Designed for players who know the basic rules but have not learned how the hands are scored exactly. Presented at Longhorn Riichi’s second meeting in Fall 2023 (9/23/2023).

Why Learn Hand-Scoring?

To motivate learning hand-scoring, we’ll first go over why placement is important in Japanese Mahjong.

After each Riichi game ends, players receive a bonus/penalty based on their placement, which can be easily worth tens of thousands of points. For example, in our club rules, the placement bonus spread for 4-player South games is +16/+8/-8/-16, which means, e.g., first place receives 16,000 points’ worth of bonus, while the last place loses the same amount.

As a result, our goal in each hand is to end up with a (more) favorable placement. To do this, we need to know how the hands are scored so we can predict how the placements may change if we take different actions (e.g., “if I open this hand, this hand will only be worth 1000 points, which is not enough to pull me out of 4th, so I will keep this hand closed”).


Scoring Sheet by Chase (updated by Peter)
Scoring Sheet by Chase (updated by Peter)

A hand’s score depends on the following:

  1. whether you are dealer
  2. whether you won by ron or tsumo
  3. number of han (from yaku and dora)
  4. number of fu (explained later)
  5. number of dealership repeats (+300 for each repeat in yonma)

For example, if you tsumo’d a 3-han 30-fu hand as dealer with 0 repeat, everyone at the table pays you 2000 points.

What the Fu?

Some call fu the “mini-points” because its influence on the score is small relative to han.

Here’s how fu is calculated:

  1. some hands have a fixed fu value (e.g., seven-pairs is always 25 fu)
  2. for other hands, you start with 20 base fu. You’ll add fu for each criteria you meet (see table below), and round the sum to the next 10.
Longhorn Riichi Business Card Fu Table
Longhorn Riichi Business Card Fu Table


I am not the dealer, and the dealer has dealt into my following hand with 9p. The dora indicator is 3p. There is one dealership repeat. How much will the dealer pay me?


  • han: 2 (pure straight in open hand +1, dora 4p +1)
  • fu: 30 (base 20, one 2~8 pon 4s4S4s +2, round to next 10)

The dealer will pay me 2300 points (2-han 30-fu non-dealer ron: 2000, one repeat +300).


The first person to answer this correctly gets a mahjong tile sticker!

You are the dealer, and Peter has dealt into your following hand with 7p. The dora indicator is 7p. There is one dealership repeat. How much will Peter pay you?


Click to Reveal Answer
  • han: 3 (all simples +1, dora 0p8p +2)
  • fu: 30 (base 20, two 2~8 closed triplets 2p2p2p0p5p5p +8, single wait +2, exactly 30)
Peter will pay you 6100 points (3-han 30-fu dealer ron: 5800, one repeat +300).

Practical Advice

It takes a lot of practice to be able to score quickly. If you are a beginner, it is sufficient to remember this much during each hand: 1-han hands are ≈ 1000, 2-han ≈ 2000, 3-han ≈ 4000, 4-han ≈ 8000. You can use the reference sheet and/or our business card to help with scoring a hand precisely. If you absolutely don’t feel like doing it, you can use online score calculators like this one.

Relevant Links

If you want a more comprehensive guide (e.g., the formula for score given fu and han), you can refer to Japanese Mahjong Scoring Rules from

In case of confusion, you can use a score calculator like this one

Use this Riichi scoring trainer so you can train to score faster.