi so avoid stealing tiles and declare Riichi often. You can improve your chances by building a ready hand which can be completed by two or more different tiles where several copies of those tiles are still available. A Pinfu hand always has at least two winning tiles or three if you have five consecutive tiles in the same suit (e.g. 34567 completed with 2, 5 or 8).

For the Full Straight you want a complete winning hand including 123, 456 and 789 sets in the same suit. You'll usually need a starting hand with at least five or six different tiles in the same suit. You can steal tiles from your neighbour but take care to only make 123, 456 or 789 for the straight (e.g. not 234). Your hand must also have a pair and a fourth set which can be a sequence or triplet and you can make it by stealing.

Cheat Item: "Loading Tile" (Japanese name)

There is one source for a Loading Tile cheat item for mahjong:

  • coin locker I2 (key near bicycles at end of dead-end street north of the Serena and Poppo store)

If you activate this before a match you'll start as east and your first hand will have one each of every one, nine, wind and dragon - you have a ready hand for Pure Thirteen Orphans which is the special version of one of the very valuable Yakuman (limit hands). Keep those thirteen tiles and keep discarding the other one until you can declare a win off any one, nine, wind or dragon. This will be a double Yakuman worth 96,000 pts but if you're lucky enough to win by Tsumo on your first turn you'll get a triple Yakuman worth 144,000 pts!

Even with the smaller bonus for 1st place on the easy table this will always be enough to complete the CP achievement for earning 100,000 points in mahjong. It will also count as your Haneman win, one of your Mangan wins and obviously one of your basic hand wins too.

The Loading Tile cannot be used in tournament matches.

"Sexy Pon" Trophy: Enjoy a game of mahjong with a hostess

After clearing the first couple of ranks by filling the girl's fondness gauge you should start having the option to invite her on a date, although she won't always accept so just keep asking. When I tried this on my playthrough one girl accepted while working through Rank C and the other during Rank D.

Your date begins by meeting at Theatre Square and then you select one of several minigame playspots. If you pick mahjong you'll teleport to the mahjong parlour where you can play against the hostess and two other people. There is no requirement for you or the girl to win a match.

"Extremely Fun Man" Trophy: Play all minigames

(Remember to watch the bunnygirl's stageshow at Asia too.)


Ryū ga Gotoku 0 / Yakuza 0 Edit

CP Achievements:

  • Win 10 hands
  • Win 5 hands at the Mangan limit (5 Han) or higher
  • Win 1 hand at the Haneman limit (6 or 7 Han) or higher
  • Win 1 hand with Ippatsu
  • Win 1 hand with Full Straight
  • Win 10 million Yen in total (not in one match)

(See tips for Kiwami above which also requires five Mangan, one Haneman, Ippatsu and a Full Straight.)

The Advanced tables available in both cities give a much greater potential for making money because they use the highest rate (1 point = 100 Yen) plus the final bonus for 1st place is larger.

"What a Player" Trophy: Play all minigames


Ryū ga Gotoku: Ishin! Edit

Completion: Finish a match with 40,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

You'll usually need to win several good hands so try to build your hands efficiently and aim to include several combinations (often using Pinfu and Riichi as a base) with Dora bonus tiles and Red Dora.

When your seat wind is east (東) you might want to go for quick cheaper wins (or push for a ready hand in a draw) so you can keep the east seat and continue to enjoy the 50% bonus to your winning hand values.

Try to use basic defence after an opponent declares Riichi to avoid losing points to their Ron win.

You can use the half game rule option to give you more opportunities to win hands.

"Man who Knows all the Games" Trophy: Play at all minigame playspots

Friendship: "Mahjong Parlour Resident"

To fill the friendship gauge you need to play four mahjong matches - these can be in either tournament or gambling mode and you need to exit the mahjong parlour after each one. Then to complete the gauge you need to play one gambling match on the hard table (the one farthest from the entrance).


Ryū ga Gotoku 5 / Yakuza 5 Edit

Completion: Finish a match with 50,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

Cheat Item: "Lucky Tile"

There are four sources for a Lucky Tile cheat item for mahjong:

  • Sōtenbori coin locker C1 (key on boardwalk under south side of east bridge)
  • Sōtenbori coin locker J1 (key on east side of big bookshop, north of east bridge)
  • Kamurochō coin locker E2 (key at top of right wall in IF8 basement, north-east of Theatre Square)
  • Kamurochō Fun Pack 07 (available from convenience store in Premium Adventure mode)

If you activate this before a match you'll start as east and your first hand will have one each of every one, nine, wind and dragon - you have a ready hand for Pure Thirteen Orphans which is the special version of one of the very valuable Yakuman (limit hands). Keep those thirteen tiles and keep discarding the other one until you can declare a win off any one, nine, wind or dragon. This will be a double Yakuman worth 96,000 pts but if you're lucky enough to win by Tsumo on your first turn you'll get a triple Yakuman worth 144,000 pts!

