Ask Mama Jong: Orasu

Mama, some players in our group regularly choose to go out with a very cheap hand when they are last place in orasu, cutting off other players who are playing for higher placement. How do I politely explain that this is poor form? Sincerely, Still-Second-Place.

STOP THE PRESSES! An anonymous internet handle believes there is a right and a wrong way to play mahjong!

Let’s consider WHY you consider this to be poor form… Do you believe that this poor player having been so generous as to bleed their points all over the table should now at orasu become very quiet and just fold to everyone else’s magnificence? Or maybe you believe they should just throw you the last of their points like some fleshy tembo ATM.

Is it selfish for this wretched mahjong soul to try and recover some points and some dignity with a simple riichi only? You can’t give them even that from your high mangan lead…?

Is this the world we live in? That unsatisfied with your haneman tsumo on East 2, you want them to bleed out, totally defeat… Is that the kind of winner this game creates?

I know the answer — that is exactly the kind of winner, and second place…and third place this game creates.

We all live in this delusion at the table that our placement is the product of our supreme strategic thinking. Our arrogance leads us to assume this player doesn’t know what they’re doing. How else did they end up in fourth?

Maybe they know EXACTLY what they’re doing… Maybe it’s nothing to do with winning or losing anymore… Did you ever consider they’re hitting the cheap and fast hand just to get the game over and not have to sit at a table with you any longer?

That said, if they mutter some nonsense about “I thought maybe I’d hit 10 ura dora,” none of the above applies and that player just wants to watch the tournament hall burn.

Just learn the score chart, people, please…

Mama Jong

Mama Jong has been playing mahjong since there were only three winds.