Frequently Asked Questions
What rules does Tenhou use?
Japanese rules, also known as "riichi mahjong". It doesn't use toudai
rules (Tokyo University) strictly, though. See Specific Rules for information on Tenhou's
How do I play Japanese mahjong?
Refer to the list of resources for
information on how to play. This is not a full list, but it lists the
Where can I find information on scoring and a list of yaku?
Without a doubt, Wei-Hwa Huang's Japanese
Mahjong Scoring page. This covers absolutely everything,
including both English and Japanese terms. Avoid linking anything else,
as most other resources are just diluted versions of the content of
Can I cheat?
Not in any capacity using the official Tenhou clients. There used to be
one glitch where you could stall the game indefinitely and force other
players to get tired and quite, but this was fixed in the client years
There are some ways to cheat, though, but they require a deeper understanding of Tenhou's internals. Here's
a shortlist of some of the things that can or could once be done:
With regards to no server-side restrictions on stuff, I've had 4 bots
play in the C00112233 pro tournament momentarily: screenshots; game
postings. Other really weird stuff is possible, too.
It is impossible to predict which tiles will be drawn, or manipulate
your own draws. This
is actually possible in a very convoluted way in
conjunction with another exploit. It's now
definitely not possible to predict!
There is no server-side restriction on joining lobbies
(free, private or championship); likewise for higher-ranked
L0000 rooms. Patched after I pointed it out.
- Games can also be stalled indefinitely with relative ease.
- Tsumokiri can be identified in every game type.
Certain ranked gametypes can be joined which are not
accessible via the official client. This can have some interesting
You can skip your turn completely!
This is definitely the most interesting
exploit to date.
- The premium clients can be used without premium. There is no
server-side restriction with a few modifications.
What is rate?
Rate is an additional ranking after
the dan system. It is generally a better measurement of skill, and is a
requirement for some tournament types and the upper-dan room. Keep your
rate high. The base is 1500.
What is 3man?
3man refers to Tenhou's 3 player game mode, in which only 3 people
play. There are some rule
What resources should I link other people to for introductory
How to play: http://www.osamuko.com/complete-beginners-guide-to-online-mahjong-part-1-how-to-play/
Tenhou information: http://arcturus.su/tenhou/
Who are you?
How can I contact you?
Your best bet is by email at . You could
also try IRC if you know where to look.
- Tenhou uses Japanese rules. Not Chinese, or any other
variation. If you know some other type that isn't Japanese, don't
play on Tenhou; Japanese is very different to pretty much all
others. Relearn the game for Japanese rules before playing: it
will be different.
- Don't propagate false information when trying to get somebody
into the game. This only causes confusion. Tom Sloper's website,
for example, is excellent for general mahjong information, but
garbage for learning how to play Japanese mahjong. Use some of the
resources linked to on this page when trying to get
- If you find something wrong, contact me. Don't fix it yourself
and redistribute it. This page is the main English resource for
Tenhou, so it is no help in redistributing bits yourself. Steal
everything here and redistribute it, calling it your own; just make
sure you copy and steal everything. Incomplete stuff is useless to
everybody, and it's easier to have me fix things.
- If you create or write something relevant, contact me and I
will gladly host it.
- If you don't know how to play Japanese rules, don't play on
Tenhou. People hate it when a player doesn't know what he or she is
- Don't just pick the top left game type. Nashi rules are
not friendly for beginners and people who normally play it are
serious about playing it.
- Play as quickly as possible. It's alright to use the time
available, but only use it if you have to. Stalling drives
- If you are a slow player, don't play in the fast game
Last updated: 2012-10-28