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    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/16/11 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Gambler Jiko Chuushinha
    NES 1988
    Version:        1.0
    Extra thanks goes to barticle for the game-specific rules.
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
    01.) Introduction                                                 |  G0100  | 
    02.) Basics                                                       |  G0200  |
    03.) Strategies                                                   |  G0300  |
    04.) Rules                                                        |  G0400  |
    05.) Scoring                                                      |  G0500  |
    YY.) Links                                                        |  GYY00  |
    ZZ.) Credits & Thanks                                             |  GZZ00  |
    01.)                    INTRODUCTION                                 G0100
    Welcome to 'Gambler Jiko Chuushinha' for the NES, developed by Game Arts and
    released by Asmik Ace in 1988.
    This guide is about the popular Japanese version of the ancient board game,
    called "Reach Mahjong". It has many complex rules. If you know Mahjong from
    other nationalities or varieties, it is not simply easy to switch over to this
    version but it does help to know the basic things already.
    Some parts of the guide use Shift-JIS to represent Japanese characters in
    ASCII. To display them properly you may have to switch your brower's encoding
    Suggestions, comments or errors - tell me about it. Enjoy!
    02.)                    BASICS                                       G0200
    To start the game press the START button. This takes you to the main menu.
    Select one of the three modes with the Dpad Up/Down and confirm with START.
    The top mode is a simple game of Mahjong against your chosen opponents (Free
    Mode). You can choose various game options before the game (see further down
    for details). Select your opponents (they are all the same skill in this mode
    as far as I know) and confirm with the "yes" option (top).
    The middle mode is a story mode. The top choice lets you start a new game
    whereas the bottom choice continues from earlier. In the story mode you play
    as "Gambler" and take on various players across the area. You will finish the
    game by beating all of these guys. Write down the passwords to continue this
    mode later as you will need to input it at the "continue" option.
    The bottom choice is a tournament. You do not get to choose who to play against
    and can simply accept or decline playing. You also get the choice to continue
    from an earlier game if you have a password ready.
    ReyVGM also notes this code:
    Select Free Mode on the main menu. Then at the character selection, always on
    controller 2, press Up + B at the same time. Then press Up + Right + B at the
    same time. Then consecutively press Down, Right & Up and then press A + B at
    the same time. Then finally press Left. If done right, a sound will be heard.
    It's a bit difficult to get the code working, but just try it over and over a
    few times until you hear the sound.
    A basic round of Mahjong consists of you getting a new tile from the dead wall
    (unused tiles) and each player can discard one. Since other players might want
    an unwanted tile there are some interesting steals and strategies involved in
    winning. More on that below. First let's learn the controls:
    Throughout the game, the A button is used to make selections but you may also
    use this to discard tiles, basically you are selecting a tile to discard. When
    a tile flashes which has been discarded by another player you will also notice
    some small arrows pointing at yours. This will give you the option to steal.
    Use the B button to bring up a small menu and make your choice (more on that
    later). When it is your turn you may also use the B button to bring up a small
    menu. The top choice lets you discard just like directly pressing A on that
    tile, the lowest choice displays the current score and the middle option will
    flash the latest drawn tile for a second.
    Before continuing you will need to learn the basics of how to play Mahjong -
    the board and tiles themselves. This can be done online, they are almost always
    the same descriptions. However, don't look into those Solitaire games (where
    you pick pairs from the board) as they include extra tiles not used be the
    original multiplayer game, such as the dragons and flowers.
    Here is a short run-down of the tiles. Note that these have an order, from
    either lower number or highest (and then back to 1) or the stated order of the
    Honor tiles. There are 4 of each tile which makes for 136 in total.
    Wan:  From 1 to 9, they representes 10,000s each.
    Tong: From 1 to 9, they represent coins.
    Suo:  From 1 to 9, the represent bamboo sticks. The first one is a bird
          instead, traditionally a sparrow but most tiles don't show that.
    Winds: East - South - West - North; White - Green - Red.
    The honor tiles are said to have 'value', which always includes the three
    colors but only affects the wind directions according to the current round's
    wind and your own seat's wind.
