Here’s some things you can do on your own, or with a friend, to get better!

Wait Finding (for 1 player)
– Pull an entire suit out of a set of tiles.
– Shuffle and draw 4.
– If you had already called 3 times, are these 4 tiles tenpai? if so, what is the wait?
– To increase the difficulty, draw 7 (if you have called 2 times, are you tenpai? what is the wait?)
– To further increase, draw 10 (if you have called 1 time, are you tenpai? what is the wait?)
– For max difficulty, draw 13. Is this full flush tenpai? What’s the wait?
To gauge your proficiency, time how long doing this 10-20 times takes, and then note how the time goes down with repeated practice.
Special bonus – to do this on the go, you can use a deck of cards! A deck of cards, all four suits, A-9, (toss out 10JQK), is the same makeup as a suit in mahjong. This method, from the biographical manga “Aki”, is a personal favorite of the mahjong-ny crew.

Tenpai Practice (for 1 player)
– Shuffle a set face down.
– Draw 13 tiles.
– Then, draw and discard until you get to tenpai, or you’ve discarded 18 times.
– Write down the number of tiles you’ve discarded.
– Repeat.
To gauge your proficiency, do this 50 times, and figure out the average number of tiles discarded. Note

how the number of tiles goes down with repeated practice.
Special bonus – to make this more of a puzzle, only shuffle after every four hands (keep tiles used in previous hands visible). You can better judge possible draws by seeing what is gone already.

One suit mahjong (for 2 players)
– Use only one suit of tiles.
– Play mahjong against each other: no calls other than Kan, Ron or Tsumo.
– No dead wall: go through the whole set.
– Players have 100K to start, play until someone goes below 0. To shorten the game, players do not gain points: their opponent, however, still loses them.

Half flush mahjong (for 2 players, adapted from Shinasaka Kouji’s “Tohai”)
– Use only one suit of tiles and the honors.
– Play mahjong against each other: no calls other than Kan, Ron or Tsumo.
– Players are East and West, Table is East.
– Standard dead wall with dora.
– At any time, instead of discarding, a player can “fold”. They pay 3000 points to do this, +3000 for every tile they’ve discarded this hand. If they are dealer, doing this passes the deal.
– Players have 30K to start, play until someone goes below 0. To shorten the game, players do not gain points: their opponent, however, still loses them.

A/B mahjong (for 2 players, adapted from Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s “Ten”)
– Use only one suit of tiles and the honors.
– Play mahjong against each other: no calls other than Kan.
– Players are East and West, Table is East.
– Standard dead wall with dora.
– “A” Part of the game: Draw and discard as normal. At any time while discarding, if not furiten, a player may Reach. doing so ends the “A” part of the game and moves on to “B” below. If you do this and are not dealer, you become dealer next hand.
– “B” Part of the game: the non-reached player guesses 2 tiles. If either of those completes the hand, the hand ends as a draw. Otherwise, the reached player draws and discards 5 tiles, 1 at a time. If the tile completes their hand, they win the hand. Otherwise, the non-reached player guesses 2 tiles again, and so on, until the wall runs out, in which case the hand is a draw.
– Players have 30K to start, play until someone goes below 0. To shorten the game, players do not gain points: their opponent, however, still loses them.