List of yaku

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Example hand, containing many yaku.

A yaku 「役」 is a certain pattern in a mahjong hand that scores points, and a necessary condition for winning. They are analogous to hands in poker. Unlike poker, multiple yaku can be combined into one hand. Under standard rules, there are 26 different yaku and 11 yakuman (a special class of high-scoring yaku). In addition, one special case may be allowed in nagashi mangan.

In order to win any hand, the hand must have at least one yaku. Even if a hand has dora, it cannot score without a yaku. Declaring a win without yaku can score a chombo penalty. Therefore, when learning the game, it is essential to learn the different types of yaku.

Each yaku has a specified amount of han 「飜」, generally based on their rarity. You can also increase the hand's han count with dora, but this does not count as a yaku. A hand's total han value, counted from adding up yaku and dora, determines the points you'll get in the end.

The most important yaku to learn is riichi, since it is very common and very easy to achieve. A new player may find it easiest to never open their hand, always calling riichi, and get a few wins. However, this strategy is far too simple for serious play; a variety of yaku should be employed.

One han closed only

Menzenchin tsumohou
Win by self-draw
Closed only
This yaku may apply to any closed hand. Any player who draws a winning tile with a closed hand is awarded this yaku.
Ready hand
Closed only
This is a special yaku applied to closed tenpai hands, which requires the player to make a declaration and "wager".
One shot
Closed only
This is applied when the player calling riichi wins within 4 tile draws/discards. In addition, the cycle must not be interrupted by tile calls.
All sequences
Closed only
Typically known as "all sequences", this is a hand that does not gain fu based on composition, other than that of a closed ron.
Agari: or
Identical sequences
Closed only
This hand includes two identical sequences.

One han

Haitei raoyue
Win by last draw
May be open
The hand is completed with the last tile on the wall.
Houtei raoyui
Win by last discard
May be open
The hand is completed with the very last discarded tile.
Rinshan kaihou
Win by dead wall draw
May be open
This yaku is awarded upon winning with a tile from the dead wall.
Robbing a kan
May be open
The winning tile for a hand is called on another player's Kan. Essentially, the tile needed to complete a Kan is stolen to complete a winning hand.
All simples
May be open (Closed only on variation)
A hand composed of only inside (numbers 2-8) tiles
Agari: or
Value tiles
May be open
A hand with at least one group of dragon tiles, seat wind, or round wind tiles. This hand can be valued at 1 han for each group.
Agari: or

Two han

Double riichi
Double ready
Closed only
Riichi is declared with a dealt hand before the first discard.
Terminal or honor in each group
May be open (Loses 1 han)
All tile groups contain at least 1 terminal or honor.
Agari: or
Sanshoku doujun
Three colored straight
May be open (Loses 1 han)
Three sequences have the same number across the three different suits.
May be open (Loses 1 han)
This hand has a complete sequence of 1 through 9 of a single suit. As a note, the sequence of 1-9 are actually three groups of sequences numbered 123, 456, and 789.
All triplets
May be open
The entire hand is composed of triplets.
Agari: or
Three closed triplet
May be open
The hand includes three groups of triplets (or closed quads) that have been formed without calling any tiles. The fourth group can be an open triplet or sequence.
Agari: or
Sanshoku doukou
Three colored triplets
May be open
The hand includes three groups of triplets with the same number.
Three kans
May be open
Three kans are called for this hand.
Seven pairs
Closed only
This hand is composed of seven pairs. It is one of two exceptions to the standard 4 tile groups and a pair pattern.
Terminals and honors
May be open (Consider as 4 han †)
The hand is composed of nothing but all terminals and honors.
† This hand may be considered as 4 han, because it is impossible to score this hand without either chii toitsu or toi toi.
Agari: or
Small three dragons
May be open (Consider as 4 han †)
The hand contains two sets of 3 dragon tiles and a pair of the third dragon tiles.
† This hand may be considered as 4 han, because it is impossible to score this hand without two sets of yakuhai, from the two sets of dragons.
Agari: or

Three han

Half flush
May be open (Loses 1 han)
This is a single suit hand mixed with some honor tiles.
Agari: or
Junchan taiyao
Terminal in each meld
May be open (Loses 1 han)
All sets contain at least one terminal.
Two sets of identical sequences
Closed only
This hand has two sets of "iipeikou". This hand does not combine with chii toitsu, even though the hand can be interpreted as one.

Six han

May be open (Loses 1 han)
This hand is composed entirely of tiles from only one of the three suits. It is the only yaku set at 6 han, where the number drops to 5 han when opened.
Agari: or


Kazoe yakuman
Counted yakuman
May be open
This is a special class of yakuman, where a hand is composed of 13+ han based on the combination of above regular yaku and/or dora.
Kokushi musou
「国士無双 or 国士無双13面待ち」
Thirteen orphans
Closed only
This hand has one of each of the 13 different terminal and honor tiles plus one extra terminal or honour tile. Some rules may allow double yakuman for a 13-wait set.
「四暗刻 or 四暗刻単騎」
Four closed triplets
Closed only
This hand is composed of four groups of closed triplets. When this hand has a shanpon pattern and the win is via ron, then it would not be counted as such; only as the lesser toitoi with sanankou.
Tsumo: or
Big three dragons
May be open
This hand possesses three groups (triplets or quads) of all the dragons.
Small winds
May be open
This hand has three groups (triplets or quads) of the wind tiles plus a pair of the fourth kind.
Big winds
May be open
This hand has four groups (triplets or quads) of all four wind tiles.
All honors
May be open
Every group of tiles are composed of honor tiles.
Agari: or
All terminals
May be open
Every group of tiles are composed of terminal tiles.
Agari: or
All green
May be open
A hand composed entirely of green tiles: 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 Sou and/or Hatsu.
Agari: or
Chuuren poutou
「九連宝燈 or 純正九蓮宝燈」
Nine gates
Closed only
A hand consisting of the tiles 1112345678999 in the same suit plus any one extra tile of the same suit.
Agari: Any manzu.
Four kans
May be open
Any hand with four calls of kan.

Initial yakuman

Heavenly hand
Closed only
The dealer hand is a winning hand even before discarding a tile.
Earthly hand
Closed only
The non-dealer hand is a winning hand with the first tile draw.

Special case

This yaku does not specifically deal with a player's hand, but rather the player's discards. In addition, the hand may or may not be at tenpai upon scoring. The result of nagashi mangan modifies the case of ryuukyoku, where point exchanges equate to mangan.

Nagashi mangan
Terminal honor discards
Closed only (May be open on variation)
All the discards are terminals and/or honors. In addition, none of these discards were called by other players.


The above list is generally considered as the "standard yaku", including the yakuman. However, the game offers an even larger array of tile patterns. Various house rules may opt to use some of these yaku on their own.

External links

List of yaku in Japanese Wikipedia
Lists all the yaku occurrences in by percentages and by room
Pointing out which yaku to learn first
Yaku list in Wikipedia.