Thursday, September 27, 2012

How is Mahjong Titans scored?

Classical Mahjonng games score different suites (types of tiles) differently and even award extra points for special patterns e.g. three of a kind*[1].  This made me curious as to how Mahjong Titans is scored.

Clearly, you can't match triplets in our pairing game (especially since there are four of each tile design.)
But this is still a valid question: do you score extra for two consecutive pairings of the same design?  Absolutely yes.  I got the hint here months ago, and I've subsequently used it to raise my score**[2] over the months. 

What exactly is the way to increase your score by matching consecutive pairs:
"If you get a matched pair of one class and your next pair is of the same class, you get a bonus. If the next pair is the same number and the same class, the bonus is bigger. If your second pair after that is of the same class again, your bonus is even bigger. You also get bonuses for clearing both pairs of flower or season tiles in a row."
So there you have it, from the horse's mouth (MS Windows - how to play MT)

Of course, all this assumes you know what a class/type/suite is, lol.
The basic thing is there are circles (from 1-9), bamboo sticks (from 1-9, the 1 of bamboo has a bird on it), characters (1-9, look like tally counts), winds (North, South, East, West), dragons (red, green, and black/white).  Each Mahjong layout has four of each of these tiles for a total of (9+9+9+4+3) x 4 = 34 x 4 = 136.  In addition, there are single tiles: four seasons and four flowers.  Grand total 136 + 8 = 144 tiles.

Naming the tiles in Mahjong

Things that raise your score
So you can raise your score by knocking out all four of one type in two consecutive pairs.  The next best thing is to do a sequence of pairs from the same suite.  Cool!  

Things that lower your score

When I first started planning consecutive pairs, my scores went up.  The time taken to complete each game also went up into four digits (in seconds).  I suspect the final score factors in time (higher score for quicker time.)  In fact, I'm learning that the Mahjong score is not a simple or linear thing. You have the option to undo one move or a sequence of moves even up to the start of the game.  You lose some points for reversing a move, but sometimes it's worth it.

Things that are suspected to raise your score

Can you gain higher points by targeting the rare types - flowers and seasons for instance?  For some solitaire games, but probably not for Mahjong Titans, the rules say yes, pair these earlier***[3].

- Don't worry about raising your score until you have learned how to win in the first place.  

***[3] - This yahoo games site on Mahjong Solitaire rules gives a number value to each suit (characters get the score written on the tile, circles double them, bamboos triple, winds get four, and a basic score of 5,6, 7 for a dragon, flower, or season respectively.)   This is NOT the scoring system for Mahjong Titans.  Here are three discrepancies that make me certain of it:
1. "Granted three shuffles?" - I hadn't noticed the option to shuffle.  
2. "Move on to the next round?"  I hadn't noticed any rounds.  
3. "...multiplied by the total number of pairs left"  But the points would be too big.  My first two pairs in the last game I played were 2 and 2 (nothing near 72) and seemed to increase as game play continued, not decrease with fewer tiles.  Total scores in the hundreds, not in the thousands as their system would predict.

 **[2] - Further to the April 2012 post about improving all round, I have strong data to show marked improvement in all six configurations.  We'll come back to that later.

 *[1] - See Mahjong, Singaporean Mahjong scoring rules, on Wikipedia.

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  1. This was a good read. Thank you.
    Have you figured out how the point value of each move is calculated? I'm stumped.


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