CONTEST - Mahjong mysteries solving contest "Sherlock Holmes and Mahjong" starts with Dr. Watson, who is waiting for "Nine Gates" in the bamboo suit. He draws a "tile with a bamboo image" on it as last tile from the wall, and declares "Hu" (a win). To answer the questions of this mystery, you need to consider a typical mahjong game set, and also the "Green Book" (Appendix 1).

Question 1 (): How many  "tiles with Bamboo image" are in a typical mahjong set?

Question 2 (): Please, calculate the total change in points for Dr. Watson for each different "tile with Bamboo image" on it in the scenario as described.

Prizes generously provided by the publishers of Mahjong Collector Magazine, and by Holiday Mahjong Online.

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  • After the second day we received 17 answers: 9 full scores and 8 partial. New participants still may join the contest and get bonus for early submitting of answers.

  • Guest - Oh Yong Sing

    Question 1 Answer:
    In a typical mahjong set, there are 10 unique tiles with the bamboo image: 1-Bamboo to 9-Bamboo, and one of the flower tiles (number 4) . The 1-Bamboo tile has an image of a bird standing on a bamboo (although some mahjong sets only have the bird and nothing else). So there is a total of (4 x 9) + 1 = 37 titles with the bamboo image.

    Question 2 Answer:
    Whichever tile is drawn, the hand will score at least the following points:

    Nine Gates (88 points) + Fully Concealed (4) + Last Tile Drawn (8 points)

    The green book mentions that Full Flush, Concealed hand, and Pung of Terminals or Honors cannot be combined, but Pure Straight and Tile Hog can be combined.
    It does not mention whether Short Straight can be combined or not. I assumed that Short Straight can be combined.

    Therefore, the additional points that this hand can have are as follows:

    Draw 1-Bamboo: Pure Straight (16 points) + Tile Hog (4 points)
    Draw 2-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "345678"
    Draw 3-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "345678"
    Draw 4-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "456789"
    Draw 5-Bamboo:
    Draw 6-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "123456"
    Draw 7-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "234567"
    Draw 8-Bamboo: Short Straight (1 point) for "234567"
    Draw 9-Bamboo: Pure Straight (16 points) + Tile Hog (4 points)

    Drawing the 5-Bamboo tile is the cheapest since there is no Short Straight, and we cannot combine with Pung of Terminals or Honors.
    Drawing the 1-Bamboo or 9-Bamboo is the most expensive since we can combine with Pure Straight and Tile Hog.

  • Guest - Cyrille

    1. I consider that 1 bamboo is not a "tile with a bamboo image" and the bamboo flower may be one.
    that makes 33 tiles.

    2. If Waston declares Hu after picking a flower : -60
    Otherwise he can count 9 gates (88), fully concealed (4) and last tile drawn (8) = 100pts.

    Wining with 2 or 8 b : add 2 concealed pungs and short straight = +3
    With 3,4,6,7 : short straight = +1
    With 5 : 2 concealed pungs = +2
    With 9 : pure straight and tile hog = +18

  • Guest - Jinbi Jin

    The "tiles with bamboo image" are the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of bamboo; a typical set will have a bird as the image of the 1 of bamboo.
    So there are 8 kinds of "tiles with bamboo image", for 32 such tiles in total.

    As for scores, All Green, Fully Concealed, and Last Tile Draw are guaranteed, for at least 100 points. In addition:
    - on 9 bamboo (also on 1 bamboo): Pure Straight and Tile Hog (for 118 pts)
    - on 2, 8 bamboo: Two Concealed Pungs, Short Straight, and Single Wait (for 104 pts)
    - on 3, 7 bamboo: Short Straight and Edge Wait (for 102 pts)
    - on 4, 6 bamboo: Short Straight (for 101 pts)
    - on 5 bamboo: Two Concealed Pungs and Single Wait (for 103 pts)

  • Guest - Quentin

    Q1: there are 32 tiles with Bamboo image (2 to 9 Bams), or 33 if you consider the 4th Flower "Bamboo" in many mahjong sets.
    Q2: 1112345678999 with last tile of the wall grants 100 points (88+8+4)
    Hú on 9 Bams grants 19 more points => 119.
    Hú on 2 or 8 Bams grants 5 more pojnts => 105.
    Hú on 5 Bams grants 4 more points => 104.
    Hú on 3, 4, 6 and 7 ams grants 2 more points => 102.
    17 points difference.

  • Guest - Axel

    Bamboo Image Tiles : 32
    Scores : Always - 9 gates, fully concealed (92), additional points depend on the drawn tile:
    Total scores:
    on 1 or 9 : 110 (Tilehog, Pure strait)
    on 2 or 8: 95 (2 conc. Pungs, short strait)
    on 3,4,6,7: 93 (short strait)
    on 5: 94 (2 conc. Pungs)

  • Guest - Jinbi Jin

    The "tiles with bamboo image" are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of bamboos, and one of the flowers. So there are 9 kinds of such tiles, for 33 in total.

    Now Dr. Watson cannot draw the flower tile for Hu, so we'll consider the other options.
    Nine Gates, Last Tile Draw, and Fully Concealed are always present, accounting for 100 points.
    9 bamboo (and 1 bamboo as well): Pure Straight and Tile Hog, for 118 points
    2, 8 bamboo: Two Concealed Pungs and Short Straight, for 103 points
    3, 4, 6, 7 bamboo: Short Straight, for 101 points
    5 bamboo: Two Concealed Pungs, for 102 points

  • Guest - Quentin

    Q1: there are 32 tiles with Bamboo image (2 to 9 Bams), or 33 if you consider the 4th Flower "Bamboo" in many mahjong sets (and "Green Book" list).
    Q2: 1112345678999 with last tile of the wall grants 100 points (88+8+4)
    Hú on 9 Bams grants 18 more points => 118.
    Hú on 2 or 8 Bams grants 3 more pojnts => 103.
    Hú on 5 Bams grants 2 more points => 102.
    Hú on 3, 4, 6 and 7 ams grants 1 more point => 101.

  • After day 3 we received 21 answers: 10 full scores and 11 partial.

  • Guest - Alberto Rosi

    Hi Vitaly, here there is my third try to solve the problem
    1. in an usual set there are 33 tiles with bamboo image (2 to 9 bamboo and one flower)
    2. he can make this fans:
    2b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) + single wait (1) = 102
    3b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) = 101
    4b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) = 101
    5b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + single wait (1) = 101
    6b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) = 101
    7b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) = 101
    8b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + short straight (1) + single wait (1) = 102
    9b = nine gates (88) + last tile drawn (8) + fully cons. (4) + pure straight (16) + tile hog (2) = 118
    I hope it's correct. Alberto

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