Tenhou is a very common site for playing online riichi mahjong. With the site in Japanese, it used to be very daunting to navigate. But now, it's much easier, thanks to translator add-ons for Chrome and Firefox, which translate the game interface into English (or French). This site has two useful functions: playing the game and looking at replays. Additional features like mahjong solitaire and tile building drills are also included.

Among Westerners, Tenhou has become a main choice for online riichi play. The following instructions are all based on the Japanese interface; but it is easier if you just use one of the translation add-ons linked to above.

Starting a game

Tenhou Replay 1

Tenhou game lobby, with menu item to the replays shown.

  1. Going into the site. There is a big button labeled "Play".
  2. A pop-up window appears. After the site is done, "Loading", click on サーバに接続.
  3. The login screen.
  4. The game lobby.
Near the center left, two columns of buttons are available. A player may choose any of these buttons and wait for a game to start. The numbers next to the buttons show the number of players waiting and the total number of players in game (number waiting : number in game). Buttons on the left column are for "East round games". Buttons on the right column are for full "East-South games".

Tenhou lobby

Games can be selected within the game lobby. Here, players can see their play statistics and be able to select among 12 different game rulesets. Furthermore, they're divided into 4 different game rooms. However, more advanced game rooms require qualification via its ranking system. This table lists numbers for each room and points earned (or lost) from full hanchan games.

Game selections

Within the Tenhou game lobby, there are 12 buttons in the middle, organized into 2 columns. Players can click on any number of these buttons to queue up for a game. The left columns are for Tonpussen games, or East round only. The right side are for full hanchan games, or East and South rounds.

East only Full hanchan (East-South)
Closed Tanyao Closed Tanyao
Open Tanyao Open Tanyao
Open Tanyao with Red five Open Tanyao with Red five
Open Tanyao with Red five (Fast) Open Tanyao with Red five (Fast)
3-player, Open Tanyao with Red five 3-player, Open Tanyao with Red five
3-player (Fast) 3-player (Fast)

The numbers next to each button indicate the number of players waiting vs the number of players currently in game. Overall, more players tend to play Full Hanchan with Open Tanyao and Red five.

Game rooms

In the lobby, tabs are immediately located above the game queue buttons. These point to the four different game rooms in Tenhou. Many new and lower ranked players have access to the basic game lobby. To access the higher lobbies, players must qualify based on their Tenhou ranking.

Room Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
一般 Below 四段 R1800 45 0 0 See ranking
上級 above 1級 60 15 0 See ranking
特上 above 四段 and R1800 75 30 0 See ranking
鳳凰 above 七段 and R2000 90 45 0 See ranking

Player statistics

In the lobby, players can see their own statistics, kept up-to-date with each game played. The entire second half of the lobby screen is dedicated to this.  

At the top of the right-hand side, the player name is displayed.  Below the player name is a couple of drop down menu and a series of statistics.  Just below the drop down menu, a player can see his/her Tenhou rank and two numbers separated by a /. These two numbers are a player's "Tenhou points". The first number is the current amount, while the second number, followed by "pt", is target amount, to reach the next rank. After that, there is the R-number. This is a relative measure of a player's ranking compared to other players. The number is comparable to Chess's ELO, where 1500 is a starting number.

Furthermore, there is an additional set of statistics, among them:

Statistic Meaning
1位率 Player's 1st place percentage
2位率 Player's 2nd place percentage
3位率 Player's 3rd place percentage
4位率 Player's 4th place percentage
飛び率 Negative points percentage
対局数 Number of games played
平均得 Average +/- score
平均順位 Average placement (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)
和了率 Agari rate (% winning hands)
放銃率 Ron'd rate
副露率 Tile calling rate
立直率 Riichi call rate

Tenhou ranking system

Players are arranged across various ranks in Tenhou.  This table covers the 4-player games.  The same ranks, but different point system, are used for 3-player.

Rank Base Next 4th place loss
新人 0 30 0
9級 0 30 0
8級 0 30 0
7級 0 60 0
6級 0 60 0
5級 0 60 0
4級 0 90 0
3級 0 100 0
2級 0 100 -15
1級 0 100 -30
初段 200 400 -45
二段 400 800 -60
三段 600 1200 -75
四段 800 1600 -90
五段 1000 2000 -105
六段 1200 2400 -120
七段 1400 2800 -135
八段 1600 3200 -150
九段 1800 3600 -165
十段 2000 4000 -180
天鳳位 Maximum rank

Viewing replays

Every game played is recorded in the Tenhou servers and are accessible to the player and to anyone via a given url.

Other features

Aside from the game rooms, the site also provides additional game features.

  • Tile development drill
  • Mahjong solitaire

External links

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