    There are NO dragon pictures, NO flowers or any other fancy tiles in the game,
    these are made up for variations and the solitaire game. If you hear the terms
    dragon and flower used in the game then they will point to something else but
    to avoid confusion let's just ignore this for now.
    Next you have to get used to the board. It's just a table if you will, with
    one players sitting at one side each. You must have four players to begin. Of
    course in this game you only play against three computer opponents. There are
    136 tiles and everyone gets 13. The rest is set up as a 'dead wall' where you
    draw with each turn. By taking one extra tile you total is 14, which is the
    amount required to finish your game. You only have this amount temporarily as
    you will discard another one at the end of your turn (unless you win in that
    Before we begin, here is the display the game has to offer. The top left is the
    dealer's character. It is one of the directions, as the board is set up that
    each player is one direction. The dealer is important for who starts the game
    and some extra scoring considerations. More on that in another section. The
    number next to that is the round you are in. There are often two small sticks
    next to the round number which represents dealer ante (tsumi). The four players
    are displayed in rows, unlike most games that will have it set up on each side.
    You are at the bottom. The rows above each player will be used for discared
    tiles as you will soon see. Each player starts with 27,000 points. Actually it
    is 30,000 like in many Mahjong games, but everyone has already anted 3,000 for
    the winner at the end. The only thing left to explain is the top left. The
    number next to the dead wall is how many tiles left until the round is forced
    to finish. If nobody has won by then, it is called a draw.
    You may have noticed one tile in the dead wall (below your tiles), the right-
    most tile. This is called a Joker, or 'dora'. It is used for different purposes
    in different variations of the game. In the Japanese game, and this one, it is
    only useful for getting an extra score. However, do note that this just an
    indicator as in fact the NEXT one in line is the dora. You should know from the
    tile explanation, if the number is 1 Wan then the dora is actually 2 Wan. If
    the tile displays 9 wan then the dora is 1 wan and so on. For the honor tiles
    it also follows this way, going from the order of wind to the last 'zhong' and
    back to the winds. For example, a white tile would mean the dora is green. As
    I've mentioned before, this is just for scoring so ignore it if you do not care
    too much about that right now.
    So now let's actually get started in playing. With a player's turn, he or she
    takes a new tile from the dead wall. Your aim is to win the game by building
    melds out of the 14 tiles you have when it is your turn. Melds include several
    different forms:
    Pon: Three of the same tile, such as three East or three 2 Wan.
    (also called Pong in some variations)
    Kan: Four of the same tile, such as four East and four 2 Wan. You can build a
         Kan out of the three you have made already. In that case you will get to
         draw an extra new tile as bonus.
    (also called Kong in some variations)
    Shang: Three suited tiles in sequence, such as 1 Wan, 2 Wan, 3 Wan.
    (also called Chow in some variations)
    Pair: Two of the same tile, such as two East or two 2 Wan.
    (also called Jiang or Yan or Eye)
    The game automatically sorts your hand for the correct order. The newly drawn
    tile will be on the right side. If you decide to keep the new tile it re-sorts
    the list afterwards. To finish your turn you must discard one tile or declare
    you are the winner. Select the tile you want to discard with the LEFT or RIGHT
    directions and press A. If you have all your tiles making up for 4 melds and
    one Pair you have a winning hand and potentially are the winner. But not so
    The game's mini-menu is displayed on the left of the discard tiles. Here they
    are in ASCII as well. Use UP and DOWN on the controller to get the selections
    to change. The terminology you must get used to are the following terms:
     @@@@@@@               @@          @
         @@@  @@@@@@@@@     @@       @@
        @@@       @     @    @@    @@@
       @@@        @     @     @      @
      @@ @@      @@     @     @      @
     @@   @@    @@      @     @      @
    @    @                   @@@@
    @    @                @@@
    @    @              @@   @
    @    @                   @
        @     @@@@@@@@  @@@@@@@@@@
       @                     @
     @@                     @
    Self-Win - Tsumo:
    @  @   @  @@@@@@@@@
    @  @   @      @
    @  @   @  @@@@@@@@@
          @       @
         @        @
        @          @
    @@@@            @@@
     @        @@@@   
    @@@@@@@         @
     @    @        @@
     @    @       @@
     @    @      @@
     @    @     @@
    @@   @@   @@@
    @@@@@@@@@ @@@@
    @       @       @
    @       @      @@
    @       @     @@
    @       @    @@
    @       @   @@
    @@@@@@@@@ @@@
     @@  @
    @@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@
    @  @   @      @   @
    @  @   @  @@@@@@@@@ @
    @  @   @      @
          @   @@@@@@@@@
         @        @
        @         @
    @@@@          @
       @      @@@@
       @  @         @
    @@@@@@@@       @@
       @          @@
    @  @  @      @@
    @  @  @     @@
    @  @  @   @@@
    There are two mini-menus. One is after you have drawn a tile from the wall.
