Kastel Mahjong Whatever: 1-4-7 and How 4 is a Dumb Number


Don’t discard 4s. 4 is bad. In Chinese and Japanese, 4 means death.

Not kidding here. Here’s why:

Hi, I’m Kastel. I’m dumb and don’t finish mahjong guides. I also don’t feel like screenshotting too. I just discarded a 4 bamboo. That means I can’t ron on 4 bamboo because that will be furiten. Well, everyone knows that. But here’s the catch: 1 and 7 bamboos are safe tiles. Under furiten rules, I won’t be able to chi nor complete 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 4-5-6, or 5-6-7. Because of 4 and furiten rules.

Remember: furiten applies because 4 connects all these sets. If you discard 4, you are immediately furiten for all these hands.

Fuck furiten.

2-5-8 and 3-6-9 work the same way too.

What happens if I discard a 1? Then, 1 and 4 are the safe tiles. 7 isn’t because it isn’t connected to 1.

But in that scenario, I could also finish 3-4-5 or 4-5-6. It won’t be affected by the furiten rule.

So this is a rule-of-thumb of course. One can use this knowledge to troll players. Consider discarding a 4 if you’re waiting for a 1 or 7 to pop up because you have one of those and you need it to complete the hand as a pair.

I also discourage readers and players to discard 4, 5, and 6 because they give out a lot of information to mahjong players. Generally, it means you won’t be using the suit of the discarded tile. As I’ve said, 4 is a flexible number and you can connect a good number of sets with it. Lousy discards like these tell too much about the player. Also, people tend to aim for 4s and 5s to complete your hand. So unless you have to, don’t discard 4!


7 thoughts on “Kastel Mahjong Whatever: 1-4-7 and How 4 is a Dumb Number

  1. orionstar2k10 February 15, 2014 / 8:56 am

    This made sense when reading this, but still confusing…

    How does this work again? Specifically ep6 of the new Saki, Atago threw 6 pin and managed to win with a 3 pin discard – was it because 1-2 wasn’t connected?

    • Kastel February 16, 2014 / 7:37 pm


      Furiten’s weird, but it’ll be your best friend.

      • orionstar2k10 February 17, 2014 / 8:10 am

        So, continuing with that example, if Atago had held 4-5 and threw away a 6 pin earlier, she would be furiten for both 6 and 3-pin?

      • Macchikyu February 18, 2014 / 11:26 am

        Fruits can be awesome! It helps me discard safely so I don’t get my points wrecked if I know someone is going big 🙂

      • Macchikyu February 18, 2014 / 11:26 am

        *furiten I meant… Stupid autocorrect xP

      • Kastel February 18, 2014 / 5:23 pm

        Oh definitely, furiten is the most important aspect of riichi mahjong. However, you can also fuck up easily if you aren’t paying attention to your own discards. I pay attention to other people’s, never mine.

        That’s probably something I should work on.

      • Kastel February 18, 2014 / 5:26 pm

        orionstar2k10: Yesiree, that whole set is pretty useless unless you menzen tsumo. That always happens to beginners (and me).

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