This provides a quick and easy way to achieve completion for the mahjong minigame.

The Lucky Tile cannot be used in tournament matches and Haruka can't play mahjong so don't collect those coin locker keys while playing as her.

"Life is Entertainment" Trophy: Play all minigames


Kurohyō 2: Ryū ga Gotoku Edit

(Mahjong was absent from the first title in the Kurohyō spin-off series on the PSP but an entirely new mahjong minigame with better presentation, options, controls and stats was built for the second one.)

Completion: Win ten hands


Ryū ga Gotoku of the End / Yakuza Dead Souls Edit

Completion: Win one game on the expert table

To unlock the expert table you'll need to play the fishing minigame at the harbour until you catch a humanoid zombie named Esper Ito! You'll then find him at various minigame playspots including the mahjong parlour.

"Brainiac" Trophy: Win one game each of mahjong and shogi

Cheat Item: "Lucky Mahjong Marker"

A powerful cheat item for mahjong is available in the final event of the hostess Erika (available to Akiyama at Shine) after getting the maximum twenty hearts. At the mahjong parlour you'll encounter the Frightened Man who gives you a Lucky Mahjong Marker. Activate this when prompted and take the Tsumo win on your first turn to get a crazy triple Yakuman worth 144,000 points which will instantly bust all three opponents!

This provides a quick and easy way to get a mahjong win for the trophy.

The Lucky Mahjong Marker can only be used during Erika's mission.

(See my Yakuza Dead Souls guides on GameFAQs for details of how to get very easy shogi wins.)


Ryū ga Gotoku 4 / Yakuza 4 Edit

Completion: Finish a match with 50,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

(See tips for Ishin above which also requires a high score for completion.)

"Seven Pairs" Trophy: Win one hand with Seven Pairs

Ignore the hugely misleading trophy description - the requirement is winning a hand with Seven Pairs.

You'll need seven unique pairs in your hand so ideally you'll want to start from a hand that already has at least four pairs. You cannot steal tiles to make pairs so you'll need some more luck to draw the tiles you need until you have a ready hand with six pairs; you can improve your chances by discarding any unpaired tiles that have already been discarded (since there are fewer of these available).

Once you have six pairs you can win by either Ron or Tsumo. You can improve your odds by swapping your last unpaired tile until you have one that's easier to get - try one of the less useful tiles (winds and dragons, ones and nines, twos and eights) but check to see how many are already on the table. Take care to avoid making yourself Furiten - if you have already discarded the tile you need to win then you cannot win by Ron (in that case you can swap your unpaired tile again).


Ryū ga Gotoku 3 Edit

(Sadly mahjong was one of four minigames that were cut from the localised Yakuza 3.)

Completion: Finish a match with 50,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

(See tips for Ishin above which also requires a high score for completion.)

"Exposed Dragon" Trophy: Win one hand with an exposed pair wait

To achieve this you need to steal tiles to complete all four sets. That will leave you with a single tile which you need to match to make a pair, completing your hand with either a Ron or Tsumo win.

Remember that your hand must qualify for at least one combination before you can declare a win. With the right tiles it's easiest to use one triplet of dragons, seat wind or prevalent wind or All Simples* (only suit tiles numbered 2 to 8). Alternatively you could use an All Pungs (four triplets) or Half Flush hand.

The trophy name is a reference to Kiryū's "Dragon of Dojima" title - you're not required to use dragon tiles!

*Remember that the Kuitan rule option must be applied to use All Simples in a hand with steals.

"Minigame Master" Trophy: Meet the completion requirements for all minigames

I'd recommend buying some headache tablets and spare controllers. :P


Ryū ga Gotoku: Kenzan! Edit

Completion: Finish a match with 50,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

(See tips for Ishin above which also requires a high score for completion.)


Ryū ga Gotoku 2 / Yakuza 2 Edit

Completion: Finish a match with 50,000 pts or more (before the final bonus)

(See tips for Ishin above which also requires a high score for completion.)

"Mahjong" Substory: Win a special match with a 15,000 pts handicap

This is available after playing three mahjong matches and having an encounter outside the Kantō (Tokyo) mahjong parlour. In order to complete the substory you need to win a match after starting with 10,000 pts instead of the usual 25,000 pts. If you fail you can retry but each attempt costs two Silver Plates (or you can just save first and reload as necessary). The rule options include Ton-Nan (literally "east south" so matches last two rounds) and Ryan Shi (an abbreviation of the Japanese name for the Two Fan Minimum rule).


Further ReadingEdit

This appendix lists my other guides which you might find useful.

Credits Edit

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