    Discard: Discard the currently select tile.
    Riichi: Call Riichi and discard a tile. If you don't actually have any claim
            on this it will remove your bet. Read more about this soon.
    Kan:    Build a kan out of four tiles you have, or out of the three you already
            set aside in a Pon and want to add an additional one.
    Self-Win - Tsumo: For declaring you are the winner, if possible.
    Discard is the default action as you mainly use this. To move to another tile
    in your hand, first return to the Discard option and then move RIGHT and LEFT
    like you would normally. 
    Sometimes you are offered to take a tile another player has discarded. This is
    when you can use this tile to build a meld. The other menu is when you have the
    opportunity to steal a tile:
    Kan: Build a kan with this tile.
    Ron: Win by stealing with this tile.
    Shang: Build a shang with this tile.
    Decline: Don't steal and draw a new tile instead.
    Pon: Build a Pon with this tile.
    If you decide to steal then it will be set aside on the right and shown to the
    other players. Do note that this means you miss out on a 'self-win'. You will
    know why in a second. For each steal the game asks which one you want to
    create. When you are offered to steal, there is a blue border around that tile
    and the game will wait until you make the appropriate choice from the mini-
    menu. You can also simply press B to not steal.
    In more details. One way to win is to wait until you need one more tile and
    steal it from another player. In that case you do not declare a steal for a
    meld, but for a win which is called 'Ron'. You still build a meld, but this is
    for the last meld you need and therefore complete the entire hand.
    Another way to win is the declare a 'riichi' with the 2nd last tile you
    discard. You will bet 1000 and declare that you only need 1 more tile to win
    the game. At this point you can no longer discard any previous tiles. You can
    also see opponents betting on this quite often. The tile they throw away with
    the bet will have a purple line underneath. The game will automatically draw
    and discard the new tiles until you get one that wins the game as you are in a
    'tenpai' state, which means "listening to tiles". You will then only need to
    declare a 'self-win' aka 'tsumo' once you get this tile. You can only Riichi
    when you have not declared any melds so far. Many players will try to retain
    from declaring melds to keep their winning hand options open and obviously not
    wanting to show other players their tiles.
    Let's say you have set aside melds already. Then you cannot Riichi any longer.
    As you work on your tiles, eventually you will also end up at only requiring
    one just like when you would normally declare a Ron.  At this point you may use
    Ron to steal the last tile to win the round if your hand allows it. See the
    rules for more details.
    The turns will continue until either one player wins, the game is declared a
    draw or you run out of tiles on the dead wall. Next up read the strategies to
    give you more on how to play better. To fully understand the hands you should
    read the rules and then you might want to check out how the scoring works.
    If a player lost all the money, it will simply go into the red and continue
    counting down when more losses are incurred.
    At the end of all rounds, the final scores are revealed. The player with the
    most amount of points will get the ante pot from the beginning (4 x 3,000 =
    Additional Rules...:
    (...you may want to know but only clutter the vital info.)
    If everyone discards the same tile at their first turn, the game is a draw.
    This happens more often than you think, as many throw away winds or other Honor
    After someone has stolen a tile, the play begins at that player, not the last
    person who discard the tile. This could mean skipping one or two turns for
    those players but it should even out over the course of the game.
    The small dealer ante sticks are used for additional scoring. The stick with a
    single dot in the middle represents 1,000 (10 times 100) where as the one with
    8 small dots is a 100 stick. Should the dealer stay the same for more than one
    game, he bets 100 which is then shown there. The dealer gets 3x back for
    winning. It comes from the tile discarder if stolen or split from everybody
    when self-drawn. If a non-dealer wins, the dealer simply takes the bet back. If
    the game is drawn and another dealer takes over, the pot stays and moves on to
    the next person.
