Kans (カン) are another call a player can use to contain their tiles whenever they have four of the same kind. Just like pons and chiis, they serve to make your hand quicker.
That said, kans are a different beast altogether.
You see, there are two types of kans. The open kan is just like a pon: you snatch the tile you have a triplet for; it can also be done if you have a pon of a tile and you draw the same one. You merely need to add it on top of the ponned tiles.
Open kans are fairly simple, but closed kans though are what happens when you draw the four tiles by yourself. If you get a quad, you have the option to kan it. Closed kans are like an ordinary kan, but the first and fourth tile are facing downwards. And if you haven’t done any open hand technique, your hand is still a closed hand. And yes, you can riichi on it~.
Both types of kans will require you to get another tile because your hand will not be complete. The drawn tile though will come from the dead wall; this is the only time you draw tiles from the dead wall. We will also replace the drawn tile from the dead wall with one from the end of the live wall, the wall we use to play. Closed kans also shift the drawn tiles by one.
But we haven’t reached to why kans are awesome: we get more doras via kans. Say hello to kandoras, doras revealed from kans. You can only use them if they are revealed. And just like doras, you read them via the kandora indicator.
In this case, the dora indicator is 2-pin and the kandora indicator is West. Thus, the dora is 3-pin and the kandora is North.
Also, if someone wins on riichi, he or she gets the ura-kandora. So for here, there will be two doras and two uradoras. It is also interesting to note that if the dora and kandora are the same, you will get two doras from one dora tile. An akadora dora indicator though will not do a thing to the score.
But what happens if a player kan two times? Three times? Do we get to see uradoras in those cases?
Yes, and this is why kans are godly. And if you do get three kans, you have the sankantsu (三槓子) yaku; it is worth two hans in both open and closed form. You get the benefit of three uradoras too! What about four kans by the same player? You whip out a yakuman, a yaku that is worth 32,000 points because it’s so rare, called suukantsu (四槓子).
But it’s hard to get one kan, let alone four. And just like a pon and chii, you can risk yourself getting into no yaku territories. It might look cool to do a kan but make sure to get a yaku! And other players can use the kandora and uradora too even if it isn’t kan’d by them!
Kanning after someone riichi is a bad idea because there is a possibility you might open up an obscure yaku called chankan. It’s basically ronning on a kanned tile. Suppose I am waiting for a 2-man and User A has already ponned 2-mans. There’s only one 2-man left and such a crappy wait is called a hell wait. With little doubt, such a tile will be discarded because it’s so damn useless unless you’re Kastel-sensei. But then, User A kans it because he wants to get kandora and Kastel rons him on a chankan yaku. Kastel-sensei is happy~; he gets a bonus 1-han and can brag it to his friends. So make sure to see if the tile in question is a safe tile and whether the risk is worth it.
However, getting a kan might help your chances of raking up doras. This way, it is possible to get above four doras. It will not be unusual to see 6 doras and more.
There is though a special rule if four kans are made. If a player can whip our four kans, he or she gets a suukantsu. But if another player made another kan when three kans are already made (regardless of who), it will result in a draw. It can be each player kan one time each; two players kan twice; three players kan once while another kans twice; and more. This rule can be exploited if a player might reach suukantsu: a troll can kan a random tile, infuriating the player and throwing a chair to the computer. This totally did not happen to me, nope~.
Kans are cool and all, but the Saki readers want to learn something far more important according to them. A normal guide would ignore this yaku because it’s so damn rare; the likelihood of having a hand completed with this is absurdly low (.28%). It is also worth 1-han, the same as a tanyao. I myself have done only 6 times as of this writing and I’ve been playing riichi mahjong for almost half a year now too!
(Actually, a lot of people have played longer than I do and they haven’t gotten a rinshan kaihou once. But that’s because I am spiritually connected to Ritz. I apologize if any experienced players reading this gets offended ;_;)
But I have to talk about it. It’s a flashy yaku that makes anyone envious if you unleashed one onto the table. And since we’re here to be lesbian players, we need to learn it.
Remember how you’re supposed to draw a tile from the dead wall? If that tile completes your hand, you can tsumo on it and paint a flower blooming on the ridge of a cliff onto the faces of the crying players.
And you’re going to exclaim, “Rinshan kaihou (嶺上開花)!”
After that, you may rightfully call yourself a ‘lesbian.’
But one does not simply rinshan kaihou. The requirement to get this yaku is that the drawn tile completes the hand. It doesn’t matter if it has a yaku or not; rinshan kaihou itself is a yaku and you can win on just that.
It is also important to realize that if you draw four tiles of a kind, you don’t need to kan it straightaway. You can let it sit in your tiles and wait till you are in tenpai before going for a rinshan kaihou.
But don’t get disappointed if the drawn tile doesn’t complete the hand. It’s absurdly rare and no one is going to get it at their first game. It often happens by chance. You need a lot of luck drawing this yaku. There are ways to predict which tiles are in the dead wall (which I will not cover), but even with their help they don’t guarantee it. But if you keep playing mahjong, you will get one. Remember to screencap it and show it to everyone’s face.
Now, you understand the wicked powerful nature of Miyanaga Saki. She doesn’t just have protagonist power vested by Kobayashi Ritz; she is a god. A cruel monster bent on destroying everyone’s hard work, she can easily make triplets and quads whenever she wants to. You might as well say she has the ability to control the game. It’s easier to get struck by lightning than the hand she unleashed at the finale of the group tournament arc.
You will never get a chinitsu, toitoi, sanankou, sankantsu, akadora, and a rinshan kaihou. Kazoe-yakuman: 32,000 points. The probability of that?
And that’s why Miyanaga Saki is my waifu.