"Making Your Hand" and "Making A Hand/Yaku" Are Not The Same (The Basics pt01)
Check Mahjong No Jan-Ryu for the original article.
*Translation of the original article start below*
So in this series, we will be breaking down basic theories from scrap. In this page, let's go over 2 basics of Mahjong.
"Making Your Hand" and "Making A Hand/Yaku" Are Not The Same.
-> 一気通貫 Ikki-Tsu-Kan（Ittsuu) *Winning Tile: 6 Sou/Bamboo*
-> 清一色 Chin-Ii-Sou (Chin-Itsu) *Winning Tile: 7 Man/Character*
Try to make these "Hands/Yakus" intentionally. Of course, in order to become better, you will need to improve making these "Hands/Yakus", but let's focus on improving on how to make "Your Hand" first. To explain, this is what it means....
"Making Your Hand" means...
To not get caught up on a specific Yaku or Dora, but to simply make 4 Mentsu (Set of 3 tiles) and 1 Jan-Tou (Atama/Pair) without worrying about any of the previously mentioned elements.
This maybe a good start. Aside from Chi-Toi-Tsu and other Hands/Yakus that are considered exceptions, the basics of Mahong is to "Make 4 Mentsu (Set of 3 tiles) and 1 Jan-Tou (Atama/Pair) efficiently". In general, we call this "Hai-Kou-Ritsu" or "Tile Efficiency", so let's learn a little more about this.
A good way to remember this, is by knowing that the golden rule to get better in Mahjong is to improve "making your hand" in general first, and then improve on how to "make a hand/yaku".
What's an "Ii-Shan-Ten"?
Next, let's go over some Mahjong terminology. If you need one more tile in order to win, we call this state "Ten-Pai". If you are in a Ten-Pai state like the image below, there are no unnecessary tiles, because all you need is the 8 Sou/Bamboo in order to win.
-> *Being In a "Ten-Pai" State*
And as you can see below, if you need one more tile in order to be in a Ten-Pai state, we call this state "Ii-Shan-Ten", and is something we use often, so let's try and remember this term.
-> *Being In an "Ii-Shan-Ten" State (1 Tile Away From Ten-Pai)*
If you need two more tiles to be in Ten-Pai, we call this "Riyan-Shan-Ten". If you need three more tiles to be in Ten-Pai, we count this as "San-Shan-Ten"(Riyan and San means Two and Three in its respective language). It is important in Mahjong to aim for Ten-Pai by having a "Wide Ii-Shan-Ten" (An Ii-Shan-Ten that easily becomes Ten-Pai)!