    Game Options:
    They are actually called rules but I do not want to confuse you about the game
    rules of how to play the game. There are five options to configure your
    しどうしゃ (指導者) Lead, Advice, Tutor, Advice on the game
    ウマ Uma is a points spread applied at the end of the game whereby the player
     in 3rd place pays the one in 2nd, and 4th pays a larger amount to 1st. The
     exact values can vary a lot, but an example would be 4th pays 10,000 pts and
     3rd pays 5,000 pts.
    ドボン Bankruptcy rule - the game ends when a player's score drops below zero.
    イッパツしょう Ippatsu is the bonus scoring element that you get for winning
     immediately after declaring Riichi. To qualify you must declare either a Tsumo
     win on your next drawn tile or a Ron win on an opponent's discard before it.
     Ippatsu is worth one extra double. Any call (Chii/Pon/Kan) will cancel the
     potential for Ippatsu. Why this rule is called IppatsuSHOU here is unclear.
    ツキ Luck, you draw better tiles to help you win(?)
    Each one is either On or Off.
    03.)                    STRATEGIES                                   G0300
    What you will see is that most players throw away the Honor tiles unless they
    already have two. You cannot steal to make a Pair, and these are very hard to
    collect. Play one round and you will notice everyone dumping Wind, White, Red
    and Green tiles all over the place. If somebody steals one to make a Pon or
    even Kan, that's pretty good, just doesn't happen often enough to hang on
    these. It is more feasible to collect suits.
    For the suits, keep tiles that are close together. Let's say you have a 2, 4
    and 8, dump the 8. It is very unlikely to turn into a meld. Similarly, if you
    have the choice between throwing away 4 and 9, throw the 9. 9 is what is called
    an edge tile as you can only use it for a Pon/Kan or a very unlikely Shang with
    7 and 8.
    Like counting cards, counting tiles is great too. If you keep track of what
    others discard you will be able to calculate how many of one tile are still
    available to be discarded or drawn from the dead wall.
    14 tiles make for 7 pairs. This is a special method to win. You will most
    likely attempt this if you start out with many pairs. It isn't as uncommon to
    see and likely achieve at that point. Note that you cannot have four of a kind
    and call them 2 pairs each, they must be unique.
    If you have a sequence of 3, 5, 6, then do not bother keeping the 3 around.
    5 and 6 have higher chances to complete the sequence and if you get 4, then 3
    isn't necessary anyway.
    Even with these basic strategies you should be winning rounds. However, to
    really be good at the game you must learn the rules of how the hands are being
    04.)                    RULES                                        G0400
    These are not the game rules, but what kind of hands can be made to win the
    round. As the game ends the scoring screen will show the score multipliers
    called 'fan' the winner has achieved. These are the most commonly used rule
    sets in Riichi-Mahjong:
    Name: Name of the hand, either closely or loosely translated. 
    Fan: How many extra multiplier are added for this hand.
    O/C: Open (steals are allowed) or Closed (no steals allowed or possible)
    Description: Details about the hand, any specific rules or variations.
