Written by Adrie van Geffen
There are quite a number of manuals on the basics of how to play a game of mahjong. The amount on strategy and tactics however is limited. Mahjong Time has asked Adrie van Geffen (a3geffen) to
write something in that territory. In the year 2011 he will publish a series of articles with hints and pointers having to do with strategy of mahjong in the different styles (except American):
Hong Kong (HK); European Classic (EC); Mahjong Competition Rules (MCR); Riichi Competition Rules (RCR); Taiwanese (TW). Below part 6 – exclusion rule MCR.
Although it is basic what has become to know as the exclusion rule in MCR, it appears to be difficult for some to understand and for some instructors hard to explain. Some players think they
should have one point more than they calculated themselves. The chat room of Mahjong Time does not suffice for explanation and not every player is able to give it. It’s quite an important
rule for it could mean that you make a false mahjong being one point short for reaching the minimum of eight.
There is a combination making a mixed straight worth 8 points. Then you have which combines with for a mixed double chow
and with for terminal
chows. You may however only make one combination count for 1 point. It’s your choice which combination, but still only one.
The trick is that you have to be able to put the sets in one row and connect them when scoring. This is one-dimensional: one straight row and a dash (‘-‘) between the scoring
elements and each connection (or dash) can only be used once for counting. No overlapping or long lines. The hand above could be represented as: ---. No link between and . If you want that, then you get ---, but then of course there is no link anymore between and .
Now consider a hand like: .
You can form mixed shifted chows in two ways. But then you would use the link between - twice, which is not
allowed. The right ways of representing this hand is either -- - or -- - . Six points for mixed shifted chows and one point for short straight.
Check out the next representations of hands and see what you can make of them: