Discards made early in the game are safer than later discards. If you think it unlikely that you will want to keep a Major tile in your hand, discarding it early makes it less likely that someone else will be able to pung it.
Early in the game, if someone pungs a tile of a particular suit (and you deduce from their style of play that they are likely to go for a clean hand) you might consider discarding (particularly Major) tiles of that suit on the supposition that they are unlikely to be able to pung them.
If someone discards a tile, others often automatically follow the trend as it seems that that particular tile is fated (as its chances of forming a pung are reduced). But if you instead discard a different tile you will reduce its chances of being part of another player’s pung.
There’s a tendency to automatically discard a tile which has become dead (i.e. one for which there is already an exposed pung or which has two or three discards on the table). But in the early part of the game your discards are less likely to be punged, so hanging on to a tile that can be discarded safely when the game is hotting up can be an advantage (provided it is not compromising your saving strategy).
|No||It’s worth more and may give you a double|
|No||You pick one up from the wall, but notice that one has already been discarded. However, there is still the chance of picking up others and the discarded one may make another player discard one he picks up|
|No||Late in the game it could be punged (so something of a dilemma, especially if someone is fishing!)|
|No||It’s late in the game and you have no chance of winning, so discarding an honour tile could double the score of the winner|
|Yes||Midway through the game it is less likely to be punged|
|Yes||Two have already been discarded so a double is not possible|
|Yes||You can only end up with four sets and you have other honour tiles in your hand|
(a) You have the same tile in your hand
If someone else discards a particular tile (say a 1 Circles) and you have the same tile in your hand, there is a temptation to get rid of it, as your chances of getting a pung might seem to be reduced.
However, others who pick it up from the wall are more likely to discard it, so (if you manage to get two of them) your chances of punging the third are increased.
(b) You don’t have the same tile in your hand
If you pick up a wall tile that has already been discarded – again, one’s first reaction is to discard it (as the chances of getting a pung might seem to be diminished). However, this is offset somewhat by the increased likelihood of another player not wanting to keep the same tile.
Be particularly careful about discarding a tile of the prevailing Wind (usually East) as that may give someone a pung worth two doubles.
Taking account of the number of sets in a MJ
One only needs 4 sets to make a MJ so if one has (say) 2 pungs, 2 pairs and 3 singles there is not much chance that one is going to make a pung from any of the remaining singles.
Deciding which tile to discard when you need to complete a pair to go MJ
If you are about to discard a tile to go “fishing”, leaving you to get a pair to go MJ, you may find that one of the tiles that you could discard has already been discarded. For example, you have just made a pung and find that you have one Red Dragon and one Green Dragon in your hand. And you then notice that one Red Dragon has already been discarded.
With two Red Dragons unaccounted for, as opposed to three Green Dragons, it might seem better to discard the Red Dragon. But there are other factors to consider. Should you discard the Red or the Green Dragon?
|Red||There’s less chance of it being in the wall or in somebody’s hand|
|Red||It can’t be punged – unlike the Green Dragon – and so, possibly, make someone else “fishing”|
|Green||It may be konged – someone already has a pung of Green Dragons in his hand – so had you retained it, you would never have made a pair|
|Green||If it is then punged, the player with two in his hand would likely have kept them anyway|
|Green||If someone picks up a Red Dragon he may think it safe to discard it (as one is already discarded)|
|Green||If someone has a Red Dragon he may also think it safe to discard it|