    | Name:        | Fan | O/C | Description:                                     |
    | Riichi       |  1  |  C  | When you only require one more tile after        |
    | 立直         |     |     | discarding the next one, you are ready to wait   |
    |              |     |     | for the win. Until then you cannot do anything   |
    |              |     |     | but discard the new tile unless a kan possible   |
    |              |     |     | that doesn't change your required tile.          |
    | Win 1 round  |  1  |  C  | Once you declar Riichi, win at the next turn     |
    | after Riichi |     |     | without anyone creating melds.                   |
    | 一発         |     |     |                                                  |
    | Strong       |  1  |  C  | Win without stealing nor opening your hand.      |
    | Self-Win     |     |     |                                                  |
    | 門前自摸     |     |     |                                                  |
    | Simple Melds |  1  |  O  | Only using suit tiles from 2 to 8, thus no 1s,   |
    | 断ヤオ九     |     |     | 9s or Honor tiles.                               |
    | Peace        |  1  |  C  | 4 Shang and one pair that does not have value.   |
    | 平和         |     |     |                                                  |
    | Double Shang |  1  |  C  | 2 Shang that are identical, e.g. 2, 3, 4 Wan     |
    | 一盃口       |     |     | twice.                                           |
    | Last Draw    |  1  |  O  | Win on the final draw.                           |
    | 海底摸月     |     |     |                                                  |
    | Last Discard |  1  |  O  | Win on the final discard.                        |
    | 河底撈魚     |     |     |                                                  |
    | Kan-Win      |  1  |  O  | Win by creating a Kan by stealing the tile.      |
    | 槍槓         |     |     |                                                  |
    | Kan-Bonus-Win|  1  |  O  | Win with the tile you receive after creating a   |
    |  嶺上開花    |     |     | Kan.                                             |
    | 3-Color Shang|  1  |  O  | 3 Shang that are identical in three different    |
    | 三色同順     |  2  |  C  | suits.                                           |
    | Straight     |  1  |  O  | 3 Shang using 1 suit from 1 to 9, i.e. 1->3,     |
    | 一気通かん   |  2  |  C  | 4->6, 7->9.                                      |
    | Mixed Edge   |  1  |  O  | Each meld has either a 1, 9 or Honor tile.       |
    | 全帯         |  2  |  C  |                                                  |
    | Terminals    |  1  |  O  | Melds consisting of Pons, Kans and a Pair where  |
    | 混老頭       |  2  |  C  | each one is either 1s, 9s or Honor tiles.        | 
    | Double Riichi|  2  |  C  | Declare Riichi with your first turn. No-one else |
    | ダブルリーチ |     |     | must have stolen so far.                         |
    | 7 Pairs      |  2  |  C  | 14 tiles make for 7 pairs. You cannot steal for  |
    | 七対子       |     |     | obvious reasons.                                 |
    | All Melds    |  2  |  O  | Only melds and a pair.                           |
    | 対々和       |     |     |                                                  |
    | Three Melds  |  2  | O/C | 3 melds that aren't open (stolen), the rest of   |
    | 三暗刻       |     |     | the hand may be stolen, eg the 4th meld.         |
    | Three Same-  |  2  |  O  | Three meld that each contain at least one of the |
    | Number Melds |     |     | same number.                                     |
    | 三色同刻     |     |     |                                                  |
    | 3 Kan        |  2  |  O  | 3 Kans declared.                                 |
    | 三槓子       |     |     |                                                  |
    | 3 Little Elem|  2  |  O  | 2 Pons and and 1 Pair of Honor tiles.            |
    | ?ャ三元       |     |     |                                                  |
    | Mixed Flush  |  2  |  O  | Only one style suit and honor tiles are used.    |
    | 混一色       |  3  |  C  |                                                  |
    | Pure Edge    |  2  |  O  | Each meld has either a 1 or 9 tile.              |
    | 純全帯ヤオ九 |  3  |  C  |                                                  |
    | Double 2     |  3  |  C  | 2 times two Shang that are identical, e.g. 2, 3, |
    | Shang        |     |     | 4 Wan twice and 6, 7 8 Wan twice.                |
    | 二盃口       |     |     |                                                  |
    | Pure Flush   |  5  |  O  | Only one style suit.                             |
    | 清一色       |  6  |  C  |                                                  |
    | Dora         | +1  |  O  | The dora indicator is on the dead wall. For any  |
    | ドラ         |     |     | tile you have you get +1. There are extra dora   |
    | カンドラ     |     |     | tiles as you make Kans and when you win with a   |
    | 裏ドラ・カン裏ドラ |     | Riichi.                                          |
    | Honor Meld   | +1  |  O  | A set of Honor tiles such as three White, Red or |
    |              |     |     | Green, the current round's wind or the player's  |
    |              |     |     | own wind direction. +1 for each meld.            |
    There are more special hands that may not be included in the game. Not every
    game will uses all of these. Think of this as super-advanced class if you
    really want to know these rules:
    4 Triples:              C    Four Pons and a Pair.
    Pairless Country:       C    A 1 and 9 of each suit, each one of the Honor tile
    ?綜m無双                     and then one extra tile to make a Pair.
    3 Large Elements:       O    A meld of White, Green and Red.
    Large/Small Wind:       O    A meld of each wind, one may be a Pair only.
    All Green:              O    Using Suo (Bamboo) 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and Green Honor
    緑一?F                       tile. May REQUIRE using the Green Honor tile even.
    All Honor:              O    Using only Honor tiles.
    Nine Treasures:         C    One suit with 1112345678999 and one extra tile for
    九蓮宝燈                     making a Pair.
    Pure Edge:              O    Only 1s and 9s.
    4 Kans:                 O    Four Kans declared.
    Heaven Win:             C    The dealer instantly has a winning hand.
    Earth Win:              C    The non-dealer has an instant winning hand at the
    地和                         first turn without anyone stealing before it.
    05.)                    SCORING                                      G0500
    There is a complex way to calculate the final score. Luckily the game does
    everything for you, but if you are still interested then read the next section
    in great detail.
    First, a tally value is calculated based on the composition of the hand and how
    the hand was won. This number will be an integer between 20 and 70.
    To get the tally, take 20 as base. Add 10 points if won by a steal, or 2 points
    if drawn.
    Additional points are awarded for pairs. 2 for each value Honor tile and 4 if
    the wind is both round and player's. For each Pon, 8 points if closed end, 4 if
    open end or closed middle and 2 if open middle. For a Kan, 32 points if closed
    at the end, 16 open end or closed middle and 8 for open middle.
    Finally, there are 2 points for the tile you were waiting if it was in the
    middle of a Shang, on the side of a Shang if there was only one way to complete
    it (Edge, like 1, 2 and waiting for 3) and third if it completed a Pon.
    Two exceptions to this case is '7 Pairs' which automatically results in 25 as
    tally. 'Pinfu' gives a tally of 30 if won on a steal, and 20 if self-drawn.
    The multipliers can be seen in the previous section. Each one adds a certain
    amount of points to the sub-total. You get 2 extra as base amount which sums up
    to the total multiplier.
    Final Score:
    Take the base number and round it up to the nearest multiple of 10 unless the
    hand was a '7 Pairs'. Multiple this number by 2^Multiplier for a sub-total. It
    cannot be higher than 2000 points or else it is reduced to said amount. That
    is the limit in the game to avoid huge scores in single games.
    If the win was self-drawn, each loser has to pay that sub-total. Else, multiply
    the sub-total by 6 if the dealer won, multiply it by 4 if a non-dealer won. As
    the win was won on a steal, only the person discarding the winning tile has to
    pay this larger amount.
    There are several ways to draw the game:
    - No more tiles are left to draw.
    - All players discard the same wind tile in the first round.
    - There are four Kans declared in total. You may complete with a 4-Kan hand.
    - All four players have declared Riichi.
    - Three players are waiting for the same tile to be discarded.
    - A player has 9 different tiles of 1s 9s and Honor. That player may choose to
      declare a draw.
    If the game ends after all tiles have been drawn, each player's cards are
    opened. Players only needing one tile to win will receive money from the
    others. In case of just one player he gets 1,000 from all the others. If there
    are two ready players, the other two have to pay 1,500 to each of the two read
    players. If there are three ready players, the only one left must pay 1,000 to
    each player.
    YY.)                    LINKS                                        GYY00
    A few sites that helped me find information regarding the game's mechanics,
    rules and other things I needed to confirm.
    WikiPedia's Mahjong Article:
    Japanese Mahjong Scoring:
    Mah Jong - Modern Japanese Rules:
    Reach-Mahjong Rules:
    ZZ.)                    CREDITS & THANKS                             GZZ00
    GameFAQs for hosting this file.
    Asmik Ace for the game.
    barticle for the rule (game option) information, awesome guy!
    ReyVGM for the code.
    All those websites listed in the previous section, I'm sure I used them all
    to find something or another. To either learn about the game or just to confirm
    a rule.
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
    respective trademark and copyright holders.
    This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
    personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
    distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on
    any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited,
    and a violation of copyright.        ,,,
                                        (o o)